Super Bore 2016

Picking Coldplay to headline Super Bowl 50 is a low point for America

The 2016 Super Bowl isn’t just any Super Bowl. It’s Super Bowl 50.

It’s the 50th anniversary of pure, unadulterated, violent, carnivorous, American men wrestling over a pigskin in the most celebrated athletic event of the year.

And who did the organizers select to headline the halftime show? Coldplay. Possibly the most emotionally cathartic, sleep-inducing “rock” band of all time. Unless we have consciously uncoupled from reality, this is a sign that American music has hit a new low.

Where did all the rock icons go?

TextBox_00000The Super Bowl halftime show has undergone a transformation since the NippleGate fiasco of 2004. When Janet Jackson experienced a “wardrobe malfunction,” revealing her bare chest on live television, the reaction by Americans was complete shock. So much so that organizers overcompensated
by moving to the opposite end of the spectrum.

For the six years that followed, only “safe” performers were welcome, and that involved digging into the archives — Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, and The Who. But even though they were all old by then, at least they rock hard. And are still rocking — harder than Coldplay ever has or will.

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Once organizers blazed through all of the old legends, though, they transitioned to the flavor-of-the-month pop star or group — The Black Eyed Peas, Madonna, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry.


And now Coldplay, which begs the question: Is this all we’ve got?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

We’ve run out of cultural icons, and today’s most popular performers simply don’t fit the criteria to have a safe and fun show. The Weeknd? Close, but too provocative. Adele? Amazing voice but not exactly an energetic performance. Justin Bieber? Odds of him getting arrested before the Super Bowl are probably 2-1. Kanye West? Too likely he would show up high and storm off in the middle of the performance. Other artists like Ariana Grande, One Direction, or Psy simply don’t have the maturity to headline a show for America at-large.


Which leads us to Coldplay.

In a way, we deserve this. America has terrible taste in music. We’ve created a class of shallow musicians with questionable legacies, because we’ve abandoned any semblance of musical culture.

Rock ‘n’ roll has been dead for years, occasionally sampled in one of the disposable pop songs clogging up the airwaves. The days of superbands (U2, REM) delivering inspiring rock anthems is over. Now we’re left with Coldplay. EDM is on the rise and, while popular, the idea of thousands of people in a stadium and millions watching at home waiting for Steve Aoki to make the beat drop: Not realistic.


We live in an era of regurgitative culture, and we are constantly tuning out of timeless music in favor of trendy commercial juggernauts. The Super Bowl organizers know it, and they are punishing us for our prudish sensibilities and poor taste. For the viewing public and, more importantly, for advertisers, Coldplay is good enough.

Americans only have ourselves to blame for the inevitable SnoozeGate tsunami. The only hope that when the alarm sounds, maybe we’ll wake up to the musical nightmare we’ve created.

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