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Coldplay shined during halftime show with some help from Beyonce and Bruno Mars

Watch full halftime show here

In between the Denver Broncos dominating the Carolina Panthers, Super Bowl 50 hosted a halftime show starring Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars on Feb. 7. Instead of depending on crazy outfit changes and props to amaze the crowd, these musicians relied on their raw talent to not only entertain but also spread a message. Quite frankly, it was refreshing to watch.

Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, opened the performance by briefly singing the group’s breakout hit “Yellow” while crouched on the field as fans run past him to get to the stage. Beyonce and Mars weren’t the only scheduled guest performers of the night, the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles joined the band as they launched into “Viva La Vida” that then flowed nicely into the euphoric single “Paradise.” During “Adventure of a Lifetime,” Martin prompted the crowd to get low, and when the song got to the chorus, everyone jumped, making the crowd hyped for the next performers.

Next, Mark Ronson appeared elevated above the crowd, as he got ready for “Uptown Funk” — a hit Mars released since his halftime show performance back in 2014. As soon as Mars took the stage, Coldplay’s neon colors turned to black and gold, as Mars and his backup dancers strolled out dressed in all leather outfits, mimicking the dance moves from the “Uptown Funk” music video.

Even though Mars delivered a pitch-perfect rendition of his song, those watching held their collective breath for the arrival of Beyonce. Like Mars, she’s released some of her most acclaimed material, such as “Drunk in Love” and “Flawless,” since her time as the halftime show’s headliner. Beyonce, who was leading an all-ladies troupe in military-inspired leather jackets, walked across the field while performing her brand new single, “Formation.” Beyonce’s ensemble paid homage to the late icon Michael Jackson’s 1993 halftime show garb of a black leather bodysuit draped in gold.

One of the most memorable moments was when Beyonce and Mars participated in a performance battle where the musicians sang a mashup of “Crazy in Love” and “Uptown Funk” back and forth. Then, Martin joined them in the star-powered “Uptown Funk” finale. Unfortunately, the Coldplay and Beyonce duet “Hymn for the Weekend” was absent during the medley.

Then, Martin quickly went to play the beautiful piano intro of “Clocks” that filled the entire stadium, which led into the archival footage of previous Super Bowl headliners such as U2, The Who and Katy Perry. Coldplay then shifted to “Up & Up,” a dopey song about reconciliation and uplift, while Mars and Beyonce joined Martin center stage. As the song came to a close, the audience behind the stage held up the final message, “Believe in love,” in vibrant neon color tiles — presented at the first Super Bowl since marriage equality became a fundamental right in the United States.

From the beginning to the end, the show was visually impressive, setting the tone that would hold for the rest of the performance. The stage changed colors throughout the show and gave off vivid neon colors, and the massive color guard ensemble that twirled multi-colored flower umbrellas and ribbons were tailored for the aerial camera shots that viewers at home were sure to enjoy. But, when Beyonce and Mars took the stage, it turned into more black and bling, but it balanced out nicely.

When I first heard Coldplay was the headlining act, I had my doubts. But, I was pleasantly surprised by how great this halftime show turned out. Without the use of flashy props, these musicians relied on their talent and the connection they had with the audience made the show extra special. I would go as far to say this is the best halftime show to date, because not only was the performance aspect of it flawless, but Coldplay’s goal was to spread a message of love and peace, which I believe they succeeded in. Personally, what made the show spectacular and memorable was the how past halftime shows were remembered in the video montage. The halftime show is a tradition that’s made its mark in American life, and on Sunday, it took a step forward, just like the country that collectively tunes in every year.

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