The Super Bowl draws a lot of attention by itself for sports fans, but the pure entertainment value is enough to pull in those who aren't supporters of the game on the field.
And man, did this year's big game need it.
What Bruno Mars brought to the stage at the 2014 Super Bowl was enough to keep even the casual NFL fan glued to their seats Sunday night. The Hawaiian pop singer blew the non-existent roof off of MetLife Stadium.
After starting the show off with a chorus of children singing the chorus of his song "Millionaire," the first track he became famous for, Mars took the stage surprisingly behind a drum set with his typical gold suit and gave a drum solo that showcased his talents outside of his vocals.
Regardless of who the viewer was, Mars had a little of everything. As Jim Farber of The New York Daily News writes, Mars' performance stretched across several generations of music:
Mars' 12-minute display exuded a friendliness and ease so winning, it made the edginess or cool of some past Super Bowl stars irrelevant. More, the performance wore its sources well, doubling as a history lesson in song. The songs Mars offered represented a virtual pop nexus of the last 40 years, touching on bouncy '60s Motown, fun '70s disco funk, slick '80s pop and a hint of modern hip-hop-flash. At one point, he referenced James Brown's fast-footed dance moves.
Showing off his repertoire with "Locked Out of Heaven" all the way to closing out the show with "Just the Way You Are," Mars pleased the ears of every fan watching. Then, there was the meshing of Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was a lot more pleasant than two members of the Peppers going shirtless.
Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer of the Chili Peppers, said the conditions weren't perfect, but he came away with an amazing experience and a great respect for Mars, according to Mesfin Fekadu of The Associated Press:
It could have been snowing, sleeting, raining. It would have been nice tonight, but rehearsals were a bit nippy.
[..] Bruno Mars is a complete and utter gentleman. I gained a ton of respect. He was awesome, intelligent (and) kind.
As for the fan response, several viewers took to Twitter and voiced their opinions of the performance. Even those who wouldn't normally overlook the immensely talented pop star raved about his show.
Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings noted he's officially a fan of Mars:
As for Trey Wingo of ESPN, he knew Mars would be successful after winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots:
Mike Caren, President of the Warner Music Group, even made a brash statement for people watching the game:
The display that Mars put on during the 2014 Super Bowl was not only a memorable one, but it also cemented the fact that young stars can continue carrying the torch for the big game.
After a string of older performers from Paul McCartney to The Who and Madonna, the shows were steering away from the younger crowd that is drawn in by the Super Bowl. What Mars did was bring together every generation with his soulful performance.
While he may not have been as pleasing to the eye as Beyonce—though I'm sure some women will disagree—Mars set the stage on fire and raised the bar for what halftime shows should look like.
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