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November 27, 2014

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Photos: Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers rock Super Bowl 48 Halftime Show

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Matt York / Associated Press

The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars, far right, perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are playing in the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.

Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show With Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Launch slideshow »

Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, today’s Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show headliners, have interesting and coincidental ties to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and New Year’s Eve.

Mars, who has an extended run at the new music venue the Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan, rang in the New Year at the Cosmopolitan on Dec. 31, while Anthony Kiedis and his boys were at the nearby Chelsea Ballroom in the Cosmopolitan exactly one year before Mars to ring in 2013.

On this day, however, the two music stars shared the Super Bowl 48 spotlight at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in the always-buzzed-about show that was headlined by Mrs. Carter, Beyonce, last year and recent Miley Cyrus duet partner Madonna in 2012.

The Pepsi Super Bowl 48 Halftime Show, “the concert of the year,” the announcer intones, begins at 5:08 p.m. PT. A multicultural children’s choir sings a line from Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” which features Mars, with American flag imagery behind them.

Then Mars appears in a gold tuxedo jacket, a white dress shirt, a black skinny tie and black slacks and starts off by playing the drums. Really well. His band, the Hooligans, is in matching outfits, and they kick off the party with “Locked Out of Heaven” and their signature choreography.

Next up is a shortened “Treasure.” There are a lot of lights and some pyrotechnics. Then the high-energy “Runaway Baby” with great dance moves and the splits from Mars, but his pants fortunately do not split. There will be no wardrobe malfunction this night in New Jersey.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers join Mars and the Hooligans with “Give It Away” (give it away, give it away, give it away now!), with shirtless, tattooed and still-fit 51-year-old frontman Anthony Kiedis wearing black shorts and weird patterned tights. There is impressive jumping and singing and playing by everyone in unison onstage.

In a video, U.S. military members make dedications to their loved ones as an introduction to Mars’ No. 1 smash “Just the Way You Are,” with fireworks galore. (Somebody might be getting a little choked up here.) Mars is standing alone in the center of MetLife Stadium. It’s a stunning way to end the 14-minute show.

While there were no surprises, Mars yet again shows why he is one of the best live performers in music today; he — and the Red Hot Chili Peppers — brought their A-game to the Super Bowl.

Before Super Bowl 48, soprano Renee Fleming performed an operatic — and splendid — version of the national anthem. The opera superstar will be at Smith Center for the Performing Arts on May 1.

In nonmusic Super Bowl news, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are playing Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the Big Game, with the Seahawks leading 22-0 at halftime.

Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

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