Over 100 million people will tune into the Super Bowl tomorrow. The contest between the Panthers and the Broncos will draw in sports fans, but media fans also pay attention to the Super Bowl for the spectacular halftime show. This year, Coldplay will carry the pressure to deliver a memorable performance.
Artists typically try to build their 12-minute performance around a theme. U2 played “a set that felt proud and dignified, but never maudlin or mawkish” for the post-9/11 world, and last year, Katy Perry showed that nothing is too big or too glamorous for the Super Bowl. Some performers have resorted to offensive tactics to get publicity, like Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004. What will Coldplay’s legacy be?
Coldplay has traditionally well-liked by Christians because of the spiritual questions they bring up in their songs. Their themes of “incompleteness, fixing souls, and leaps of faith” (Christianity Today) relate well to Christians. Chris Martin, the lead singer and songwriter for Coldplay, grew up in an Episcopal family, but turned from this faith as an adult. He remains theistic, but his searching faith does not correspond with any one religion.
Coldplay’s lyrics build on themes that Christians should be thinking about. Can the band carry over these messages to the halftime performance? I look forward to watching tomorrow and finding the beauty in their message and performance. I have no doubts that Coldplay will give us something new to think about during the second half of the game—while we’re not counting touchdowns, of course.