Maroon 5 To Play Super Bowl 2016 Halftime Show? Don’t Act So Surprised
The reality is, folks, that we live in a post-Janet Jackson Nipplegate/M.I.A. middle finger-flipping Super Bowl world, and the NFL is likely going to keep it safe and family friendly for a long time to come with regards to its halftime acts each January. (See: Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, The Who, etc.) So now E! is reporting that Maroon 5 “have had extensive talks about performing” at Super Bowl 50 early next year. Let’s ponder this for a moment.
Maroon 5 came into our larger consciousness 11 years ago as harmless, multi-format arbiters of digestible, John Mayer-esque mid-tempo balladry. Oh, occasionally, they’d do something edgy — like speed things up and throw in enough funky guitar licks to top the charts (“Makes Me Wonder”) or duet with a good girl gone bad like Rihanna (“If I Never See Your Face Again”) — but Adam Levine and those other guys in the band who aren’t Adam Levine were too bland to stick around in kids’ minds, and by 2010 their commercial success was dwindling.
So enter The Voice, which, while doing nothing to catapult the careers of original coaches Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green any higher, gave sturdy reinforcement to Blake Shelton‘s country star status and shot Shelton’s onscreen BFF Adam Levine to the moon.
Make no mistake: Prior to Maroon 5’s six singles released prior to The Voice failed to crack the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and four of those didn’t even make the Top 40. The autumn after the first season of The Voice aired in 2011, “Moves Like Jagger” reached #1 and kicked off a string of eight consecutive Top 10 singles for the band.
Remember those harmless guys making mid-tempo pop-rock balladry even your aunt in June liked back in 2004? They’re now mass-producing market-tested, slick corporate pop aimed at penetrating every sound space you enter, from the store-wide speaker system at K-Mart, where Levine’s clothing line The Adam Levine Collection is sold, to the tinny portable radio the blonde one towel over from you on the beach is listening to.
This is Maroon 5, America, and they’re all yours. Like the NFL, they have endured hard times. They have now become the Huey Lewis & The News and Matchbox Twenty for millennials. They’re safe, but just sexy enough, with their tattoos and light innuendo, to make Nebraska moms swoon. And they make perfect sense for the Super Bowl.
Besides, Adam Levine has already been on your TV screens two nights a week since for the past four years. What’s one more evening?