"We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world's biggest stage," Maroon 5's post-Super Bowl performance note read in part
Alongside a heartfelt message on the band’s Instagram account Sunday evening — presumably written by frontman Adam Levine, who shared the post on his personal account as well — they posted photos of lanterns in the sky above the stage that spelled out “ONE” and “LOVE.”
“When we accepted the responsibility to perform at the SBHTS, I took out my pen and just wrote,” the caption began. “Some of the words that came to me in that moment eventually made their way onto the incredible lanterns that flew high and low tonight.”
“We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world’s biggest stage. We thank our fans for making our dreams possible,” the message continued, noting, “And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better. One Love. ❤️”
The band opened the show Sunday evening with a throwback from their first album, “Harder to Breathe,” as red sparklers erupted around the stadium and the crowd went wild. Next, Levine threw off his jacket revealing a black button-down with a red racing stripe and continued the nostalgia with “This Love.”
Maroon 5 threw it back once again with “She Will Be Loved” as the crowd looked on and released paper lanterns into the sky to spell out “One Love.” Eventually, Levine ditched his shirt altogether, during “Moves Like Jagger.”
The show — which Levine and his band put on alongside Travis Scott and Atlanta native Big Boi — earned the musical acts mixed reviews. Many viewers were underwhelmed by the performances, sharing their opinions on Twitter, while others thought Levine and his bandmates brought their best.
One fan suggested incorporating more of the local talent, as Levine singing with gospel choir Voice of Atlanta was certainly a highlight, while another drew similarities between the game and the halftime show, calling them both “the most boring” ever. (The New England Patriots secured their sixth Super Bowl win, besting the L.A. Rams 13 to 3.)
Fans also flocked to social media on Sunday to question why Levine, 39, was able to purposely remove his shirt during the Halftime Show, while Janet Jackson was criticized for her infamous wardrobe malfunction during her 2004 Super Bowl set with Justin Timberlake.
“So Adam Levine can perform shirtless but Janet Jackson can’t? This is so very wrong haha,” wrote one user on Twitter. The sentiment was shared by many others.
This was Maroon 5’s first-ever Super Bowl performance. Last year’s event featured Timberlake, while 2017 was Lady Gaga‘s time to shine. Other big names that have taken the stage in recent years include Beyoncé, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz.