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Hey Bruno! Pick one of these acts to play the Super Bowl with you

According to, Bruno Mars has been asked to perform during the Super Bowl Halftime Show this year, for the second time in three years. He’s also been asked to “curate” the show, which to my ear suggests something more akin to high culture than down and dirty football.

To wit, from Billboard: “This time around, a source confirmed, Mars was asked to ‘curate’ the Halftime Show, meaning we could probably expect some impressive guests to join him, if he agrees.”

Um … define “impressive.”

Well golly. This sure is lame. Of course, it’s not like the Halftime Show has any real credibility to lose by so blatantly “running out of ideas” before the TV eyes of millions. But this is bad. Almost as bad as that time when Aerosmith joined Britney Spears for a super creepy run-through of “Walk This Way” (watch that at your own risk). Or that time when Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson … well, you know what happened there.

I’m tempted to just forget about the whole thing. I mean, the Super Bowl is a football game. Why does it need a musical component? Haul out the marching bands or something. Fly some jets overhead and wave a bunch of flags. Do whatever, but please, leave music out of it.

What did Music ever do to you, Football? You’re the one who got all the hot girls in high school while Music was home in its bedroom, practicing and indulging in upper-octave revenge fantasies while listening to Pearl Jam records on headphones. We get it – you’re the Alpha Male, and you need to dominate. But after all the train wrecks of recent halftimes, isn’t enough enough?

Then again, it’s really fun to imagine the artists who would make for interesting halftime entertainment. So I conducted an informal poll of BN readers, and compiled the results of their Super Bowl Halftime wish lists.

The results are, in my humble opinion, pretty hilarious, and surely more entertaining than another Bruno Mars performance is likely to be. (That’s, Bruno fans.)


Well, yeah. This would be awesome. Phish just “phinished” its summer tour, and I listened to every single show on the jaunt through my Live Phish app. The band has never sounded better, and is beyond debate one of the most thrilling and dynamic live bands currently touring, if not the most. In August, Phish sold out a three-day festival in Watkins Glen, during which it was the only band that performed. Can Bruno Mars do that? Good lord, I hope not.

It’ll never happen, though. In the age-old battle between jocks and hippies, the jocks always win, by brute force. If Phish dedicated the whole 13 minutes of the Halftime Show to a version of “You Enjoy Myself,” some face-painted warrior of a football fan might drop his Bud Light Lime all over himself. We can’t have that, now can we?

Foo Fighters

This seems like a no-brainer. By the time the Super Bowl rolls around, Dave Grohl will be out of his cast, back on his feet, and eager to prove that he is THE LIVING EMBODIMENT OF ROCK IN THE 20TH CENTURY. (Caps intended, because Dave Grohl lives his life in ALL CAPS!) This would give him the perfect platform to do so. But the Foos are too rock ’n’ roll for the Super Bowl. And they’re ugly. This is television, after all.

The Grateful Dead with Trey Anastasio

“Fare Thee Well” was the biggest concert event of 2015. However, the Dead probably “won’t play in Peoria,” as the saying goes. Meaning, Middle America has no tolerance for groovy jams, bro. Which, of course, is Middle America’s loss. But whatever. More Bruno!

The Grateful Dead with John Mayer

See above, with one addition – John Mayer is a cute pop guy. Most Super Bowl viewers would probably wonder who all the old dudes with beards in his backing band are.

Rolling Stones

Yes, they’ve played the gig before. But hey, if Bruno gets a do-over, why not the world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band?


That would be crushing! And subversive, somehow.


When votes for Gwar started rolling in, I almost fell off my chair. You, Gwar-loving readers, are evil geniuses, and I adore you.

Van Halen

Can you imagine the David Lee Roth-shaped train wreck this could turn out to be? I’d pay good money to see that! Oh, and one of the greatest electric guitarists in the history of the instrument is in that band too, isn’t he?

Meh. Who cares. Let’s just hire Bruno again.

Iron Maiden

Here’s my fantasy setlist: “The Number of the Beast”; “Flight of Icarus”; “Hallowed be Thy Name.” Bud Light Lime guy’s head might explode.

Bruno Mars

Yeah, some readers answered the question “Who should play the Super Bowl Halftime Show instead of Bruno Mars for the second time?” with “Bruno Mars.”