Bruno Mars, The Red Hot Chili Peppers heat up halftime show
Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Recording artist Bruno Mars performs during the during the half time show in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Photo: Video by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
On the 10th anniversary of the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake "incident," shirts did come off during the 2014 Super Bowl. However, it was Anthony Kiedis and Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and, well, what else do you expect from the '80s rockers?
However, it was headliner Bruno Mars, 28, who stole the show.
Sponsor Pepsi opened the segment with a digital city, as the city lights pulsated to the music while Mars' hands created the melody. The city spanned familiar N.Y. landmarks such as the Empire State Building, before centering on the MetLife Stadium in N.J.
On stage, children held raised hands as they sang "Billionaire" by Mars in silhouette behind a digital American flag. The lights went black to spotlight Mars opening his set with a killer drum solo.
Mars joined a jumbo band of brass, bass, and back-up singers dressed in matching black skinny ties and metallic gold suit jackets doing just-enough synchronized choreography to Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven."
"This is your opportunity to dance," a back-up singer crooned before the band broke into "Treasure."
The high-impact performance continued with "Runaway Baby" as the crowd was asked, "Who you rocking with?"
Doing half splits like James Brown with a slick Prince meets Michael Jackson presence, Mars brought us back to '50s with "Shout" by The Isley Brothers, before returning to the present with his own "Runaway Baby."
A shirtless Kiedis and Flea ran onto the stage then, joining Mars and the rest of the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the band's hit, "Give It Away."
And with that, the stage was quickly handed back over to Mars for a mellow yet sentimental tribute to the military and their loved ones. While video messages were shown on screen, Mars appeared center field on a small-circular platform, finishing his set solo with his debut single, "Just The Way You Are." Fireworks blazed across the glittering Jersey sky, just peeking out behind the top-tier of the massive stadium.
If you didn't know this Super Bowl underdog, you do now. Watch the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show above.