Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show Review


Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine performs during the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show. The performance was met with a lot of backlash from critics.

Taylor Anderson

On Sunday, Feb. 3, the annual NFL Super Bowl took place in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Pepsi Halftime Show was performed by Maroon 5 and rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi.

Maroon 5 began the show with their song “Harder to Breathe” and lots of pyrotechnics on a stage shaped like the letter M.  While I don’t think most people expected an outstanding show from Maroon 5, their performance was forgettable at best. A lot of frontman Adam Levine’s attempted notes fell flat, but the rest of the band seemed to try to make it up with playing their respective instruments to the best of their abilities.

The band played another song before rapper Travis Scott was introduced to the crowd with a video of the infamous cartoon character Spongebob.  An animated comet shot down from outer space to the stage, where Travis stepped out of the fire and began performing his hit song “SICKO MODE.”  While the studio version of the song is much more composed and controlled, Scott’s rapping sounded more like screaming. During the last verse of the song, Adam Levine joins Scott to play guitar and dance awkwardly next to the rapper.  While the animations were very cool, the actual performance left much to be desired.

During the band’s third song, “Girls Like You,” Levine was backed by a gospel choir and drumline who managed to outshine him on his own stage.  The song notably lacked Cardi B, who declined to perform at the Super Bowl.

Maroon 5 then decided to play their 2002 hit “She Will Be Loved” as Levine walked through the crowd to a b-stage.  In my opinion, this was their best song of the night, with the best vocals and overall aesthetic. Lanterns were released into the sky and phone flashlights were held up by the audience.  Colored lights attached to drones flew over the stadium, spelling out “one love,” with the letter V in a different color to represent their fifth studio album.

Almost directly after the song was finished, the mood abruptly transitioned when Big Boi of Outkast rode into view of the camera in an antique Cadillac convertible wearing an oversized fur coat.  Although many thought there would be an Outkast reunion, this did not happen and Big Boi only sang one song (“The Way You Move”) before exiting the stage. Even though his time on screen was short, he may have given the overall best performance of the night.

As Maroon 5 sang “Moves Like Jagger,” Levine proceeded to take off his shirt to reveal his tattooed torso and start to dance uncomfortably once again.  The pyrotechnics returned and fireworks went off over the field to indicate the end of the show.

All in all, the stage crew probably deserves more credit than the actual performers.  Maroon 5 chose to play it safe and sing their hits onstage and do just about nothing else.  It seems that Super Bowl Halftime Shows are just not the same as they used to be.