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Coldplay headlining halftime of Super Bowl 50; here's why that's a good thing






My all-time favorite band is Radiohead. I’ve loved them harder and longer than pretty much any band from my lifetime, and will always be intensely interested in whatever they’re cooking up next.

But right now, at this very second? Who’s my favorite band releasing new music at this specific moment in time? If I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit it’s probably Coldplay.

I say that almost like it’s a bad thing, like there’s something so terrible about enjoying an incredibly smart and talented rock band that effortlessly crafts soaring, culture-bridging anthems and puts on one of the most dazzlingly ambitious live rock shows on earth.

But you almost have to do that with Coldplay, a.k.a. Radiohead Lite. On Friday, as they release their new album A Head Full of Dreams, the world is dealing, often snarkily, with the fact that Coldplay will headline halftime of Super Bowl 50 in February.

You had to know this was coming, if not this year then someday down the line. We’re simply running out of classic rockers and pop stars big, respected and relevant enough to headline halftime of the Super Bowl. Coldplay is the biggest rock band of this century. They had to be near the top of the NFL’s wish list.

People may moan and groan about the prospect of Chris Martin bringing down everyone’s party with a sad-sack rendition of The Scientist, Fix You, Magic or Yellow. (Please, Chris, whatever you do, don’t trot out Midnight for this one.)

But the truth is few rock bands of Coldplay’s stature have so openly embraced euphoria at this stage of their careers. Indeed, they seem to be getting more in tune with happiness with each passing album: The gargantuan sing-along that is Viva La Vida; the kaleidoscopic molly rushes of Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall and Charlie Brown; the EDM ecstasy of A Sky Full of Stars; the Madchester disco-funk of new single Adventure Of a Lifetime. If this is the vibe Coldplay sticks with for the halftime show, it’s gonna be electric.

So let the world moan that Coldplay is headlining Sad Bowl L in Santa Clara. I’m not moaning. One of my favorite bands just got booked for the most prestigious gigs in all of music, and I’m convinced it’s gonna be great.

Now, let’s get a petition to get Radiohead booked for Super Bowl LI in Houston. Who’s with me?

-- Jay Cridlin

[Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2015 11:47pm]


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