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Half-time heroes: the best shows in Super Bowl history

Get the chips and dip ready, everyone! It is once again that first bit of February that (provided your team didn’t get knocked out in the playoffs) almost everyone gets excited for: the Super Bowl. Unless you’re someone like me, who only found out yesterday because he was wondering when he could cry his eyes out to the latest Budweiser horse commercial. But these days, half of these ads already hit the Internet before the annual event, or minutes after they premiere on YouTube, so why would a non-NFL fan in this day and age even watch the Super Bowl? For the halftime shows, of course!

Beginning in the 1990s, these shows always have to be watched live by everyone. Even if you’re a stubborn old curmudgeon that doesn’t care about Bruno Mars or Katy Perry and tells kids to get off the lawn, a classic rock icon is always good for making everyone happy. Here’s The Tiger’s personal list of the most memorable and fun Super Bowl halftime shows!

Number Ten: The Black Eyed Peas (2011)

Despite being the more forgettable entry on this list, the group performed decently, and was entertaining for the most part. Then again, being merely watchable is kind of a low bar to set. Some extra “wow!” and visual flair certainly could have put this solid outing up far higher on the list.

Number Nine: U2 (2002)

Being one of the annoyed Apple users who had this band’s free album “graciously” forced upon them a few years ago, I am certainly not the biggest fan of Bono. However, their genuinely heartfelt tribute to the victims of 9/11 was enough to warm my cynical, cold soul.

Number Eight: Paul McCartney (2005)

Paul McCartney will always be a member of any top 10 list, but in all honesty, I kinda forgot this one happened. Naturally being a pretty safe choice for a performance compared to the infamous one that preceded it, McCartney did just enough performance wise to make it onto this list. However, finishing off with the entire stadium singing “Hey Jude” together made up for an otherwise bland outing.

Number Seven: Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)

I like Bruno Mars. I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. With this in mind, the combining of the two in a Super Bowl halftime show should be amazing, but all throughout their 2014 performance it felt off to me. Mars would have been great on his own, as would the Chili Peppers, but the last minute addition of the latter to the performance didn’t mesh well together at all. I suppose not all artists can be as good a mix as peanut butter and chocolate.

Number Six: The Rolling Stones (2006)

Considering the band was behind one of the most memorable kick off themes in football, it was a no brainer that The Rolling Stones would eventually make an appearance at the Super Bowl. Although they performed their classic “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” perfectly well, most of their other two songs were censored pretty heavily due to Timberlake’s blunder a few years prior. This made even the slightest risque move (or lyric) removed by the no-fun police.

Number Five: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (2004)

I feel like this one had to make the list solely because of the fact that thousands of American’s learned firsthand what a wardrobe malfunction referred to and because of the fact that it essentially prevented any pop musicians from performing until the Black Eyed Peas in 2011. It’s kind of a shame too, as it was actually a pretty good show until the last few seconds.

Number Four: Bruce Springsteen (2009)

Considering the guy almost routinely plays three hour shows, it was a wonder that Springsteen was able to perform as well as he did. Quickly finding his groove in the fifteen or so minutes that he had, Springsteen hit all the crowd favorites during his time onstage, as well as a camera when he slid crotch first into it while performing “10th Avenue Freeze Out.”

Number Three: Aerosmith, *NSYNC and Britney Spears (2001)

Absolutely the earliest 2000s lineup ever, I remember enjoying this one quite a bit. Is it all due to nostalgia? Probably, but consider that this was probably the only halftime show to have featured most of their artists when they were at peak popularity. Not only that, but having Aerosmith bring some classic rock to the event certainly didn’t hurt. Plus, the joint performance of “Walk this Way” was one for the memories, and no one can tell me otherwise.

Number Two: Prince (2007)

Being a pretty strange choice only a few years after the Super Bowl got blasted for the infamous 2004 show, Prince managed to show everyone who had doubts away with a fantastic outing. Not only did he just show off his greatest hits, but he managed to end the show in the best way possible: getting thousands of drunken, testosterone filled football fans to sing along to “Purple Rain.” Quite a show to remember indeed! 

Number One: Beyoncé (2013)

If anyone in this list was guaranteed to put on a good show, it would be Beyoncé, and damn did she! Most people would have been satisfied with just the typical crowd pleasing hits, but a Destiny’s Child reunion sealed the deal as her performance easily became one of the most fondly remembered halftime events in the Super Bowl. 

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