To hear Coldplay – one of the biggest bands on the planet – talk about being ‘nervous’ before a show is slightly surprising. They’re set to play four huge shows at Wembley Stadium this summer followed by countless stadiums all over the world – but the Super Bowl 50 half time show was the one that was giving them a bout of the heebie jeebies.
Predictably, their professionalism prevailed in a stunning and spectacular half time show that was beamed to television sets across the US and the globe. Accompanied by Beyoncé, who just last night dropped her own comeback single ‘Formation’ and Bruno Mars who performed at the half time show two years prior, Coldplay rattled through a deluge of hits in the dazzling 12 minute show.
Held at the Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California, NME’s Godlike Genius’ performed at the event for the first time, joined the esteemed roll call who have rocked the halftime show in the past Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and U2.
Martin, crouching on the field invited fans onto the crowd as he began the show with the opening lines of ‘Yellow’, before segwaying into ‘Viva La Vida’ – their biggest hit in the US to date. ‘Wherever you are – we’re in this together’ Martin told the world as he peered down the camera lens, flocked by multicoloured violinists and vibrant stage props giving the show the bombastic opener it needed.
A short snippet of ‘Paradise’ moved swiftly into ‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’, the lead single from their seventh album ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’, with Jonny Buckland’s noodling guitar riff aided by a deafening set of fireworks behind. Then, the guests arrived.
Bruno Mars was first up – who brought producer Mark Ronson along on the decks to perform last year’s smash-hit ‘Uptown Funk’. Clad head to toe in black, Mars was flocked by a group of dancers with Martin on backing vocals before handing the baton over to Beyoncé.
Beyoncé, looking as assured as ever almost stole the show with a furious performance of new single ‘Formation’. Dancing on the turf in high-heels with her wicked smile, Beyoncé moved towards the stage to meet Mars and Martin in the middle for a dance-off and a star-studded rendition of ‘Uptown Funk’.
The party atmosphere momentarily halted as Martin sat down at his multi-coloured piano, opening with the riff of ‘Clocks’ before the group moved into a touching rendition of ‘Fix You’. As the band performed, footage of half time shows of the past – The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney – ran on the screen as the London boys tipped their hat to their heroes. The song continued with a sad reminder of previous half time performers who have now passed, with James Brown, Michael Jackson and E Street Band’s Clarence Clemons gracing the screen as the group mournfully sang the tear jerking line ‘When you lose someone you cannot replace’ for a retrospective moment in an otherwise thrilling performance.
Martin & co paid further tribute to their idols U2 and Prince, singing lines of ‘Beautiful Day’ and Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ before being joined Beyoncé and Bruno Mars for the finale with the hastily formed supergroup rounding out ‘Fix You’ proclaiming ‘We’re gonna get, get together right now’ as the crowd lifted their multicoloured cards to reveal the message of ‘Believe In Love’.
Twitter was thrilled by the the show too – here’s a selection of some of the overwhelming love for Coldplay’s dazzling performance.
There was no ‘Left Shark’ moment, as Chris Martin promised, instead we saw a group who not only continue to conquer every stage they perform on, but continue to improve as showmen – and tonight proved that they’re having more fun than anybody out there.
Watch the full show below:
‘Viva La Vida’
‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’
‘Uptown Funk’ (Bruno Mars)