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Enough is enough, and it’s time for a change! As great a job as Jay-Z and his people have done of putting together the Super Bowl Halftime Show – and as great as Usher will no doubt be when he performs on February 11 at Super Bowl LVIII – it’s time to put some rock and roll back into the mix.
It seems like we are not the only ones who want this, unfortunately, Tool did not make our list.
— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) January 18, 2024
And no, we’re not recommending another show from Paul McCartney or The Rolling Stones. And as much as I would personally love to see a band like Yard Act get the nod, we’re going to stick with established stadium acts for our Top 5 list of the top musicians we’d like to see perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Just imagine some of the props we could at the top offshore sportsbooks with the following acts!
5. Living Colour
Thanks in no small part to CM Punk, Living Colour is still part of the musical zeitgeist – specifically their first hit single, “Cult of Personality.” Punk brought the band out at Wrestlemania 29, live at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, to play his theme song in front of 80,000 screaming fans, and they nailed it.
This is anything but a one-hit wonder, though. That first album, Vivid, generated five singles including their official first release, “Middle Man,” which absolutely slaps. Time’s Up was less successful, but it did win the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, and it does feature one of Living Colour’s top tunes in “Elvis Is Dead.” If only Little Richard were still around to make a guest appearance.
Either of these acts could headline on their own, but they work so well together, we’re cramming them into one show. Bjork and Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke covered “I’ve Seen It All” for the Dancer in the Dark soundtrack – and of course, they were on the same episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Would red-blooded football fans buy it? Maybe not, but Bjork has the bona fides for the job, having performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. And Radiohead played Super Bowl-sized crowds at Glastonbury and Bonnaroo, among other festivals. Make it happen, Mr. Goodell.
3. The White Stripes
If the Bjork-Yorke Regime is a bridge too far for the NFL, surely they’d love to get Jack White and Meg White back on stage – especially when they finally bring the Big Game back to Ford Field in Detroit. Every stadium, arena or local sandlot you visit these days, you’re going to hear the refrain from “Seven Nation Army,” so why not make it happen at the Super Bowl?
On a related note, it would have been tempting to put Arcade Fire on this list, after “Wake Up” became its own stadium anthem, but Win Butler’s 2022 sexual misconduct allegations took the wind out of the band’s sails. No such problems yet for Jack White, and while Meg White officially retired from performing in 2011, a one-off return like the Halftime Show seems within the realm of possibility.
2. Rage Against The Machine
They won’t let it happen. And in case you don’t know why, Rage Against The Machine has this one song in particular, Killing in the Name, where they drop enough F-bombs to flatten a small village. Oh, they also burned the American flag while performing this song at Woodstock ‘99. Problematic.
But if they did let RATM play? It would instantly be the best Super Bowl Halftime Show ever. And there are so many other great songs they could put on their setlist, including Grammy winner “Guerrilla Radio” and nominees “Bulls on Parade,” “People of the Sun,” “No Shelter” and their cover of “Renegades of Funk.” Where we’re goin’, there ain’t no stoppin’.
1. Neil Young
The end boss has arrived. There is no better possible Super Bowl Halftime Show; Neil Young has been rocking out for over 60 years now, but his music is still big enough to fill any stadium – and big enough that we’re going to pass on making this a Neil Young/Pearl Jam Halftime Show, as awesome as that would be.
Young has so many songs he could play at the Super Bowl that it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what should be on the setlist, but personally, I would love to see “Computer Age” performed at the Halftime Show. You probably have to do “Rockin’ in the Free World” as well to make everyone happy, which is fine. And depending on the weather, “Like a Hurricane” could be one of those perfect Super Bowl moments, except Young eventually has to stop playing so they can start the second half.