It’s where anything can happen—and does—during a live performance. Where the shows are discussed around the water cooler as much as the commercials or big game itself. Yeah, the Super Bowl halftime show is a pretty big deal. And you can bet that Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are planning to rock the socks off of millions of viewers during Super Bowl XLVIII (while hopefully keeping their own socks securely in place).
But will this year’s performers put on a better show than the last 10 entertainment acts that came before them?
Let’s go back and take a look.
2003 – Super Bowl XXXVII: Shania Twain , No Doubt, Sting
This blast-from-the-past lineup ran through classics like Just a Girl and Man! I feel like a Woman!. When Gwen Stefani joined in with Sting during Message in a Bottle, the crowd erupted—but was it the best performance between then and now?
Yeah, you definitely remember this one. The star-studded line up would have been enough to make this one of the most memorable shows ever, but it was Janet Jackson and JT’s choreography during Rock Your Body that made it infamous. Controversy aside, this one is tough to beat.
2005 – Super Bowl XXXVIIII: Paul McCartney
It’s Paul McCartney. The man, the myth, the legend. He played three Beatles songs, and Live and Let Die from his Wings days. What other 70 year old rock star can blow your socks off for hours?
2006 – Super Bowl XL: The Rolling Stones
Another legend. And a timeless performance too—Mick Jagger actually said, “Here’s one we could have done at Super Bowl I,” before launching into (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. Does it get any better?
2007 – Super Bowl XLI: Prince
Performing a mixture of his own hits with incredible cover versions of Best of You (Foo Fighters) and Proud Mary (Bob Dylan), Prince put on the performance of his lifetime. Even music critics were impressed. Best of the last 10 years, impressed? TBD.
2008 – Super Bowl XLII: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Kicking off their 2008 world tour, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played classics like American Girl, Free Fallin’, and Running Down a Dream. No controversial antics, no flashy dance routines, just amazing music.
2009 – Super Bowl XLIII – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
The Boss along with the E Street Band ran the stage like pros. The great music and high energy of this performance left the crowd as amped up as the teams playing in the game. You can bet you’re getting your getting all your live entertainment needs met when Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band are in town!
2010 – Super Bowl XLIV: The Who
The hits performed by The Who at this Super Bowl actually made their way to the video game series; Rock Band. Gamers went on to re-create this performance via the comfort of their own home long after the Saints went home with a victory.
2011 – Super Bowl XLV: Black Eyed Peas, with guest appearance by Slash
Flashy costumes and stunning light performances, combined with dance-inducing tunes like Boom Boom Pow, made this year’s show something to see, hear, and feel and never forget.
2012 – Super Bowl XLVI: Madonna, LMFAO, Cirque du Soleil, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, Andy Lewis
This was definitely one of the more unique shows and lineups within the last ten years. An onslaught of pop icons, lead by the Queen of Pop herself, and the high-flying antics of the Cirque du Soleil resulted in one high-powered halftime performance one will never forget.
2013 – Super Bowl XLVII : Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child
Beyoncé carried out dance moves with roller-coaster level g-force, while belting out favorites like Crazy in Love and Run the World (Girls). And then Destiny’s Child suddenly reunites on stage to perform their old hits? Epic stuff.
A modern pop star with classic old-school flare, Bruno Mars has entertaining stamped on his DNA. He’s a sure thing for a memorable show. Meanwhile, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been cranking out Grammy-award-winning rock songs at their live performances for as long as any Millennial can remember.
But will these two be the best in ten years? We’ll leave that call to you.