Bruno Mars packed a lot of energy into a tight set for his Super Bowl halftime show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday night. He only performed five songs, but he made the most of each one of them.
Bruno’s mini-concert began with a children’s choir, who sang a bit of “Billionaire,” Bruno’s collaboration with Travie McCoy. That segued into Bruno’s appearance at a drum kit. The artwork of the kit was modeled after his arm tattoo dedicated to his late mother.
As red lasers appeared behind him, Bruno banged out a drum solo before his band, The Hooligans, were brought onto the stage. They were all dressed in custom outfits designed by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent.
Bruno officially kicked things off with one of his biggest hits, “Locked Out of Heaven.” This wasn’t a surprise, since the song was heavily used in promos for the halftime show.
Bruno followed up with another single from his 2012 album Unorthodox Jukebox, “Treasure.” Fireworks were shot into the sky as he sang this one.
Bruno dipped down deeper into his catalog and dialed up the energy level a few notches with “Runaway Baby,” featured on his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. After some fancy dancing, he ended the tune by singing the chorus to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ smash hit “Give It Away.”
On cue, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers emerged on stage to continue the song. Bruno sang a little bit with shirtless Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis, but he mostly ceded the spotlight to Kiedis’ band for a few minutes. The Chili Peppers were on their best behavior — no foul language, no signs of the near-frontal nudity they are known for.
After the Chili Peppers made their exit, images of American flags were displayed on the stage and on scoreboards. We also saw a touching video package in which men and women of the United States Armed Forces dedicated the final song, “Just the Way You Are,” to their loved ones.
As Bruno performed the ballad, more colorful fireworks brightened the darkened sky. It was the biggest firework display in Super Bowl history.
At 28, Bruno was the youngest artist ever to serve as the sole Super Bowl halftime headliner.
If you like what you saw, you can buy tickets Monday for the latest round of U.S. dates for Bruno’s Moonshine Jungle World Tour. Visit BrunoMars.com for the itinerary.
During Fox’s lengthy pregame coverage for the Super Bowl, former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips and country trio/siblings The Band Perry provided the entertainment at the Tailgate Party.
Phillips performed his hit “Gone, Gone, Gone” for the crowd gathered in East Rutherford. He was initially set to debut new music at the event, but he nixed that plan a few days beforehand.
The Band Perry delivered a live rendition of their song “DONE.”
Opera singer Renee Fleming sang the national anthem at the game, and Queen Latifah performed “America the Beautiful.”
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