Super Bowl Halftime Recap: Oil Meets Water
If you know me, even a little bit, you know that I'm a huge fan of Bruno Mars.
Basically, he's Number One, and nothing's ever going to change that.
When I heard he was playing the Super Bowl Halftime Show, I was, of course, ecstatic. I woke up every morning in my Bruno t-shirt, to my Bruno alarm, and ticked off the days on my Bruno calendar.
And then, like a record scratching violently in a crowded club, I heard the Red Hot Chili Peppers were joining him.
I felt betrayed. I even considered not watching.
Now, don't get me wrong: I have a healthy respect for the Chili Peppers. They were part of the soundtrack of my youth. I just don't like them. And I couldn't conceptualize a successful pairing of the two artists.
Instead of peanut butter and jelly, Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers seemed more like oil and water. No amount of shaking could ever make it work.
I've seen mashups more successful in the past, namely Madonna and Britney, Madonna and Justin, and Madonna and Miley Cyrus. I am convinced, though, that she sets up these spectacles so she can suck the life force out of her partner during those awkward onstage kisses. It's what keeps her looking so young.
Most of Mars' performance was solo, but I cringed internally for that moment the Peppers would blast onstage.
After the first few notes of Give It Away, I was covering my eyes.
There was an undeniable contrast between the cool collectedness of Mars and his Hooligans and the not-quite-rough, but definite tumble, of the Chili Peppers. Did they all get dressed under the bridge?
I was sad to see that besides a half-hearted haircut, Kiedis' look had not evolved. And let's talk facial hair. Whomsoever is responsible for bringing back that early-80's porn 'stache should be shot. Repeatedly. With a paintball gun.
So, on top of the obvious awkwardness between Mars and Kiedis, Kiedis' choice of, well, shorts - and the porn 'stache - things had gone very wrong.
I am compelled to give credit where it is due, though, so I will say their sound was solid. They definitely still had it.
Flea (whom, I presume, continues to go by the name 'Flea') rocked his guitar. There's really no expiration on a guitarist - shirtless, toothless, or otherwise.
After a few more blinks and some jumping, that portion of the show was over, quickly eclipsed by a montage of military folk sending well-wishes to their families.
It was a blip. A moment in time. And now it's over.
But why did it happen? Were they trying to capture the pop and rock crowds? Did they feel Mars couldn't do it alone? Because, let me tell you, that boy can hold his own, all day long and into tomorrow. Was it a curiosity? Did they want to see if Kiedis could still command a crowd wearing only shorts and shitkickers?
Here's how I feel: If you've been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, you've paid your dues. Aside from some high-paying engagements and 'unplugged' performances, you're good. There's no further need to drag yourself out onto the Astroturf proving ground.
By the end of the performance, I had completely forgotten the Chili Peppers had even performed. You probably did, too. And after last night, I imagine Bruno may have earned himself a 'few' new fans.
And despite all the hair and shorts and shorn chests, this year's was the best halftime show in recent (or distant) history. Without question.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with Ticketmaster.