And Finally Artist News

Maroon 5’s Super Bowl performance happened as planned

By | Published on Monday 4 February 2019

Maroon 5

So, the Super Bowl half time show went off without a hitch. Once Maroon 5 were up and running everyone seemed to forget the controversy surrounding the show and concentrated instead on how boring the band’s performance was. Almost as if that was the plan all along.

There was plenty of controversy ahead of the event, of course. Many felt that Maroon 5 should have joined other artists – including Rihanna, Jay-Z and Pink – in turning down the gig, in protest over Super Bowl owner the NFL’s treatment of American football player Colin Kaepernick after he protested police brutality.

In a pre-show interview, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine insisted that “no one thought about it harder than I did”, but suggested most of the naysaying about his band’s booking was because people just have an “insatiable urge to hate a little bit” when it comes to the Super Bowl’s half time entertainment. The band, he said, just wanted to “move on” and let their music do the talking.

In a subsequent interview with ‘Good Morning, America’, Kaepernick’s lawyer Mark Geragos said that Levine’s defence was weak at best. “If you’re going to cross this ideological or intellectual picket line, then own it, and Adam Levine certainly isn’t owning it”, he said. “It’s a cop-out when you start talking about, ‘I’m not a politician; I’m just doing the music’. Most of the musicians who have any kind of consciousness whatsoever understand what’s going on here”.

Meanwhile, another artist who turned down the event, Cardi B, said that she’d had “mixed feelings” about doing so. It was a big show – and a big pay-cheque – to say no to, she said. However, she felt it necessary to “stand behind” Kaepernick, as did her husband, Migos rapper Offset.

“My husband, he loves football”, she told the Associated Press. “His kids play football. It’s really hard for him. He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can’t go to the Super Bowl, because he’s got to stand for something. You have to sacrifice that. I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him”.

However, while other artists boycotted the Super Bowl entirely, Cardi B did not. She appeared in an advert for the half time show’s sponsor, Pepsi, aired during the sports game’s broadcast, and also performed at other Super Bowl-related events. This was entirely justified, she insisted.

“I hear people saying like ‘oh, y’all are saying all this stuff about the Super Bowl, but you’re doing all these parties'”, she said. “And it’s like, well, if the NFL could benefit off from us, then I’m going to benefit off y’all. Y’all make the most money off our people. Why am I not going to take advantage of y’all and take money from y’all too? Because of y’all, we are getting these parties. OK, thank you”.

So that’s that cleared up. Now, back to the actual half time show. Maroon 5 played it, and the main thing everyone talked about was that Adam Levine took his shirt off. Because otherwise there wasn’t really much to talk about.

The music, which was supposed to have been “doing the talking” remember, didn’t seem to have much to say. Luckily, the band had bolstered their lacklustre songs by having lanterns with various words written on them, intended to convey some sort of meaning.

That meaning apparently not having been conveyed to anyone watching, Levine posted on Instagram after the event to explain why it was all so bloody deep.

“When we accepted the responsibility to perform at the SBHTS, I took out my pen and just wrote”, he explained. “Some of the words that came to me in that moment eventually made their way onto the incredible lanterns that flew high and low tonight. We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world’s biggest stage. We thank our fans for making our dreams possible. And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better”.

He then published his whole list of words, which is roughly as enjoyable to read as watching Maroon 5 perform: “Forgive, laugh, cry, smile, share, live, endure, embrace, remember, enlighten, preserve, inspire, sweat, fight, express, give, receive, elevate, climb, unify, fortify, soften, dance, scream, dream, educate, provide, inhale, exhale, persevere, stand, kneel, overcome, love, listen”.