September 25, 2022
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Maroon 5 play it safe and dull

When it was first introduced that this yr’s Tremendous Bowl halftime performer can be Maroon 5 — a selection so bland, it made 2016’s halftime headliner, Coldplay, appear to be GG Allin by comparability — the information was met with a collective yawn. But it surely wasn’t lengthy earlier than Adam Levine and firm discovered themselves on the heart of the most important halftime present controversy since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s “Nipplegate” scandal 15 years in the past.

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When it was first introduced that this yr’s Tremendous Bowl halftime performer can be Maroon 5 — a selection so bland, it made 2016’s halftime headliner, Coldplay, appear to be GG Allin by comparability — the information was met with a collective yawn. But it surely wasn’t lengthy earlier than Adam Levine and firm discovered themselves on the heart of the most important halftime present controversy since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s “Nipplegate” scandal 15 years in the past.

Maroon 5’s choice to play the Tremendous Bowl — on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, one of many American capitals of black music (and particularly hip-hop) — didn’t sit effectively with some detractors, who noticed the transfer as a snub towards ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (who’s at present suing the NFL, claiming crew house owners conspired to maintain him out of the league for protesting police brutality towards individuals of shade). Practically 115,000 individuals signed an online petition urging Maroon 5 to drop out, and celebrities ranging from Amy Schumer to Meek Mill to Ava DuVernay blasted the band. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters really asked the band to take a knee throughout their halftime present, and Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, accused Maroon 5 of “crossing the picket line.”

Maroon 5 may have silenced their many haters and doubters with a spectacular efficiency — similar to Gladys Knight, who’d additionally caught flak for showing at Tremendous Bowl LIII, did along with her gorgeous national anthem performance earlier on Tremendous Bowl Sunday. However Maroon 5 didn’t try this. As an alternative, they performed it secure with what simply is perhaps essentially the most underwhelming and immediately forgettable halftime present of all time.

There was a rumor, sparked by Levine’s unique Entertainment Tonight interview, that the band would possibly honor Kaepernik in the course of the halftime present. They didn’t. There was a rumor that Christina Aguilera would possibly present up throughout “Strikes Like Jagger.” She didn’t. There was a rumor that Travis Scott would suggest to his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, onstage. He didn’t.

There was even a rumor that Maroon 5 would pay tribute to a hero all the nation may get behind — SpongeBob Squarepants creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died in November — with the beloved SpongeBob theme “Candy Victory.” (One other on-line petition, begging the band to carry out that tune, actually gathered more than 1.2 million signatures.) Maroon 5 may’ve paraded the SpongeBob characters out for a “Candy Victory” finale, or at the least carried out the tune, and viewers of all political persuasions would have cherished it. However Maroon 5 didn’t try this both. (A fast, deceptive SpongeBob clip used to introduce Scott solely angered SpongeBob followers who’d hoped for extra.)

Actually, essentially the most thrilling factor that occurred throughout all the present was when Levine stripped naked to the waist and wiggled his chiseled, tatted-up torso like a Chippendales dancer — however that simply appeared determined, pandering and downright embarrassing, very similar to his dorky dad-dancing. (And plenty of tweeters, including Aisha Tyler, identified the hypocrisy that Levine was allowed to flash his chest on the Tremendous Bowl with out penalties, however Janet Jackson’s 2004 halftime “wardrobe malfunction” was a significant, career-derailing debacle.)

Scott’s closely CBS-censored “Sicko Mode” and fellow visitor performer Large Boi’s “The Manner You Transfer” introduced somewhat hearth (Scott actually, through a tacky, flaming-comet not-so-special impact), however these rappers’ appearances have been blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em transient. And Maroon 5’s perfunctory and soulless run-through of their requisite wedding-band hits (“Tougher to Breathe,” “This Love,” “She Will Be Beloved,” “Sugar,” “Strikes Like Jagger,” “Ladies Like You” — the latter sans duet accomplice Cardi B) merely wasn’t sufficient in a post-Prince/Beyoncé/Gaga halftime age.

Twitter was unimpressed. And understandably so.

Viewers can solely think about how rather more compelling this yr’s halftime present would have been underneath completely different circumstances. Rihanna, P!nk and Cardi B all reportedly turned down gives to play Tremendous Bowl LIII, in a present of solidarity with Kaepernick. (Cardi B later advised People, “There’s a person [Kaepernick] who sacrificed his job for us, so we bought to face behind him.”) Variety moreover reported that “greater than a half-dozen stars” declined to hitch Maroon 5 onstage on the halftime present, together with Outkast’s André 3000, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lauryn Hill and Nicki Minaj. Ultimately Scott and André 3000’s bandmate, the ATL’s personal Large Boi, signed on, however that appeared to do little to ease the outrage. Jay-Z even reportedly tried to speak Scott into reconsidering. (Scott agreed to carry out if the NFL joined him in donating $500,000 to Dream Corps, a nonprofit that aids various communities; Maroon 5 and their label, Interscope Data, adopted Scott’s lead and made a joint donation to Large Brothers Large Sisters of America.)

This week, the NFL canceled its traditional pre-Bowl press conference, explaining that Maroon 5 would “let their present do the speaking” as an alternative. However Maroon 5’s keyboardist PJ Morton, who’s black, did inform People final month, “I feel there are many individuals — a number of the gamers, to be trustworthy — who assist Kap and in addition do their job for the NFL. I feel we’re doing the identical factor. We are able to assist being towards police brutality towards black and brown individuals, and be in assist of with the ability to peacefully protest and nonetheless do our jobs. We simply wish to have a great time and entertain individuals whereas understanding the vital points which can be at hand.”

In Levine’s solely unique pregame interview final week, with Entertainment Tonight, he stated he’d consulted with many advisers, and he assured individuals of shade that they’d “be heard” throughout Maroon 5’s halftime present. (“We bought you,” he vowed.) However as an alternative, this efficiency was a missed alternative — not simply to “honor social justice” with the grand sociopolitical assertion that Levine had seemingly teased to ET, however to entertain the overall plenty with a genuinely nice live performance.

Learn extra from Yahoo Leisure:

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