How Come These 10 Rock Artists Have Never Played the Super Bowl?
January 26, 2019
There was a time when rock acts dominated the Super Bowl halftime show. In the past, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Prince have all taken the headlining spot, while ZZ Top, Aerosmith and Sting are just some of the rockers to make cameos alongside other artists. Yes, that’s a formidable list of rock stars, but in recent memory, the event has been a decidedly pop-focused affair. The last rock band to headline the Super Bowl halftime show was Coldplay in 2016, and prior to that was the Who in 2010.
This year, the NFL decided to go with Maroon 5 as its headliner – another pop band with broad national appeal, but whose credibility within the rock world seems to be lacking. Even as rock’s biggest acts continue to sell-out arenas and headline major festivals, the NFL excludes them from the biggest event in sports.
It could be argued that Queen is currently the biggest rock band on Earth. The ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie has given the group new pop-culture life and their appeal stretches across multiple generations. Imagine the surprise guests their Super Bowl halftime show could include. Obviously, longtime collaborator Adam Lambert would start on vocals. From there, a who’s-who of music’s stars would be lined up to participate in the performance. Foo Fighters inducted the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, have recorded with Brian May and Roger Taylor and even joined Queen on stage for a ‘VH1 Rock Honors’ performance, to say nothing of regularly performing “Under Pressure.” The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Metallica’s James Hetfield, and Muse frontman Matt Bellamy have all expressed their dream of performing with Queen. Add them to the list. The collaborations wouldn’t even be limited to rockers. Two of pop’s brightest stars, and former halftime show headliners, have unequivocally declared their Queen fandom. Katy Perry has referred to Freddie Mercury as her ‘biggest influence.’ And picture Lady Gaga joining the band on stage to perform “Radio Gaga” (the inspiration for her name). The mere concept should have the NFL giddy with excitement.