Bruno Mars’ Super Bowl Halftime Show: Review Revue

Feb 3rd, 2014 // 7 Comments
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Bruno Mars drum-soloed, stutter-stepped and sang his way through the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show on Sunday (February 2) for an invigorating, if predictable, 15 minutes of retro-tinged (and, in the case of that Red Hot Chili Peppers cameo, legitimately retro) entertainment. It was a master class in pop class, and while it didn’t give us a “shocking” moment to pretend to care about for the next week, it also didn’t bore us. After Nipplegate and Miley’s twerking and Kanye’s rants, it’s kind of refreshing to see a solid performance, enjoy it in the moment and then not have to think about it ever again.

That’s our take, at least. As for the rest of the Web, the consensus seems to be that Mars turned in a workmanlike performance, that his vocals were live and that RHCP’s presence was a little befuddling. Head below for the roundup of reviews.

:: Entertainment Weekly called it ”a polished, shiny set oddly interrupted for a moment by shirtless 50-year-olds… It wouldn’t be inaccurate to describe the set as flawless. Memorable? Maybe less so.”

:: Buzzfeed was dazzled, highlighting Bruno’s drumming and dancing, but their final judgment was levied thusly: “Was it as good as Beyoncé last year? Oh, ha, no. Of course not!”

:: Vulture also couldn’t avoid comparing it to Bey, asking, “So did Bruno Mars do his Super Bowl predecessor justice? And is it even fair to compare the two?” The site concluded, “Mars played by the rules, checked all the boxes and undoubtedly caused quite a few Americans to log on to iTunes to purchase his album, Unorthodox Jukebox. But will we still be talking about it tomorrow, let alone in 2015? Not likely.”

:: MTV felt Mars delivered: “With his broken-ankle James Brown footwork and splits, the Elvis Pompadour and the GIF-worthy swagger, Mars looked the part of a stadium-rocker.”

:: E! felt he “killed it” and “held his own” compared to Bey’s spectacle.

:: Variety posited, “Though it lacked the Olympian heft of Beyonce’s stand last year, or the sheer spectacle and requisite FCC-trolling of Madonna’s pageantry the year previous, Mars relied on a lot of flash, a hefty dose of Famous Flames-style stagecraft, and a requisite hat tip to the military for a winningly unprepossessing performance.”

:: The L.A. Times made the unavoidable Beyonce comparison as well. “Was it hopelessly retro compared to Beyoncé’s bold electro-pop display? Sure. But with its live-wire electricity, the performance didn’t feel that way. Or at least it didn’t until Red Hot Chili Peppers showed up.”

:: USA Today, though, was not impressed. “The Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show was a wholly unspectacular production that will join Tom Petty and The Who in the annals of instantly-forgettable halftime entertainment.”

What did you think of Bruno’s halftime special? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Talk about seizing the moment and shaking the crap out of it. The kid and his band aced what would have to be live entertainment’s biggest test, despite their killer performance being nearly obliterated by stupid pyrotechnics and inappropriate Illuminati messaging. The inclusion of the Chili Peppers, looking as if they were just dumped out of a beaker of formaldehyde, only served to make Bruno and co. look and sound even better. Anyway, here’s a song for you, Mr. Mars. Tom Jones wanted it once, but now he’s a little long in the tooth to be able to pull it off. Feel free to use it:

  2. Cindy Crawford's Razor

    k.d. lang has never looked better!

  3. Melissa

    Uhmmmm….Why were the Red Hot Chili Peppers invited? Bruno was better by him self!

  4. Abbie

    What! Are ou kidding me! Bruno Mars and his band was awesome. My celebrity crush over him reawakened from that performance! In my opinion it was waaay better than Bey’s. Don’t get me wrong Beyonce is also a great performer but her illumanit crap is creepy and weird.

  5. Amira

    bruno was amazing! And his favorite band surprised everybody!
    i love the combination of rythms and the stong voice, wow! Incredible!

  6. Tammie

    Loved Bruno and his boys! The drum solo was cool, his vocals were crisp, the dance moves were awesome and there was so much energy! Could have done without RHCP’s, but I guess it added diversity. If teenagers were watching, parents would not have been that embarrassed. So tired of Beyonce’ with her raunchy hootchie mama shows wearing only a t-back and undergarments.

  7. mark

    i think mars performance was incredible it was sung live and he really show what he can do. you cannot compare beyonce or even madonna to bruno. he showed off everything he got from drums to dance to the incredible vocal chops and he sing it live in front of millions of people unlike madonna and beyonce they need to fake it, they need to record it.

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