Well another Super Bowl has come and gone with its strange ads and near-record ratings. Congrats to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos who fought their way through one of the ugliest and most disjointed championship games in recent history. The team that was once famously owned by Homer Simpson did get to celebrate for being the best at moving the chains and running down the field, but it was Beyoncé who truly won Super Bowl 50. That’s right Manning, while you’re “drinking a lot of Budweiser” never forget that you and Queen Bey have the same amount of Super Bowl rings.
The golden anniversary halftime show opened with “headliner” Coldplay as promised—Chris Martin sang a few bars of mega-hit “Yellow” before jumping right into the anthemic “Viva La Vida” in the center of Levi’s Stadium. The English group used their platform, which was one of the brightest LED stages ever seen, to run through their twenty-year (how is that possible) career and promote love and peace around the world. Even with the west coast sun putting a bit of a damper on the group’s fireworks, Coldplay proved to be a steady and solid band to showcase some network television–approved fun. By minute five, though, it was clear that Martin and Co. were running out of steam (along with upbeat songs from their discography) and they had to call in the cavalry. Bruno Mars and his dancers—dressed in the shiniest trash bags known to man—picked up the ball and launched right into Mark Ronson’s perfect earworm “Uptown Funk.” It’s easy to forget that Mars is actually a huge star, that is until he starts moving. He’s an unbelievably skilled dancer with the most optimistic outlook on life ever. Already this is rising in the ranks of past Super Bowl halftime shows.
But the star-studded medley performance was just getting started. Out of the end zone, Beyoncé and her strong team of female dancers (resembling Black Panthers) appeared with flames and the singer’s brand-new track “Formation.” Her excitement about playing the one-day-old song was palpable, her moves were swift and determined, and her hair was somehow always blowing in the wind. Even when she stumbled, Knowles picked herself up without missing a beat and continued to make her way to the stage to battle Mars in a delightful dance off. Coldplay was nowhere to be found during this dance-off, but that was probably a good thing. They were there, though, to provide solid background music to the montage of halftime highlights, finishing the feel-good performance on a nostalgic note.
The show’s direction was excellent, not stopping long enough on any one moment to become boring, and Coldplay were gracious enough to give up some of their time to two of the most dynamic performers working today. It was fun and upbeat, but Super Bowl 50’s halftime show was actually just an appetizer for the black-and-white commercial that followed it—Beyoncé announced a stadium tour. It was brilliantly timed, but who could expect less from Beyoncé? She dreams it, she works hard, and she grinds ’til she owns it.