Weekly survey: Which rock act would you pick the for the Super Bowl halftime show?

The NFL wants to have at least 100 million people watching the Pepsi-sponsored halftime show, which is why they’re always looking to book some mass appeal pop act. From a ratings point of view, this makes sense.

For the last ten years, it’s been nothing but pop. J.Lo and Shakira this year. Maroon 5’s dull performance last year. We’ve also had Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, and Bruno Mars (a couple of times!) The last time any rock band was invited to perform was 2014 when the Chili Peppers showed up to play one song (“Give It Away“) with Bruno Mars. And the last pure rock headliner? The Who in 2010.

But let’s say for a second that you were in charge of booking the halftime show and were determined to rock the house. Which of the following would you pick?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

5 thoughts on “Weekly survey: Which rock act would you pick the for the Super Bowl halftime show?

  • January 27, 2020 at 11:18 am
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    I like Slipknot, but they are too extreme, too outside the norm, and quite frankly not popular enough to warrant Superbowl time.

    Pearl Jam are also not quite popular enough for a Superbowl appearance. They just don’t have that mainstream marketability or recognition.

    Foo Fighters are a no brainer. The music is definitely hard rock and edgey, but it’s “safe” enough for a sporting event that will have families in attendance and watching at home. Plus Dave Grohl is one of those rock guys that is in the media’s attention, and does enough cameos that he could attract tons of special guests, which seems to be a pre-requisite for Superbowl appearances. Maybe Chris and Pat would show up to bash out a Nirvana tune.

    Despite the f-bombs at the All Star game, Green Day are a safe bet too. Mainstream knowledge and recognition.

    I’d also throw Metallica into the running.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 11:27 am
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      “ Pearl Jam are also not quite popular enough for a Superbowl appearance. They just don’t have that mainstream marketability or recognition”

      What?!

      Reply
      • February 3, 2020 at 9:41 am
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        unless you’re of a certain age, they’re not a household name. They don’t write catchy singles that would appeal to those who aren’t already fans. i love them, but they’re not a Super Bowl band.

        Reply
    • January 27, 2020 at 10:10 pm
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      I voted Green Day because of those f-bombs. Might make the 1/2 time show more suspenseful than the game.

      Reply
  • January 28, 2020 at 12:31 pm
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    Foo Fighters are just a no brainer they can attract the millions that the NFL is looking for and would probably keep more interested. Pearl Jam has the power and recognition of the older Football guys (ie: the 40 plus crowd) and Green Day would appeal to the 20-30 Something’s.

    Let’s be honest, most people tune in to see the halftime show and then leave. But many, like myself tune out because we cant stand pop. The only one I watched was Bruno because RHCP were going to appear.

    Reply

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