Coldplay are headlining the Super Bowl halftime show this year (with a little help from Queen Bey, Beyonce, herself). And that's fine. It's the Super Bowl. Each year. It's the most watched program in American television and nothing's come close since probably the Friends finale. And, so it's not surprising that the Super Bowl books the biggest acts of today and yesterday to play the biggest media frenzy of all time. But what if the Super Bowl decided to get weird? What if it booked the best of the indie world to play the biggest show on earth? Well, don't worry. We decided to imagine those results ourselves. So, here are ten of the best alternative bands that we think should play the super bowl, why, and the three songs we want to be their Super Bowl medley.
Can you just imagine how confused the average Joe watching the Super Bowl with his six pack of Bud Light would be if Sigur Ros burst into something from () and started singing in Hopelandic? That epic confusion alone would be nearly as majestic as whatever transcendent bit of beauty Sigur Ros plucked from the ether to play for their set.
Medley: "Svefn-g-englar," "Untitled 3," and "Staralfur"
Remember when The Suburbs won Best Album at the Grammys and Twitter BLEW UP with people wondering who the f*** Arcade fire were? Now imagine that times about ten as the band bounces back and forth between epic ballads about Eurydice & Orpheus to concept songs about neighborhoods. It would be glorious.
Medley: "It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus)," "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," and "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"
Radiohead are one of the most popular rock bands of all time. I would say that I'm surprised that they've never played the Super Bowl were it not for the fact that the latter half of their discography is deliciously and deliriously avant-garde. People would expect "Creep" or something from The Bends, and then they get deep cuts from Amnesiac. I'd be in heaven.
Medley: "Paranoid Android," "15 Step," and "The National Anthem"
I was front row for Bon Iver at Bonnaroo in 2012. I have no shame in admitting that I was crying pretty much the entire set. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my entire life. Now imagine Justin Vernon and crew having the chance to peddle that gorgeous intensity to a hundred million people?
Medley: "Skinny Love," "Perth," and "Towers"
The Shins are one of the favorite bands for every person in your life who's ever had one too many good cries to the records he loves. And what better way to offset the brutal violence of the NFL than the mildly incomprehensible lyrical musings of James Mercer?
Medley: "Kissing the Lipless," "Phantom Limb," "New Slang"
Considering the rate at which this band continues to get more and more popular, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually did headline the Super Bowl at some point in the future. They've gone from weird psych rock band to one of the biggest alternative pop-rock acts on the planet. What better way to foist them on the rest of the world than the Super Bowl?
Medley: "Apocalypse Dreams," "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards," and "Cause I'm A Man"
If Katy Perry was allowed to come to the Super Bowl with a giant mechanized lion and two sharks that couldn't really dance last year, why not let Grimes show up with her crew? Or just like, bring all of the bros from the "Oblivion" video to totally invert the male gaze at the Super Bowl? I'm down.
Medley: "Flesh Without Blood," "Kill V. Maim," and "Oblivion"
Janelle Monae is one of the most exciting and boundary pushing artists working today. I don't know if you've ever been to a Janelle Monae concert, but they are an experience. She's a performance artist with a striking visual aesthetic, and it would be the perfect match for the extravaganza of the Super Bowl.
Medley: "Primetime" feat. Miguel, "We Are Young" feat. fun., and "Electric Lady" feat. Solange
I'm just imagining Matt Berninger with his goblet of wine that I saw him sipping when I caught them a couple years back as he mumbles his way through the saddest tracks from High Violet and cackling in the office.
Medley: "Abel," "Terrible Love," and "Don't Swallow the Cap"
TV on the Radio
I just want to state for the record that I think TV on the Radio would kill it with a Super Bowl performance. They are known for their raucous live shows, and they're one of the most energetic and manic rock bands of the last decade. If I were on the Carolina Panthers and heard Tunde Adebimpe roaring through "Wolf Like Me," I'd want to destroy every last Denver Bronco on the planet.
Medley: "DLZ," "Dancing Choose," and "Wolf Like Me"