No question: Bruno Mars is one hard working guy, and as the centerpiece of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, he had a lot to live up to. Whether he delivered depends on how big of a Mars fan viewers are and whether viewers might have expected more than one song out of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Mars did work up a serious sweat, storming his (relatively) small stage on the field. He first appeared behind a drum kit and launched into an enthusiastic solo before seguing into a series of his own tunes, including "Locked Out of Heaven," "Treasure," and "Runaway Baby." He showed off his smooth dance moves, spinning and splitting on the stage while still looking cool in a gold lame jacket, equal parts Michael Jackson, James Brown and Elvis.
"This is your opportunity to dance," he shouted at the crowd. "Put your hands together!" And the pumped up MetLife stadium full of football fans obliged.
After several of Mars' tunes it was time for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to take over ... which they did, for their one song: "Give it Away," during which Mars happily rocked along beside them. But that was all the Peppers were given room to do; once they left the stage the stadium got quiet except for a piano solo ... and a pre-taped video piece.
In the brief segment, various members of the armed forces gave a shout out to friends and loved ones, and a few dedicated the next song to those same friends and loved ones. The song? Mars' "Just the Way You Are," sung solo on a small round stage.
Cue fireworks, cue end of halftime show, which in the end was lively, and maybe more importantly, scandal free.