Shortly before the two-minute warning, Jim Nantz boldly teased to millions in America and around the world that the biggest concert of the year was coming shortly. In a normal year, that’d be a pretty close description of the Super Bowl Halftime show. It’s certainly the most watched, and one that has included iconic performances from the likes of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Prince, The Rolling Stones, and more.This year, we got Adam Levine lethargically shuffling around the stage as he attempted to hear himself sing. This year, Maroon 5 gave a performance about as exciting as this defense-heavy game. This year, the Super Bowl Halftime Show was everything we expected from another year watching the Patriots, from a year where the biggest names in music refused to play the “biggest concert of the year.”Under the iron fist of the NFL and CBS, there was no mention of Colin Kaepernick; no knee even came close to hitting the ground. Instead, Travis Scott was introduced with a clip from Spongebob Squarepants, landed in the stadium on an astroid, performed his biggest song, and crowd surfed away. He never came back. All he did was ensure that two seconds of an animated children’s show overshadowed our headliner.
As soon as he was there, he was gone. That left us alone with Adam Levine, staring directly into the camera as he sang “Girls Like You,” Maroon 5’s hit with Cardi B. Except Cardi B wasn’t there. She was everywhere else during this Super Bowl—notably in a Pepsi commercial—but she refused to play the Pepsi halftime show in support of Kaepernick. In her place, the NFL went with a black choir—a choir that blew Levin’s bored, shaky voice out of the water. (To his credit, Levine was absolutely singing live, but unfortunately he didn’t have the power to sing over everything else going on.)
There was Atlanta’s own Big Boi, too, who rolled in to play one song without Outkast’s André 3000, and took off. The absence of both André and Cardi should tell you everything you need to know about this halftime show. They were off doing better things.
Things kept going after Big Boi made an abrupt departure. There were more Maroon 5 songs. You know the ones. But just as it seemed like the the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime show would be nothing more than a brief teaser for the next season of The Voice, Adam Levine took his shirt off.At least we got a brief opportunity to look at Levine’s 2 percent body fat. At least we got to take a moment and enjoy his “California” tattoo above his navel, a fitting addition for a Super Bowl that includes the L.A. Rams. (If you’re looking for more of this content, you might also like to know about his back tattoo.)Maybe next year the Super Bowl Halftime Show will just be Kevin James splitting his pants while eating a hoagie.