The Secret Meaning Behind Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé's Halftime Performance
For much of the nation, the first two hours of Super Bowl 50 were nothing but pregame. When halftime finally came, it was on.
British rock band Coldplay was booked as the halftime show's top-biller, and they came out on a stage decked in rainbow. At first, the color seemed a nod to the color scheme on Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams album cover or their recent video for "A Hymn for the Weekend," set in Mumbai, India, during the Holi festival of color. However, the band never played that song.
A few choice moments helped put those colors in perspective. During one of the performance's early shots, Chris Martin went up to a member of the crowd waving a pride flag right waving all over Martin's head. Within that moment, the performance's entire meaning changed: Millions of viewers just watched a 12-minute tribute to LGBT love — with an epic Black Lives Matter interlude.
The performance's explosive ending seemed to drive that LGBTQ nod home. After Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars finished their final song, the audience at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, held up placards that spelled out an inspiring message in rainbow: "Believe in Love."
Twitter picked up on it immediately.
Beyoncé carried the political themes forward in her aspect of the performance, with a powerful nod to the Black Lives Matter movement.
She sang "Formation," her Saturday-released black body-positivity anthem, featuring lyrics like "I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros/ I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils."
Her dancers also sported black berets, an iconic piece of the uniform worn by the Black Panthers during the '60s and '70s.
Like so much of the best political critique, Coldplay and Beyoncé's nods were subtle but amounted to one of the most explicitly political halftime performances in recent memory.
Not everyone seemed to appreciate the performance. Immediately following the halftime show, Donald Trump tweeted his disappointment in the Super Bowl by calling it "boring." Twitter users who read the performance's inclusive nods for what they were claimed to understand what he was actually trying to say.
The Super Bowl may be doing more to make America great again than he is.