The Super Bowl is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many involved, including the musicians featured in the halftime show. Equinox Percussion indoor drumline and the Georgia State University Marching Band shared the spotlight with artists Maroon 5, Big Boi, and Travis Scott on Feb. 3, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show.
In uniform and with instruments, Equinox members “had to climb up on the stage in the dark” to perform a movement of “Girls Like You,” says Jake Lyons, Equinox’s executive director.
Equinox had full creative control over its own choreography for the approximately 90 seconds of airtime. “We’re lucky enough to have a drumline full of drumline teachers,” so performers, staff, and alumni could all pitch ideas, Lyons says. “There was no single person who was responsible for it all.”
For the Georgia State band, the performance was farther from its usual fare. Students each had two LED tiles attached to them and worked together to be part of the show’s lighting design, explains T. Devin Reid, assistant director of bands.
The students had to do precision drill with choreography using these remote-controlled panels, adds Dr. Chester B. Phillips, director of athletic bands and associate director of bands. Phillips says that this different type of experience is valuable. “We have really transcended to be versatile … to [be] a different element of a production that didn’t make us feel isolated only to marching and playing,” he says.