Considering Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are headlining Super Bowl XLII's halftime show, we couldn't help wondering which other acts would deserve the chance to play to one of the year's biggest crowds. Of course, then we also got to wondering about what rare musical matchups the event could motivate, especially after great pairings such as Aerosmith and Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (which, okay, ended poorly). Here's what we came up with.
Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Hank Jr.
Call this the working-class-hero category. It's hard to believe Bon Jovi hasn't taken the stage at halftime yet. And, as the show's organizers increasingly turn to legends of rock like the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, the Boss's absence is shaping up into an embarrassing mystery. Throw Hank "Are you ready for some football?!" Williams Jr. into the mix, and this Super Bowl halftime show would surely go down in history as one of the best.
Super Bowl XLII musical matchups
Super Bowl XLII airs Sunday, February 3, locally on WSVN-TV Channel 7. Official pregame coverage begins at 2 p.m., and the game starts at 6.
AC/DC, Van Halen, and Foo Fighters
Three generations of guitar rock on one stage. Fans would be cheering over the collective guitar solos from as far away as Long Island.
My Chemical Romance, Queen, and Robbie Williams
My Chemical Romance might seem an odd choice for a headliner, but it takes the top slot because Freddie Mercury is dead and Queen is consequently without a permanent frontman. That's where Robbie Williams, one of the few singers in the world who can perform with the gravitas of Mercury, comes in. Pair the Williams-fronted Queen with Queen-style arena rockers, My Chem, and you have a fireworks-filled extravaganza that people will be watching from all corners of the globe.
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Madonna, Alice Cooper, and Eminem
These three monsters of shock all hail from Detroit. They might not match on paper, but spiritually Madonna, Cooper, and Slim Shady are next of kin.
Tina Turner, Fall Out Boy, and Jay-Z
Tina Turner is arguably the greatest female stage rocker in history. The members of Fall Out Boy have transformed themselves from oft-dismissed emo rockers into arena rock gods with a passion for Turner-size choruses. Toss in Jay-Z, one of the best hip-hop artists of his generation, and maybe you'd get Turner dueting with Patrick Stump on a Fall Out Boy cover of "What's Love Got to Do with It," capped by an original third verse in which Jay serenades the influential diva with some freestyle. We'd pay good money to see that.