Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show

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Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show
SuperBowl48Halftime Logo.png
Part of Super Bowl XLVIII
Date February 2, 2014
Location East Rutherford, New Jersey
Venue MetLife Stadium
Headliner Bruno Mars
Special guests Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sponsor Pepsi
Director Hamish Hamilton
Producer Ricky Kirshner
Super Bowl halftime show chronology

The Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show occurred on February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as part of Super Bowl XLVIII and was headlined by American singer Bruno Mars alongside his band The Hooligans with special guests The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The show was produced by Ricky Kirshner and directed by Hamish Hamilton. At the time of airing the halftime show attracted the largest audience in the history of the Super Bowl, attracting 115.3 million viewers. The show was later surpassed by the following year's Super Bowl XLIX halftime show in which American pop star Katy Perry was headliner.[1] The performance generated 2.2 million tweets, due to clamoring for tickets to Mars' Moonshine Jungle Tour.[2]

The Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show received two 2014 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program and Outstanding Lighting Design / Lighting Direction for a Variety Special.[3]


Bruno Mars performing in 2010

Bruno Mars was confirmed as the lead half time performer for Super Bowl XLVIII in September 2013 during a Fox NFL Sunday broadcast held live in Times Square in New York City.[4][5] The NFL's entertainment team started working with Mars and his management on the halftime set list around Thanksgiving week and spent the remainder of 2013 mapping out the production and staging, along with the guest list.[6] In January 2014 it was announced that Mars had personally invited Red Hot Chili Peppers to perform as special guests during his performance. On January 24, 2014 during the game’s fourth quarter, Hyundai debuted the spot entitled “Dad’s Sixth Sense”, that featured the 2016 Hyundai Genesis and Mars' single "Count on Me". The song was chosen "for reasons separate and coincidental from Mars’ previously announced Half Time gig".[7]

During rehearsals there were some disagreements between Mars and the NFL, regarding the singer's performance. The latter wanted to show the audience wearing light-up bracelets to which Mars concurred "If you take that camera off me, you're doing yourself a disservice. And what happened? They spent all this money on these things, and it didn't work."[8] Fortunately, Mars and his band rehearsed a lot and it didn't matter if they had "cafeteria lighting" or a budget of $5 million (U.S.), the performance would always be the best they could do. According to the singer, "Every smoke machine and laser light is just a bonus."[8]


The halftime show was produced by Ricky Kirshner and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Mars and his eight-piece band, The Hooligans, were dressed in clothes custom created by Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane.[9] Prince, Michael Jackson and James Brown used the same style in clothes; Mars worked a retro gold lame jacket paired with a white shirt, black trousers and a matching skinny tie.[10] Mars made history at the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show as the youngest artist ever to serve as the sole NFL Super Bowl Halftime headliner. He opened the show with a drum solo on a kit designed to honor his late mother, Bernadette Hernandez. The artwork was modeled after Mars' arm tattoo dedicated to his mom. During his performance of "Just the Way You Are" he was standing midfield, backed by the biggest firework display in NFL Super Bowl history.[9]

Montreal-based firm PixMob provided audience lighting effects during the show: "video ski hats" with LEDs and an infrared receiver were distributed to attendees of the game. Lighting cues were sent to the hats using infrared signals from around the stadium, transforming the audience into "pixels" of a giant "screen".[11][12] Starting with this halftime show, the halftime show logo does not appear in the introduction. As well, the opening was changed to "The National Football League welcomes you to the (sponsor) Super Bowl (Numeral) Halftime Show".


