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Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé unite for Super Bowl’s 50th halftime show

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2/16/16

By AMANDA CASE

Chris Martin and his band Coldplay headlined the 2016 Super Bowl Halftime Show, held at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 7, in Santa Clara, California.

The show started with Martin on the field, surrounded by fans, running and singing Coldplay’s hit song “Viva La Vida.” Then, he hopped onstage with his band and performed “Paradise” and their new tune “Adventures of a Lifetime.”

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today
Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today

A marching band dressed in luminous yellow and pink uniforms surrounded either side of the stage and dancers twirled around brightly-colored flower umbrellas during Coldplay’s last two songs. The stadium radiated a plethora of colors from the audience and the performers, and the stage itself doubled as a video screen, pulsing with a whirlwind of colors under Martin and his band as they played. 

But it might have been Beyoncé and Bruno Mars who stole the show. Martin introduced Mars, who was accompanied by dancers and DJ Mark Ronson. Dressed in all black, wearing gold chains around their necks, Mars and his crew performed his hit “Uptown Funk.” He worked his way around the stage during his whimsical performance, showing off his funky dance moves. 

The excitement elevated as Beyoncé popped on the field to debut her new single “Formation.” She was surrounded by an army of dancers and a drumline. Beyoncé fiercely strutted her way to the stage where she and Mars faced off in a soulful battle, mixing their two songs together. Martin reappeared and the trio finished “Uptown Funk.”

The pace slowed down as Martin jumped on the piano and played “Fix You.” The stage displayed a tribute video of numerous past halftime shows under their feet while Martin serenaded the crowd.

Once again, Mars and Beyoncé came together to join Martin to declare “We’re gonna get together somehow,” ending the show singing “Up and Up.” Martin also tossed in lyrics by U2, Prince and Mars himself. At the end of the performance, fireworks and sparklers shot up from the edges of the field and the audience held up signs that spelled out the words “Believe in Love.” It was a high-spirited moment as everyone was unified through the music.

There are questions, though, of what the true nature of the performance was about. It was obvious that Coldplay was trying to promote love, but some believe they were also standing up for gay marriage because of the colorful scheme throughout the stadium and some fans waving rainbow flags.

It is also up for debate whether the performers were trying to break down racial barriers. But Beyoncé seemed to cause a stir because she and her back-up dancers wore outfits reminiscent of the Black Panthers, a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982.

Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA Today
Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA Today

However, Beyoncé and Mars still may have outshined Martin in almost every way. They worked the stage and the crowd in an electrifying fashion that mild-mannered Coldplay might have lacked. And as if Queen B didn’t dominate the show enough by debuting a new song and making a political statement, she also announced that she will be heading on a world tour this spring.

So while the stage was eccentric and the atmosphere nostalgic, Martin’s overall performance was underwhelming and left something more to be desired. Maybe bringing out two of the most memorable halftime show veterans was the wrong way to go. Fans were also left scratching their heads, wondering why Martin and Beyoncé didn’t sing Coldplay’s track “Hymn for the Weekend,” which B is featured on.

Overall, it was an entertaining show, but it’s up to the fans to decide who they thought the real star was.

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