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Bruno Mar's Superbowl Half Time Show, Sunday February 2nd, 2014, Reviewed

Bruno Mars gives it away





















You can’t be disappointed in the Half Time music performance this year because it is everything it possibly could be. Essentially, Bruno Mars boiled his Moonshine Tour (which I caught without an over amount of enthusiasm at Barclay Center last year) into 15 minutes of pop and roll with the Red Hot Chili’s performing “Give It Away” somewhere near the end. 

If you’ve seen Bruno, the gay icon who isn’t, you know what you’re getting: Adult Oriented Rock with soul and funk straightened up and unruffled and Bruno, who can dance up a storm, performing his best James Brown moves and his band in lockstep behind him.

It is a great product and that is all it is and Bruno has added nothing to the mix for the occasion. When asked earlier this week whether he was worried about performing before hundreds of millions of people, he blew off the question but why would he be? He has been performing the same moves, from the bizarre drum solo to open to the full on ballad “Just The Way You Are” to close for a year and counting now, Bruno can and does do this. He segues effortlessly into the RHCP portion (“My goodness, has Anthony Kiedis dropped the needle? He no longer looks anorexic” Steve Crawford wondered).

So the problem here isn’t that the NFL absolutely got what they paid for, the problem is that what they wanted was so, well, small. Last year we had Madonna and at least Madonna was Madonna, and brought in some superstars to help with the proceedings. And if you get Prince you get Prince, McCartney gives you McCartney and U2? U2 had the rollcall of the dead in their 2002 performance.  But what did you get when you got Bruno? You got what he has been selling for the past year and that’s it. The sense of moment, of importance, of whatever it means, just the honor of playing the Half Time Show was completely beyond him. We get “Locked Out Of Heaven”, we get “Treasure” but we always get them. Even the stage wasn’t all that, nothing much going on at all. It was as boring as the blow out we were watching. 

Like I said. Disappointing? No. But not very good either.

Grade: C

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