Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show

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Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show
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 the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as part of Super Bowl XLVIII and featured American entertainer Bruno Mars with special guests Red Hot Chili Peppers. The show was produced by Ricky Kirshner and directed by Hamish Hamilton. The halftime show attracted the largest audience in the history of the Super Bowl, attracting 115.3 million viewers.[1] The performance, generated 2.2 million tweets, due to clamoring for tickets to Mars' Moonshine Jungle Tour.[2]


Bruno Mars performing in 2010

Mars was confirmed as the lead half time performer for Super Bowl XLVIII in late 2013.[3][4] 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.[5] 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".[6]


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 created custom Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane.[7] Prince, Michael Jackson and James Brown used the same style in clothes, Bruno worked a retro gold lame jacket paired with a white shirt, black trousers and a matching skinny tie by French fashion house Saint Laurent.[8] Bruno 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 Bruno's arm tattoo dedicated to his mom. On his live rendemption of "Just the Way You Are" he was standing midfield, backed by the biggest firework display in NFL Super Bowl history.[7]

Two days before the event, Touchdown Entertainment announced that the live audience would be incorporated into the Halftime show, transforming the crowd in the stadium into "the largest ever LED screen." [9] The day of the event, each spectator was given a package containing a black knitted hat called a ‘’video ski hat’’ with 3 LEDs and an infrared receiver. Written instructions requested spectators to remain seated during the show and indicated that more information would follow.[10] During the show, spectators put on their hats and essentially formed an enormous display screen made of 80,000 pixels.[11] Infrared signals were used to control the LEDs, similar to the functioning of a TV remote. The signal was transmitted to each hat’s receiver by 14 infrared transmitters installed throughout the stadium.[12] The intricate technology allows for each pixel (hat) to be controlled independently. The signal received by the pixel is decoded differently depending on the pixel’s location, allowing for multicolour visual effects created across an entire crowd, in sync with sounds and other visuals. The spectators saw a Pepsi logo moving around the stadium as well as images of the live Red Hot Chili Peppers performance and fireworks display. The company that invented and provided the crowd activation technology is a Montreal-based company named PixMob.[13]


  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" (Red Hot Chili Peppers featuring Bruno Mars)
  7. "Just the Way You Are" (Tribute to the United States Armed Forces)

Set list adapted from Billboard.[14]



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". Bruno 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".[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18][19][20]

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.[21]

Red Hot Chili Peppers controversy[edit]

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 to faking their performance.[22][23] 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."[26]

Some fans even complained to the 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.[27][28]


The Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show was 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.[29] 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.[30]


On February 3, 2014 Billboard predicted that 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".[31] 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", is expected sell around 25,000 copies.[32]

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.[33] 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 are two of the highest prices for an American tours this spring and summer.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bruno Mars' Super Bowl Halftime Show Attracts Record Audience of 115.3 Million". Prometheus Global Media. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Jesse Lawrence (February 3, 2014). "BDemand And Prices For Bruno Mars Tickets Skyrocket After Super Bowl Performance". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show Announcement!". thanhechelon. September 8, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ Andrew Hampp (October 14, 2013). "Why The NFL and Pepsi Booked – But Didn't Pay – Bruno Mars For Super Bowl XLVIII (From the Magazine)". Promotheus Global Media. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ Gail Mitchell (December 13, 2013). "Bruno Mars: Billboard Artist of the Year Cover Story". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ Andrew Hampp (December 13, 2013). "Hyundai Taps Bruno Mars' 'Count On Me' For Super Bowl Spot". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ 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". Atlantic Records. Marketwired. February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Gregory DelliCarpini Jr. (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars Rocks Saint Laurent Outfit at Super Bowl". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ Kirsten Fleming (January 30, 2014)Why this year’s halftime show will be first of its kind New York Post
  10. ^ Zach Sokol (February 3, 2014) Watch The Super Bowl Audience Become The Largest Human Light Canvas Ever The Creators Project
  11. ^ Lisa Wright (February 2, 2014) Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show lit up courtesy of Canadian tuques The Toronto Star
  12. ^ Liz Stinson (February 3, 2014)How 80,000 People Became a Human Video Screen at the Super Bowl Wired
  13. ^ Zach Sokol (March 21, 2014) PixMob: Turning Crowds Into Light Canvases The Creators Project
  14. ^ Kevin Rutherford (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars Gets One-Sided Super Bowl Bouncing With Biggest Hits". Bilboard. Promethues Global Media. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  15. ^ Barrett, Annie. "Super Bowl 2014: Bruno Mars shimmies and slides through halftime set". Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  16. ^ Matthew Perpetua. "Bruno Mars' Super Bowl Halftime Show Was Dazzling". Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ Weber, Lindsey. "Watch Bruno Mars’s Super Bowl Halftime Show". Vulture. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ Wood, Mikael. "Super Bowl 2014: Bruno Mars stands — and delivers — in halftime show". Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ "No Malfunctions at Halftime, Just Safe Entertainment". New York Times. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Bruno Mars Gets One-Sided Super Bowl Bouncing With Biggest Hits". February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Bruno Mars gives a forgettable Super Bowl halftime show for the ages". Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  22. ^ "The Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t bother plugging in their guitars for the Super Bowl | For The Win". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ "A Message From Flea - RHCP News". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Flea Explains Why Red Hot Chili Peppers Were Unplugged at the Super Bowl". February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Twitter / RHCPchad: FYI... Every band in the last". 2014-02-05. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  27. ^ "A Message From Flea - RHCP News". 
  28. ^ "Anthony Kiedis' and Flea's Nipples Get FCC Complaints". April 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Despite rout, Super Bowl sets TV ratings record". Reuters. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  30. ^ Phil Gallo (February 3, 2014). "Bruno Mars Scores Most-Watched Super Bowl Halftime Show Ever". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  31. ^ Keith Caulfield (February 3, 2014). "Bruno Mars' 'Jukebox' Sales Jump 164% After Super Bowl Halftime Performance". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  32. ^ Keith Caulfield (February 7, 2014). "Bruno Mars Heading for Top Three on Billboard 200 After Super Bowl". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  33. ^ Tim Sakahara (February 3, 2014). "Bruno Mars sells out three concerts at the Blaisdell Arena". Twitter. Retrieved February 8, 2014.