By the end of the first quarter of Super Bowl LIII, it was pretty apparent that spectators at the game and viewers at home were going to be in for long, long night. As the first half concluded, the score was 3-0 in favor of the New England Patriots. The game was…a yawn fest. However, fans were hopeful that the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show would be the shot of adrenaline that is worthy of the Big Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. With a line-up that included headliner, Maroon 5, the white-hot Travis Scott and Atlanta music royalty, Big Boi…how can the halftime show be anything but Earth shattering? Well…Maroon 5 began with “Harder to Breathe,” and “This Love.” A “calm” choice. Then, the halftime show took a turn to Toon Town with clips of SpongeBob Squarepants as a way to introduce Travis Scott? (Thanks Twitter!) Scott performed his hit “Sicko Mode” surrounded by an inferno that looked like it was going to swallow him whole.
The highlight came when Maroon 5 took the stage again and performed “Girls Like You” backed by a tight drumline and uplifting gospel chorus. The drones were cool, spelling out words of positivity and love. Atlanta icon, Big Boi rolled up in a convertible, and performed his hit “The Way You Move.” Hopes for a rumored Outkast reunion were quickly dashed when Levine joined Big Boi, singing backup. Then he was gone.
Maroon 5 wrapped up the halftime show with their hits, “Sugar,” and “Moves Like Jagger.” Again, hopes were shattered when Christina Aguilera, in what should have been a slam dunk surprise, didn’t make an appearance. And what’s a Super Bowl Halftime show without a little controversy? Going into last night’s performance, Maroon 5 was being criticized hard by social media for accepting the distinct honor. Many artists turn down the performance as a sign solidarity for former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Additionally, social media caught fire when Levine chose to rip his shirt off. Instantly, comparisons to Janet Jackson’s 2004 nipple gate surfaced. Levine took to social media, graciously addressing the night and the critics. All and all…the night was flat. The game…the halftime show…even the commercials.
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When we accepted the responsibility to perform at the SBHTS, I took out my pen and just wrote. Some of the words that came to me in that moment eventually made their way onto the incredible lanterns that flew high and low tonight. We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world’s biggest stage. We thank our fans for making our dreams possible. And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better. One Love. ❤️ And the list of words is… Forgive Laugh Cry Smile Share Live Endure Embrace Remember Enlighten Preserve Inspire Sweat Fight Express Give Receive Elevate Climb Unify Fortify Soften Dance Scream Dream Educate Provide Inhale Exhale Persevere Stand Kneel Overcome Love Listen