Opinion Blog: The best Super Bowl half-time show

by Sam Skilton
The Rolling Stones perform on a tongue and lips design stage at Super Bowl XL in 2006

The Rolling Stones perform on a tongue and lips design stage at Super Bowl XL in 2006

Last night Beyonce performed during the half-time show at Super Bowl XLVII (that’s number 47 for those of you who aren’t up to scratch on your Roman Numerals) in New Orleans, reuniting with Destiny’s Child for the concert.
But which rock bands have taken to the stage at Super Bowl half-time shows in the past? Here are some of the best…

The Who, Super Bowl XLIV, 2010

Three years ago British rock and roll legends The Who stole the show at the Sun Life Stadium in Florida, proving their status as one of the greats of stadium rock. Kicking off with a short but sharp rendition of ‘Pinball Wizard’, Pete Townshend performed an electrifying guitar solo during ‘Baba O’Riley’ before Roger Daltrey’s harmonica solo led into ‘Who Are You’. ‘See Me, Feel Me’ segued into ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ as Zak Starkey thrashed his drum kit, decorated with mod logo cymbals, to an explosive finale. Not quite Keith Moon cherry bomb-style, but spectacular all the same.

The Rolling Stones, Super Bowl XL, 2006

In 2006 Mick Jagger was skipping and rooster-walking around a tongue and lips designed stage as The Rolling Stones provided the half-time entertainment for the 40th Super Bowl in Detroit. Kicking off with ‘Start Me Up’ the show featured ‘Rough Justice’ and ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, with Jagger claiming: “This one we could have done at Super Bowl I, you know, but everything comes to he who waits.”

Paul McCartney, Super Bowl XXXIX, 2005

Paul McCartney has, of course, played during the half-time show at the Super Bowl too. In 2005 the former Beatle, who always seems to steal the show at major events, kicked off his set in Florida with the Fab Four’s ‘Drive My Car’. Next up was ‘Get Back’, followed by ‘Live and Let Die’ which was as fiery as ever. The performance came to a conclusion with the customary ‘Hey Jude’ sing-along.

U2, Super Bowl XXXVI, 2002

Back in 2002 Irish rockers U2 took the centre stage at the Super Bowl in Louisiana. The performance started with Bono clambering his way through screaming fans to the echoes of ‘Beautiful Day’, and it was a show full of emotion. Just a few months after the tragedy of 9/11, ‘MLK’ followed by ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ took the plaudits as the names of the victims of the disaster appeared on a scrolling screen in the background. Whatever your opinion is on U2, you have to appreciate the sentiment.
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