Mere moments after Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars descended from the Super Bowl halftime stage Sunday evening, thousands of quick-on-the-click pundits unanimously and understandably applauded Beyoncé’s powerful performance. Indeed, Jay Z’s paramour rocked Levi’s Stadium a helluva lot harder than most halftime performers ever have, and the live debut of her culturally charged, politically poignant new single “Formation” was bold, brave, and inspired. Though not as effusively lauded as Beyoncé’s performance, Bruno Mars also received plenty of kudos for his energized stage show.
And then the media commentary and social chatter took a lamentable turn toward the shallow and ugly.
In an epic display of viral bandwagon jumping, many—though admittedly, not all—of the same self-proclaimed critics who extolled Beyoncé’s thrilling theatrics proceeded to unapologetically rip the headliners’ performance to shreds. The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica described Coldplay as “the void at the center of a riot of exuberance” and “the center of the show [that] functioned more as a stagehand than an actual performer.”
Kelly Dunlap of Buzzfeed shared an over-generalized, gif-heavy “article” entitled “Beyoncé And Bruno Mars Completely Upstaged Coldplay At The Super Bowl Halftime Show,” with a sub-headline (“Chris Martin who?”) that naively discounts Coldplay’s remarkably successful 15-plus year career.
Beyond the ruthless rants of the more well-known media outlets, here’s a sampling of what Tweet-happy Super Bowl viewers felt compelled to share.
Upon reading through much of the vitriol directed Coldplay’s way, it very quickly becomes apparent that these outspoken critics suffer from a contagious case of ignorance-fueled myopia. Granted, it’s perfectly justified to voice an opinion about what you did or did not enjoy about the performance. But those who have condemned Coldplay’s halftime gig—and Coldplay altogether—seem to have overlooked a few realities, which we’ve outlined below.
 Just as a quick refresher, Coldplay is one of the most commercially successful, critically acclaimed, and widely beloved bands of the 21st century. As evidenced by their recently released, chart-topping album A Head Full of Dreams, they’re still as popular and relevant as ever.
 With neither choreography nor flashy costumes, Chris Martin—and by extension, his bandmates—is a fundamentally different kind of performer than Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Moreover, Coldplay’s soaring, sentimental rock-pop anthems and ballads represent a totally different style of music than Beyoncé and Bruno Mars’ dancefloor-friendly, hybrid pop imbued with soul, funk, and hip-hop flourishes. Therefore, applying the same criteria to evaluate their performances relative to one another is foolish and unfair, akin to, if you’ll pardon the cliché, comparing apples to pears to oranges.
 All three acts should be commended for sharing the same stage so gracefully and respectfully, despite their obvious differences. Contrary to some doubters, the Super Bowl stage was plenty big enough for all three acts to do what they each do best.
 When the always-dynamic Beyoncé signed up for the Super Bowl slot, did anyone actually think that she wouldn’t steal the show? Remind me why anyone is surprised by this?
 The halftime show that the Albumism team watched was all about EMPOWERMENT, LOVE and FUN, in its various forms. The negativity that has ensued since—including the absurd criticisms of Beyoncé’s performance like this one and the asinine uproar over the event's color scheme—undermines the original intent and spirit of the event. Sigh.