Published On: Mon, Feb 12th, 2018

Best Super Bowl Half Time Shows Ever

The Super Bowl is just around the corner and for non-football fans like my buddy Gordon Tang and I , that means one thing… the half time show. With Justin Timberlake set to play this year’s half time show in Minneapolis, his first since the ill-fated ‘Nipplegate’ situation which he was involved in way back in 2004 with Janet Jackson. Throughout the years the half time show has become as important for music fans as the football is for sports fans. JT has some big boots to fill if he wants to be remembered for this show, and this gives us the perfect opportunity to take a look back at the history of half time show performances, to see who was the best.

Michael Jackson, 1988 photo by Alan Light

3 – Bruno Mars

Few half the confidence, arrogance or bravery to do what Bruno did in 2014, starting off a relatively time limited set by smashing out an incredible drum solo. Mars at the time only had two albums worth of songs to pick through, but he made his selections count and interspersed true showmanship in between each one. Mars took the opportunity to show the world that he was more than just a singer as he danced, rocked and drummed his way through a barnstorming set. Highlights of the show included Red Hot Chili Peppers taking the stage for a mash up of Give it Away, and closing the show with ‘Just The Way You Are’ in a  starlit stadium.

2 – Michael Jackson

The King of Pop hit the Super Bowl stage back in 1994, when he was at the very top of his game. MJ arrived in the style which only he can, with stunt doubles simultaneously popping on top of the titontrons, as the real thing leaped up from below the stage. In true Jacko fashion, he waited for at least 3 minutes before commencing the show, standing lifeless and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Jackson’s set featured songs from all of his albums and he even did a bit for the Jackson 5 before closing the show with Man in the Mirror, musical perfection.

1 – Prince

If there are any budding musicians out there looking to learn the craft, the 20 minute set which Prince performed in the lashing Florida rain back in 2007. Prince had nothing to prove, he simply got up on stage, and made sweet music, starting the show with Let’s Go Crazy and Baby I’m a Star before a medley of perfect cover versions which included Times Like These and All Along The Watchtower. The rain only added to the thunder which Prince was bringing on stage, and as the curtain drew to a close, the legend still had a trick up his sleeve. Closing proceedings with the iconic, and somewhat apt, Purple Rain, Prince made the guitar shaped to his sign, sing like only few can do, as he stood behind a huge sheet, presenting a 50 foot silhouette of the great man to the thousands singing along with him. I would be stunned if anyone could ever top that performance.

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