To tell the truth, it’s been all Janet and Justin’s fault. If you’re in your mid-twenties or below at the moment, then a good percentage of the Super Bowl halftime shows have been set on tape delay and toned down to just above audible, with movements highly scrutinized. Two years ago, the NFL tried to fine M.I.A. for her middle finger at the end of her performance. That and a general sense of boredom that has perpetuated the half time show of the year’s biggest contest since Justin Timberlake stripped Janet Jackson’s left breast bare for the world to see.
Last night though, Bruno Mars put on one hell of a performance, playing on the 50s/60s-esque aesthetic complete with a dancing backing band and footwork that James Brown would grin at. Aside from an odd inclusion of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who performed only “Give It Away,” as Flea and Anthony Kiedis flexed their manliness over Mars by forgoing shirts in the frigid New York night. Alas, though, Mars was entertaining from beginning to end as he held the tempo in his hand throughout, ending the performance with a rousing take of “Just The Way You Are,” which was preceded by a dedication from military members to their families. While the game was less of a contest than many would have liked, Bruno Mars made sure they were entertained in between. Watch the whole thing, streaming below.