SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The NFL promised a halftime show that would honor the past, present and future of the Super Bowl era. Coldplay and friends delivered a colorful spectacle on Sunday.
The show featured not just performances by Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce, but also a children's string orchestra and an assortment of colorful props used in dance sequences up and down Levi's Stadium. There seemed to be things happening everywhere on the field, making this the biggest halftime show I can remember.
Coldplay started the set with their biggest hit, "Viva La Vida" (with orchestral accompaniment), which gave way to the band's 2011 hit "Paradise." Then it was Mars' turn. His whole band -- plus Mark Ronson -- performed an excellent version of the inescapable 2014 hit "Uptown Funk."
Up next was Beyonce, who took over the production with a full team of dancers to perform her new single "Formation." Beyonce, Mars and Coldplay singer Chris Martin eventually met at center stage for a final "Uptown Funk" refrain before Coldplay closed out the show with a medley of their 2005 hit "Fix You" and newer release "Up & Up."
This final sequence happened while the big screens flashed memories of famous Super Bowl moments from years past, including images of the Grambling State University Marching Band at L.A. Coliseum in Super Bowl I, Bruce Springsteen nearly sliding off the stage in Tampa in Super Bowl XLIII, and U2's Bono flashing the American flag inside his leather jacket in New Orleans in Super Bowl XXXVI.
It's hard to really gauge these performances in the stadium, because they're really made for TV. But it was appropriately grand for the Super Bowl's golden anniversary and certainly had something for everybody. Now back to the game.