Enlarge Could Metallica play the nation's biggest stage in the coming years?

Will a Metal Band Ever Get to Play the Super Bowl Halftime Show?


No metal band has ever played during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. When Maroon 5 headlined the 2018 halftime show, it caused an uproar among many metal fans who tweeted the NFL, asking when they would book “some real music,” one suggesting the novel idea that Metallica could arrange to broadcast a concert on another TV network at the same time as the halftime show.

The next Super Bowl will take place on February 2, 2020, in Miami, and though there’s a long way to go before the big game, Oddschecker currently shows several teams in contention for the ultimate victory. It is also not yet known who will perform during the halftime show, but if we use history as a guide, it’s almost certain that it isn’t going to be a metal band.

What about Metallica?

It’s been rumored that Metallica were a consideration for the halftime show several times in recent years, especially after they played in San Francisco the night before the Super Bowl in 2016, albeit in a baseball stadium. The band’s frontman, James Hetfield, later commented that he thinks the right time for the band to play the show has now probably passed and that Metallica doesn’t match the image of typical halftime show performers. He stressed that the band’s strengths were in their music playing rather than the “variety show” acts, requiring dancing, jumping around and acrobatics that recent Super Bowl performances have featured.

Will a metal act ever play?

Will a Metal Band Ever Get to Play the Super Bowl Halftime Show?
Photo by Mr Jubelgutta / CC BY-SA 3.0

While not metal, several rock artists and bands, including ZZ Top and Aerosmith, have played at the Super Bowl, successfully bridging the gap between the types of performances Hetfield discussed and the typical performances from rock bands and artists.

However, it is unlikely metal bands will perform at the Super Bowl any time soon, as the purpose of these performances is to create an attraction to the event beyond the sport, linking it to pop culture. Since metal is not a part of pop culture at present, it is unlikely to add enough value for the NFL and, therefore, decreasing the chances of metal bands playing the event. There is, of course, a lot of demand among metal fans, with over 64,000 of them signing a petition to get the NFL to give Metallica the chance to headline the Super Bowl halftime show. While this is a lot of people, it probably isn’t going to be enough to sway the NFL, and the status quo will continue for the foreseeable future.

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