Review: Maroon 5's Super Bowl Halftime Show Clung to Stale Notions or Rock-Stardom - GQ

Adam Levine performs during the rest

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To say that the implementation was bad, would be an understatement.

Adam Levine started the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday with a long black jacket over a black training jacket and black trousers. The ensemble missed one thing: a black hat.

Since the NFL Maroon 5 has announced as the headliners of this year's Halftime Show, the impact was varied and also completely, rightly inexorable. The big thing was politics: the seemingly progressive band took the mantle after other pop stars, including Rihanna and Jay-Z, rejected the offer in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. But the impact was also regional. In a year that the Super Bowl was held in Atlanta, the choice was for one Los Angeles pop group was a missed opportunity; the show could have resembled the Super Bowl Music Fest instead. And then of course there was the simplest and most fundamental criticism: Maroon 5 is boring.

The performance of Levine gave the impression that he had internalized the role of the villain and wanted to lean on it. His eyes were fixed in a permanent smoldering gaze. He undressed until he was shirtless. And he even hit a few riffs on a red electric guitar. Everywhere he was accented by bright red fireworks above him and screeching girls in the crowd below him. Adam Levine turns 40 next month, but he clearly continues to call himself a bad boy.

If that idea was not ridiculous before – he is a panelist The voice– it became a few minutes after the broadcast was interrupted by … sponge bob. After the death of the creator of November, Stephen Hillenburg, this year's acts finally gave in to fans' long-hauling desires for the Super Bowl halftime to nod to sponge bob& # 39; S Super Bowl-like Bubble Bowl. The famous "Sweet Victory" clip has been cleverly edited, doubled as a disoriented transition and a neat visual sample. The introduction of Squidward, "And now, a genuinely musical genius that needs no introduction," was used to cast Travis Scott, who apparently burst out of the comic strip world and arrived on stage through a flaming asteroid. In the short time that the scene was his, Scott bounced around, fired all around him and touched parts of "Sicko Mode." Although these were not the only recently released songs that were performed (Maroon 5 & # 39; s set including the boring "Girls Like You" and the "ah yes, Which song "in their catalog," Moves Like Jagger ") on Sunday night, they felt like the only contemporary.

The Super Bowl this year was remarkable because it had the same two teams, the Rams and the Patriots, as the 2002 Super Bowl. And with the exception of Travis Scott, a large part of the halftime show felt like a tribute to that era, if not the same year. Maroon 5 relied heavily on hits from their debut album, 2002 & # 39; s Songs about Jane, play "Harder to Breathe," "This Love," and "She Will Be Loved." When they played their latest single "Girls Like You", Cardi B, who set the show out in protest, was replaced by a gospel choir – changing the most up-to-date part of the song completely retro. And Big Boi made a short cameo, rolling in a Cadillac, to perform OutKast's single from 2003, "The Way You Move".

Every halftime show gives way to bits of nostalgia – half of the years has old legacy acts – but Maroon 5's emphasis on their early work spoke the band's aspirations for the show. While Maroon 5 never was Led Zeppelin, their early songs have come closest to playing rock and roll. And during the performance of Sunday night, Adam Levine struck the attitude of a rock star. Every move he made showed PG-13 sex appeal and at one point he asked the audience: "Can I play guitar for you now?" (Answer: Cut to dudes shredding.)

Levine, who turned off his clothes to reveal a very chiseled and tattooed breast, was perhaps bound across the border in 1959 – and perhaps even in 2002 – but at this point sex and rock and roll not only feel dated, but it feels hollow ( especially considering the thunderous thunder of the NFL crackdown on the former performer of the Halftime Show Janet Jackson for her own unveiling). The most rock-and-roll thing that Maroon 5 could have done was to keep it up-Levine could have taken a knee in the middle of their set, or retire to a knee Colin Kaepernick t-shirt. Instead, it came closest to the band to make a statement that lanterns were floating behind them forming the words "One Love" while they were playing "She Will Be Loved." (…what?) During the whole show, the band seemed more at ease in a simpler political moment – playing old hits and living in old values. It was not that boring, but it was certainly not interesting.

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