The Super Bowl 50 halftime show may have paid homage to music of the past, but make no mistake that the performance was very much about the present. Coldplay was the headlining act, but it was guest stars Beyonce and Bruno Mars that stole the show.
Coldplay opened with a medley of hits, including "Viva La Vida," "Paradise" and "Adventure of a Lifetime," on a rainbow-colored stage that would impress even Katy Perry. The Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles accompanied the band led by Chris Martin, who was obviously stoked just to be there. It was beautiful display, but clearly just an opening act for the Mars/Bey takeover.
Mars stepped up first, accompanied by producing partner Mark Ronson, to perform their 2015 mega-hit "Uptown Funk." He and his posse upped the performance ante with matching black outfits and James Brown-esque choreography, with shoutouts to the MC Hammer dance and the running man.
Then Beyonce showed up to remind the world that we call her Queen Bey for a reason. Though she has a catalog of hits to choose from, Beyonce made the powerful statement of performing "Formation," the new single (and video) she dropped only 24 hours before the show. To cement the song as a new black culture anthem, Beyonce took over the Super Bowl field with a legion of black female backup dancers who were in sync with her every pop and lock and twerk. The hot sauce in my bag swag was in full supply, and will undoubtedly be the thing everyone talks about Monday morning (along with the Formation world tour Bey also announced after the performance. Surprise!). She and Mars then cemented their dominance of the show by meeting on the main stage for an on-fire 80s dance off. Oh, and Chris Martin was there too.
With the crowd's energy at a fever pitch, Coldplay brought the show to a close with a rendition of "Fix You" that served as soundtrack to a past Super Bowl performances montage. For the final number, all the performers came together to belt Coldplay's feel-good "Up & Up."
Martin, Beyonce and Mars center-stage, singing "We're gonna get it, get it together right now / Gonna get it, get it together somehow," in unison was an inspiring sight, considering the need for diversity in art that is dominating American conversation right now. The Super Bowl halftime show sent a powerful message - Coldplay's rainbows aren't just a sign of what we should be, but what we could.
What did you think of the Super Bowl halftime show?
WATCH: Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars perform at the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 halftime show
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