  1. "Billionaire" (Intro) (Children's choir)
  2. Drum solo (Bruno Mars)
  3. "Locked Out of Heaven"
  4. "Treasure"
  5. "Runaway Baby"
  6. "Give It Away" (featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  7. "Just the Way You Are" (Tribute to the United States Armed Forces)

Set list adapted from Billboard.[13]



Mars' performance received generally positive reviews from critics, while the Red Hot Chili Peppers' appearance received mixed to negative reviews. Mike Bruno of Entertainment Weekly gave a positive review of the halftime performance, complimenting Mars' "impressive" vocal performance and stating that "there's no question the kid is talented". Mars stated that the halftime show was essentially flawless; however felt that the performance was slightly unmemorable. Entertainment Weekly also criticized the Red Hot Chili Peppers' involvement in the performance, stating that there was "nothing wrong" with their performance however that their presence was "random and unnecessary".[14] Matthew Perpetua of Buzzfeed called Mars a "world class entertainer" and stated that Mars' performance was "dazzling" and "pretty awesome". However, Perpetua also stated that the Chili Peppers' presence was "unnecessary" and also noted that the halftime show was not as memorable as the previous year's show, which was performed by Beyoncé Knowles.[15] Lindsey Weber of Vulture stated it was unfair to compare Mars' performance to Knowles' and that the performance was "perfectly Bruno"; however, Weber also said that it was unlikely that people would "still be talking about" the performance the day after.[16] Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times stated that Mars "delivered" during the performance and showed viewers that he is a "real musician" however felt that the performance did not begin to feel "hopelessly retro" compared to Knowles' performance until the Chili Peppers joined Mars. Wood felt that the Chili Peppers' performance was "stale" and unwanted and stated that Mars did not need any guests to make the performance special.[17][18][19]

Chris Chase and Chris Strauss of USA Today gave a mixed review of the show, saying it was "unspectacular" and "instantly forgettable" and felt that Mars' youth and unlengthy repertoire failed to give him the legacy of previous halftime performers. Chase and Strauss stated the performance was "acceptable" however that it would not be remembered.[20]

Red Hot Chili Peppers controversy

Some complaints, including some from fellow musicians, were directed towards Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who appeared to not have wires connected to their instruments and were accused of faking their performance.[21][22] A few days following the Super Bowl, Flea responded through the band's website by saying:

Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith also responded to the controversy through his Twitter page saying: "FYI.... Every band in the last 10 years at the Super Bowl has performed to a previously recorded track. It's the NFL's policy. Period."[25]

Some fans even complained to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the band's shirtless appearance saying that they were offended and both men and women should wear clothing because children were watching. One person even contacted the FCC complaining sexism and how it was unfair for the Chili Peppers to go topless but Janet Jackson's exposed nipple caused so much backlash.[26]


The Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show was once the most watched in the history of the Super Bowl drawing record ratings of 115.3 million viewers, passing the record 114 million who watched Madonna perform two years earlier. This was surpassed by Katy Perry in 2015.[27] However, that number was significantly higher than the 98.88 million viewers reported in the overnight ratings from Nielsen that measure the top 56 markets.[28]


On February 3, 2014 Billboard predicted that retailers had sold Unorthodox Jukebox 40,000 copies in the week ending February 2, representing a 164% gain compared to the previous week, when it sold 15,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Despite this effect, the album was already aiming for around 19,000 copies sold in the week ending February 2, thanks in part to Mars' exposure at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Mars was presented the award for best pop vocal album on the Grammys and got additional screen time from his nominations in other categories as record of the year and song of the year. The author of the article added that "the impact of the Super Bowl on Mars' music sales, and on the Billboard charts, will be unique compared to all other halftime headliners in the modern era of Super Bowl halftime entertainment".[29] On the following week it was expect that Unorthodox Jukebox would sell 70,000 to 80,000 copies by the end of the tracking week, coming for the top three on next week's Billboard 200 chart, while his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was expected sell around 25,000 copies.[30]

