A chorus of children singing Mars's collaboration with "Billionaire" — harping on "The world better prepare" led into Mars hitting the skins in a gold blazer as an intro to "Locked Out of Heaven." His relatively thin voice was partially drowned out by the music behind him, but Mars and his band — also in shiny gold blazers and clean suits — bounced around on stage in front of a live crowd, and the uptempo number went over well.
From there, Mars segued into a verse and a hook of "Treasure," played before gold lights, and then brought down the house by transitioning from his "Runaway Baby" to a bit of The Isley Brothers' version of "Shout" that featured fantastic James Brown-style footwork. And after bringing the lights down low, Mars gave way to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The Peppers began and ended with "Give It Away," with both Anthony Kiedis and Flea playing shirtless to the thousands in MetLife Stadium. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer — who replaced longtime member John Frusciante after the latter's departure in 2008 — blazed the song's iconic solo, whipping his ax around.
Kiedis thanked the audience and departed with the song's close, though, and Fox aired a montage of military members dedicating Mars's "Just The Way You Are" to loved ones. Mars performed the song standing on a small stage removed from his main one, with graphics overlaying the fireworks happening outside the stadium on his face.
Mars's performance didn't quite rival Beyoncé's incredible 2013 Super Bowl halftime show, but it likely more than lived up to what the NFL expected of him: Rollicking, relatively wholesome — Bruno and his band got in some hip thrusts to the camera during the "Your sex takes me to paradise" line in "Heaven" — entertainment that is unlikely to have done anything more or less than thoroughly entertained most of the many millions of viewers watching.
2014 Super Bowl Halftime Show Setlist
- "Billionaire" (snippet) — Mars
- "Locked Out of Heaven" — Mars
- "Treasure" — Mars
- "Runaway Baby"/"Shout" — Mars
- "Give It Away" — Red Hot Chili Peppers
- "Just The Way You Are" — Mars