A halftime appearance by London-based Coldplay might have made more sense on any other Sunday. But Super Bowl 50 will be held this week in the San Francisco area – offering a now-missed opportunity for the NFL to recognize the area's sweeping contributions to rock music.
Each of the five bands that should be performing at Super Bowl 50 instead of Coldplay hail from the immediate surroundings of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., new home of the San Francisco 49ers.
Any wish list is bound to be incomplete. For instance, some of the Bay Area's leading lights (including Jerry Garcia, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and San Francisco transplant Janis Joplin) have sadly passed. Others -- like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Blue Cheer -- have long since fallen apart. But a number of the region's most storied acts, including a recently reunited Santana and soon-to-be-Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steve Miller, would have made timely choices. Metallica, legends of the next generation, were thrown a bone with a pre-game slot, but that's hardly the same thing. In other words, we think these five bands should be performing at the Super Bowl instead of Coldplay.
A major whiff, as the classic-era edition of this band gathers for its first new album of new material since the early '70s. Santana remain the personification of San Francisco cool, and there's a renewed buzz surrounding the group, now that Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon and the rest are back in the fold.
The San Francisco-bred Metallica are finally back in the studio, working on a long-awaited new album. Meantime, they're old pros at adding a tough rock edge to professional sporting events – and it will save the public address announcer at least one of those inevitable spins of "Enter Sandman."
Journey, who started when Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie split from Santana to form their own group, will be sharing stages with their old band this summer. Like Metallica, they're old hands at being part of huge sporting events. And who knows? Maybe former lead singer Steve Perry would show up to lead a sing along in the stands. It's happened before.
The Doobie Brothers got their start at the Chateau Liberte in the Santa Cruz mountains and, since regrouping with the Toulouse Street/Captain and Me lineup in the late '80s, they've recaptured all of the energy and passion that initially propelled them to boogie-rocking fame in that pre-Michael McDonald era.
The often-overlooked Miller, a Wisconsin native who founded his namesake band in the Bay Area, eventually became a huge star – but only after a switch from the area's favored psychedelia toward rock. More recently,the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally decided to take notice. An appearance by Miller at Super Bowl 50 would have been the perfect warm-up for his induction later this year.