A Review of the 53rd Super Bowl Halftime Show



J.P. Simmons, Staff Writer

The outcome of Super Bowl LIII pleased many but also left many disappointed. The same could be said for American pop rock band Maroon 5, who played a halftime show set with various guests that have been universally labeled as “lackluster” and “uninteresting.”

As the lights in the stadium dimmed down to start the halftime show, Maroon 5 took the stage and began with signature songs “Harder To Breathe” and “This Love.”

The performance then took an interesting turn and immediately cut to a clip of a classic SpongeBob SquarePants episode. Rapper Travis Scott then made his debut Super Bowl appearance with his classic song “Sicko Mode.” Scott and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine then participated in an impromptu dance together.

The band then took back the performance and performed their songs “Girls Like You,” supported by a choir, and “She Will Be Loved.”

Then, out of nowhere, rapper Big Boi, from the rap duo Outkast, rolled into the performance in a topless Cadillac while wearing a large fur coat. He then proceeded to perform the songs “Kryptonite (I’m On It)” and “The Way You Move.”

The rest of the show belonged to Maroon 5 and concluded their headlining performance with their songs “Sugar” and “Moves Like Jagger.”

Overall, the show was met with a universal critical reception. The New York Times was quick to bash the performance by calling it “dynamically flat, mushy at the edges, worthy of something much worse than derision: a shrug.” They added, “ It was an inessential performance from a band that might have lost some moral authority if it had any moral authority to lose.” Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine was also heavily criticized for removing his shirt towards the end of the show.

Fans also expressed frustration with Travis Scott’s segment of the performance and the little time he was given to be onstage. Basketball star LeBron James tweeted, “Soooooooo… This halftime show though. That’s all for Travis or nah?!?!?!.” Big Boi, on the other hand, received good reviews.

The NFL was reportedly struggling to find a suitable headliner for the show as performers Rihanna, P!nk, and Cardi B turned down the opportunity to show solidarity with football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, meaning that Maroon 5 probably wasn’t their first choice.

In the days leading to their performance, Levine addressed the backlash to the announcement of his band playing the show saying, “When you look back on every single Super Bowl halftime show…it’s like this insatiable urge to hate a little bit. I’m not in the right profession if I can’t handle a little bit of controversy.”

After the performance, Levine took to Instagram and wrote, “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.”