No pressure on “Coldplay with other guest stars,” as Jim Nantz billed the Super Bowl 50 halftime show just before the second quarter ended. It just had to live up to the billing of being the 50th halftime performance in Super Bowl history, and the 26th since The Big Game began going with pop and rock stars as entertainment.

So the people were excited, so excited they couldn’t be stopped from running on the field in perfect choreography. Try not to run over Chris Martin, please.

Coldplay was a somewhat unpopular choice for the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. Though the band is perfectly acceptable and not controversial, it’s also a bit past its prime. But the stage certainly helped make sure that Coldplay would wow the audience at Levi’s Stadium and watching on CBS with bright, psychedelic color.

Actually, it looked like a Dee-Lite video. Groove was, indeed, in the heart.

Yet Coldplay seemed more like the warm-up act, the appetizer before the really fun stuff began. Sure enough, Bruno Mars brought the funk. More specifically, the Uptown Funk. This is also the first ever paragraph in which “Coldplay” and “funk” share the same space.


But really, aren’t we all just living in Beyonce’s world? Sorry, Bruno Mars, but once Beyonce took the Levi’s Stadium field in formation (or “Formation“), nobody else mattered until the Panthers and Broncos took the field for the second half. “Force of nature” is a much overused term, but does anything else apply here?


Or put another way:

Chris Martin wouldn’t be forgotten, however. The show was probably set up this way, but after Beyonce and Bruno completely hijacked the performance, Mr. Coldplay popped back in to remind us all that he and his band were technically the headliners. Especially in Jim Nantz’s eyes. “Coldplay with other guest stars”? Really?

One of these three is not like the other.

The show ended on a sentimental note, with Martin taking the piano for “Clocks.” The song felt like a bit of a buzzkill after Beyonce and Bruno Mars upped the energy and excitement level. But it also provided a nice note that everyone could probably agree on. Most importantly, we got ourselves a montage. Specifically, we got a montage of the past 25 Super Bowl halftime shows, which really makes for an impressive roll call of rock and pop talent.

Well done. Best Super Bowl halftime show ever? Probably not, though we’d love to know where you’d rank it during the past 25 years. But it was a rousing, uplifting performance to carry us to what is hopefully an exciting second half. And Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce also demonstrated, once again, how much this show has become an event itself, one almost as worthy of watching as the football game itself.

You didn’t miss it all by going to the bathroom and getting more food, did you?

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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