Regarding the tickets sales of his worldwide tour, The Moonshine Jungle Tour, Mars became the fastest entertainer to sell out three concerts at the Blaisdell Arena, in Hawaii.[31] Since the morning of February 3, 2014, the average price for The Moonshine Jungle Tour went up $150 to an average price of $500. Despite existence of some tickets left on the primary market for select shows, many were sold out. Ticketmaster also struggled to keep with demand, having to switch from their interactive seating maps for most events. The price for tickets on the primary market ranges from $49–$100 for most shows. Bigger city shows prices range from $70 to $181. For shows at big venues, the average prices on the secondary market is north of $600 with the cheapest tickets going for $150. At these prices, Mars upcoming tour ranks amongst the most expensive in the country this summer, ahead of One Direction tickets and Jason Aldean tickets, which were two of the highest prices for an American tours during the spring and summer of 2014.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Bruno Mars' Super Bowl Halftime Show Attracts Record Audience of 115.3 Million". Billboard. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Lawrence, Jesse (February 3, 2014). "Demand And Prices For Bruno Mars Tickets Skyrocket After Super Bowl Performance". Forbes. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Emmys think Bruno Mars' halftime show was Super: two nominations". Sporting News. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show Announcement!" (Press release). September 8, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Hampp, Andrew (October 14, 2013). "Why The NFL and Pepsi Booked – But Didn't Pay – Bruno Mars For Super Bowl XLVIII". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Gail (December 13, 2013). "Bruno Mars: Billboard Artist of the Year Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Hampp, Andrew (December 13, 2013). "Hyundai Taps Bruno Mars' 'Count On Me' For Super Bowl Spot". Billboard. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Eells, Josh (November 2, 2016). "Bruno Mars: The Private Anxiety of a Pop Perfectionist". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Bruno Mars Smashes the Stage at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show; Tickets for "Moonshine Jungle World Tour" Go on Sale Tomorrow, February 3rd; Mars' Grammy Award-Winning Album "UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX" Officially Certified Double Platinum" (Press release). Atlantic Records. February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014 – via Marketwired.
  10. ^ Gregory DelliCarpini Jr. (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars Rocks Saint Laurent Outfit at Super Bowl". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  11. ^ "PixMob: Turning Crowds Into Light Canvases". The Creators Project. Vice. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  12. ^ Stinson, Liz. "How 80,000 People Became a Human Video Screen at the Super Bowl". Wired. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  13. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars Gets One-Sided Super Bowl Bouncing With Biggest Hits". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  14. ^ Barrett, Annie (February 2, 2014). "Super Bowl 2014: Bruno Mars shimmies and slides through halftime set". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  15. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars' Super Bowl Halftime Show Was Dazzling". Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Weber, Lindsey (February 2, 2014). "Watch Bruno Mars's Super Bowl Halftime Show". Vulture. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  17. ^ Wood, Mikael (February 3, 2014). "Super Bowl 2014: Bruno Mars stands — and delivers — in halftime show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  18. ^ "No Malfunctions at Halftime, Just Safe Entertainment". New York Times. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  19. ^ "Bruno Mars Gets One-Sided Super Bowl Bouncing With Biggest Hits". Billboard. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  20. ^ "Bruno Mars gives a forgettable Super Bowl halftime show for the ages". USA Today. February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  21. ^ "The Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't bother plugging in their guitars for the Super Bowl | For The Win". USA Today. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  22. ^ Buchanan, Brett (February 4, 2014). "Living Colour Guitarist Calls Out Red Hot Chili Peppers For Not Playing Music Live At Super Bowl". Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  23. ^ "A Message From Flea - RHCP News". February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  24. ^ "Flea Explains Why Red Hot Chili Peppers Were Unplugged at the Super Bowl". February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  25. ^ "Twitter / RHCPchad: FYI... Every band in the last". February 5, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  26. ^ "Anthony Kiedis' and Flea's Nipples Get FCC Complaints". April 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  27. ^ "Despite rout, Super Bowl sets TV ratings record". Reuters. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  28. ^ Gallo, Phil (February 3, 2014). "Bruno Mars Scores Most-Watched Super Bowl Halftime Show Ever". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  29. ^ Caulfield, Keith (February 3, 2014). "Bruno Mars' 'Jukebox' Sales Jump 164% After Super Bowl Halftime Performance". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  30. ^ Caulfield, Keith (February 7, 2014). "Bruno Mars Heading for Top Three on Billboard 200 After Super Bowl". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  31. ^ Sakahara, Tim (February 3, 2014). "Bruno Mars sells out three concerts at the Blaisdell Arena". Twitter. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
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