Superbowl Halftime: Too Much Hate?

If you didn't see SuperBowl 50, and you live in Denver, you might just be living under a rock. Or, like me, you were studying for that test on Monday. Either way, the halftime show in Santa Clara, Califronia this past Sunday featured and all star cast with Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay, and while it proved a fantastic culmination of music and pumped crowds, it also raised a number of questions regarding the nature of the performances. 

 

As headliner, Coldplay led by lead singer Chris Martin, opened up with a balad of their most-loved hits including "Viva La Vida", "Paradise", and their newest song, "Adventure of a Lifetime" (the one with the dancing gorillas). They also had magical flower umbrellas and a psycadellic marching band. What's not to love?

That was the point actually: love. Because while flailing flags, streamers and shooting off fireworks, each crowd member held up a plackard reading, "Believe in Love." This portion was undeniably pro-LGBTQIA, and pro-everybody really, with the rainbow of colors and messages of peace. 

Bruno Mars jumped in next with co-contibutor Mark Ronson for their rendition of "Uptown Funk" and added a little flair with the 90's inspired outfits and gold bling.

Then of course, Queen B marches on to "Formation", her single she released mere days before the show, with her phalanx of Black Panther inspired, all-black back up dancers. This is the bit which confused some people. Why would Beyonce make such a shocking statment at one of the largest, and most widely-televised program all year?! Why couldn't she be more like Coldplay and just hold hands and get along?

Well, because she's Beyonce for one, and for two, it was undeniably a response to a majority of popular racialized themes of the 21st century, like Hurricane Katrina, recent police activity and the subsequent Black Lives Matter Movement... all which she addresses in her song. She even dressed in the same military seargent inspired uniform Michael Jackson wore for his superbowl performance back in 1993.

To many, including Latin American musician Carlos Santana, the show didn't live up to Superbowl standards and should have featured "local, iconic bands the world would have loved to see perform," like Metallica, Journey and of course, himself. We could probably say Mr. Santana was feeling a wee bit left out. (Wouldn't you? Look at that oreo love sandwich.)

Regardless, the Superbowl Halftime Show left us with a lot to think about and much to admire. The Past-Present-Future aspect, where Bruno was 90's rap/funk culture, Beyonce was modern-day race issues like Black Lives Movements, and Coldplay as an optimistic future of love and acceptance, was surely a positive message. They clearly see a brighter future for American society, and who knows? Maybe they're right.