Well, it's safe to say no one saw that one coming. International pop star Bruno Mars announced he would be summoning Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Red Hot Chili Peppers to join him on stage during his half-time performance at the upcoming Superbowl XLVII in East Rutherford, NJ. The announcement, made during tonight's Seattle Seahawks-New Orleans Saints playoff game, immediately set the Twitter-sphere ablaze, simultaneously drawing reactions of excitement, confusion, and outrage. The idea of a band as iconic as the Chili Peppers onstage at the most watched sporting event in the world certainly isn't shocking or unwarranted; but seeing them perform with Bruno Mars?
The unorthodox collaboration is undoubtedly a strategy to bridge the age gap of the Super Bowl's viewers, many of whom likely know little about Mars. But RHCP have proven to be timeless band, continuing to draw together fans old and young with their unique brand of undeniably catchy, funk-alternative rock. Perhaps supporting such a budding commercial artist shows signs that the band has finally come of age, no longer parading around stage wearing nothing but tube socks and instead settling into their status as seasoned "classic rock stars." After a long and often tumultuous history, the band reunited in 2011 and released an album to lukewarm critical reception and followed with a world tour that included stops at Coachella and Firefly Music Festival. They will be performing at the Barclay's Center the day before the Super Bowl as part of WFAN's Big Hello to Brooklyn concert.
It will be interesting to see how the two very different artists play off of each other onstage. Mars' performances are often equipped with polished vocals and glittery pyrotechnics, while the Chili Peppers opt for more raw energy and musical proficiency. With such a rich history of unusual collaborations, the Chili Peppers will undoubtedly deliver a high-caliber performance in the company of a man born less than a year after they first released their debut album.