It’s too bad that sportsmanship was not in view from a certain young quarterback after the proceedings on the field for Super Bowl 50, with a particularly rough fourth-quarter for the gentleman who forgot about the manners to shake hands, smile, and offer words of congratulations to the opponent. When he came to the musical artists celebrating the day, their camaraderie was as much of the joy of the moment as the killer music that they made, and the brother and sisterly love even spread from the stage to the kids! Photos (sweetly dubbed #SuperBowl50 jacket game) shared by a loving, looking on mom of daughter, Apple Martin and Blue Ivy Carter on February 7, featured in E! news, convey lessons far beyond the competition, and the music made by dad and friends made it all the more clear.
From the second Lady Gaga took her platform in her stunning sequined red stunner of a suit, she owned every second of camera time, and every gaze of attention from the masses in uniform and otherwise on both sides of Levi’s Stadium. The look in eyes burned with intention, naturally highlighted in red glitter to complement her ensemble, and set off her dark blue nails. It was more than her perfect delivery, soaring into the clear Santa Clara skies, it was the absolute certainty that she felt every word, pounding on her chest twice, hands raised in the air, and the gaze of conviction that never left for a single instant. Her moment that she described as a “dream of a lifetime” done, winning praise from Pro football players and celebrity admirers alike on Twitter, it was time for a girl to have fun, and she dressed down to some black athletic wear, and let loose to Madonna music bursting through with “Express Yourself,” and really had some moves for Bruno Mars and his knockout of “Uptown Funk,” being the kind of cheerleader who fills any artist’s dreams.
Cheering on and support were the struts of the entire halftime spectacle. Color was bursting everywhere, up from the stage, and filling the stadium for Coldplay’s montage of songs, with Chris Martin embracing his Pied Piper role with absolute affection for the crowd, and for the honor of that stage, never running out of energy and movement. Coldplay’s energy is spiritual, floating, like the swirls of color that constantly enveloped their performance. Bruno Mars brings such an energy of presence from the first camera shot, the party had started, and the endless legs and blasting “fierce” persona of Beyoncé, definitely in a Sasha mood for her sing-off, stamped the night. It was a great debut, television ad included, for her “Formation” song, marking a complete transition for her from hit-maker to conscious activist, but perhaps most memorable was the joining of herself, Mars, and Martin marching down the runway, presenting a portrait that artists, like people everywhere, should make the effort to get along. There’s no telling how fun it can be. The performers’ satisfied smiles, except perhaps for the shaded Mark Ronson, spoke everything.
An added touch of honor was the tribute paid to so many past performers of Super Bowls, from Springsteen, to McCartney, Michael Jackson to U2, and more. At one point, the crowd’s affection almost pulled Martin over in his crowd mingling, but like a sprite, he was here, there and everywhere, back to his piano for a climax that brought bright hues of pink, orange, purple, and yellow up through the stadium sections, before unveiling “Believe in Love” in white.” Such an old message, and still so needed now, after a Super Bowl, and at school PTA meetings. Music, and simple joys of childhood, still bring healing.