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Bruno Mars, RHCP give Super performance

Bruno Mars produces a hi-energy halftime performance but a classic the Red Hot Chili Peppers appearance knocks it out of the park

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Bruno Mars may have been the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show headliner, but he was well and truly swamped by a scorching Red Hot Chili Peppers performance, which saw veteran rock-funk act make the most of their one song.

Mars, a hugely popular act in the US (and the most illegally downloaded artist of 2013), opened the show in fine style; showing off considerable prowess on a drum kit.

He then performed his recent hits Locked Out of Heaven and Treasure, delivered with energetic James Brown-esque choreographed dance moves from Mars and his band, all wearing gold lame suit jackets. A dazzling golden backdrop added to the huge sense of occasion; the Super Bowl halftime show is watched by more than 100 million people and 30 second advertisements during the break cost advertisers an estimated $US4 million ($4.57m), making it the world's costliest slot.

Overshadowed? Bruno Mars (L) and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Overshadowed? Bruno Mars (L) and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform during the Super Bowl halftime show. Photo: Getty Images

Half way through Mars' third song, the Chili Peppers bounced on stage and noticeably lifted energy levels with a barnstorming version of their 1991 song Give It Away in the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Bruno and his band remained on stage to accompany the LA band, rocking out as best they could. But it was hard to be noticed while Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis and bass guitarist Flea, both bare-chested despite the 5 degree celsius evening in New Jersey, were pogoing across the stage.

Mars delivered the final song solo and no doubt determined to stamp his authority on procedings, delivered a huge version of his 2010 worldwide smash hit, Just The Way You Are, accompanied by a fireworks spectacular that would have made Sydney proud.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars perform during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game. Click for more photos

NFL Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show

The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars perform during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game. Photo: AP

  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars perform during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • Bruno Mars performs during the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show at MetLife Stadium in  New Jersey.
  • Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform during the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show at MetLife Stadium.
  • Soprano Renee Fleming sings the US National Anthem prior to the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game.
  • Queen Latifah performs during the Super Bowl XLVIII pregame show in New Jersey.

Mars' performance was near flawless, but the lift in crowd noise when the Chili Peppers played told a story: on this occasion spontaneous rock dynamism trumped slick soul pop.

Early feedback for the halftime double act on social media was effusive, with many labeling it the best Superbowl halftime show in 20 years. How quickly we forget Beyonce's spectacular reunion with Destiny's Child last year, which netted the biggest ever Superbowl television audience with 115 million. This year's audience figure has not yet been released.