Adam Levine and Maroon 5 delivered a spectacular Super Bowl LIII halftime show, despite being urged to drop out.
The band faced months of criticism for agreeing to play the world’s biggest stage.
Levine had been adamant for weeks that the band’s decision to perform was made after much consideration.
Many had called for the band to back out amid controversy over the NFL’s handling of players like Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem.
Several entertainers had turned down the NFL’s offer. The fact that Maroon 5 accepted says volumes about Levine and his bandmates. It long has been their dream to perform at the Super Bowl.
Leading up to the performance Levine had said it’s all about the music.
“I’m not in the right profession if I can’t handle a little bit of controversy,” he told “Entertainment Tonight.” “It’s what it is. We expected it. We’d like to move on from it and speak through the music.”
Levine is a man of his word. “The spectacle is the music,” he said. “The way we speak is through the music, the way we emote and perform is through the music.”
Maroon 5 saw this as an opportunity to heal. He said the band was doing the show to make people of color and others who don’t feel like their voices are being heard understand, “We got you.”
I’ve seen this band live three times and I know what kind of a show they are capable of doing. Levine is a consummate performer and this was his chance to dazzle.
Travie Scott and Big Boi also were on the docket.
Halftime festivities began with gigantic M-shaped stage deployed with a massive light show, including flames and fire. They jammed to their early hits’ “Harder To Breathe” and “This Love.”
“Girl Like You” featured Levine singing before the Atlanta Choir and a flurry of drummers. Scott entered and the mood changed. I could have done without Scott’s bleeped-out rap, but Big Boi was spot-on, arriving in a tricked-out Caddy and performing “The Way You Move.”
No one was dressed in Kaepernick attire, nor did they take a knee, but Levine sported an awesome pair of Nikes. When Levine sang “She Will Be Loved,” luminaries and drones lit up the air inside the stadium to spell “ONE LOVE.” It was impressive.
The 12-minute extravaganza closed with “Moves Like Jagger.” The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Mick Jagger appeared on the stage with Levine.
I need to give props to Gladys Knight, too. She also faced pressure to boycott the Super Bowl. She was a class act. She did a superb job on the national anthem.
David T. Farr can be reached at email@example.com.