Maroon 5 fell flat in their performance on one of the world’s biggest stages


It almost seemed fitting that one of the most boring Super Bowls in history would have an equally boring halftime performance. On Feb. 3, Maroon 5 headlined the coveted Super Bowl halftime show along with guests Travis Scott and Big Boi in Atlanta.

While Maroon 5 wasn’t the top choice, most fans accepted them by holding on to the hope of a Spongebob Squarepants tribute. However, as the band transitioned into their second song, it was clear this performance was going to be just as mediocre as the rest of the game.

To begin with, there was already controversy surrounding the headlining act of the halftime show. Artists like Rihanna and Cardi B were originally offered the gig but turned it down either in part or in full support of players’ protests, specifically the man who started it all – Colin Kaepernick. For many artists, the shows they put on and venues they play and serve as platforms for their political and social stances.  

Following the lead of other artists, Cardi B showed her support for Kaepernick by not performing at halftime and told the Associated Press, “I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him.”

The Super Bowl halftime show stage has seen superstars like Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Prince put on iconic shows. However, amidst the ever-growing tension between the NFL, players, team owners and the public; the once desired gig has had an increasingly difficult time finding a big enough act to fill the stage, leading to last-minute searches for mediocre acts.

The halftime performance also fell flat on its promise to deliver a tribute to Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants who passed away in November. After Hillenburg’s passing, fans started a petition to have “Sweet Victory” performed at the Super Bowl halftime show. The song is a nod to a fan favorite episode where Spongebob and friends perform at an alluded Super Bowl-esque game. Fans thought it would be a wonderful tribute to thank Hillenburg for his creation of a beloved childhood show. Leading up to the big game, it seemed as if all the hard work was going to pay off as both Maroon 5 and the voice of the character Squidward, Rodger Bumpass, teased fans with nods and online rumors about a Spongebob cameo.

After Maroon 5 sampled several of their top songs, the feed cut to a video of Squidward, but it was only to introduce Travis Scott’s performance of “Sicko Mode.” With such a brief shoutout, fans were left divided over the success of their petition. Some fans were thrilled the show made any sort of appearance, but others were disappointed the moment was so short-lived. Add it to the list of disappointing moments during the Super Bowl.

There was also the performance itself. Maroon 5’s set wasn’t the worst the Super Bowl stage has seen, but there wasn’t anything particularly special about it either. Adam Levine spent the entire time just strutting around the stage looking as if he was barely playing the guitar. Not to mention every time the camera cut to Levine, he kept losing layers of clothes, which left everyone confused.

During “She Will Be Loved,” one of the band’s most popular songs, what appeared to be lanterns filled the sky. These were actually drones which spelled out the words “One” and “Love,” making them as forgettable as it sounds. Travis Scott and Big Boi’s performances were actually pretty entertaining as they featured asteroids, fur coats and Cadillac’s. Unfortunately, Scott and Big Boi only performed briefly leaving Maroon 5 to fill the rest of the show.

Like most viewers, I look forward to the halftime show and honestly don’t genuinely hate Maroon 5. I love “Girls Like You” and a lot of the band’s songs are shamelessly fun and catchy, but their overall performance just lacked anything extraordinary or memorable. Think about it; Lady Gaga bungee jumped off the stage, Beyonce featured incredibly choreographed dance routines and a Destiny’s Child reunion and Michael Jackson has been credited with setting the expectation for what the show is today.

Maroon 5 just stood around on an “M” shaped stage. Overall, their show was fine. There wasn’t anything to set it apart from a normal concert. I think most of the problem was knowing that artists like Rihanna and Cardi B could have had a memorable performance, but we got Adam Levine and his fleet of drone lanterns.