Extreme Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt Rocks Super Bowl Halftime With Rihanna
Metal at Rihanna's Super Bowl? Well, kinda. Did you catch the pop star's dazzling halftime show during Super Bowl LVII on Sunday (Feb. 12)?
If so, you may have spotted a talented rocker onstage with her. But does the presence of guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, influential lead guitarist of the glam metal act Extreme, appease us rock and metal fans who rally for more guitar music at the NFL spectacle?
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
During Rihanna's 15-minute Super Bowl performance, Bettencourt was most visibly noticeable among her live band for a performance of "Run This Town," a 2009 Jay-Z single that features Rihanna with Kanye West.
When Rihanna was announced as the 2023 halftime performer, many rock and metal fans wondered why it was again overlooked for the big game.
"The NFL plays rock/metal songs when players run out on field, when they show highlights of games, when games start, on commercials involving the NFL," one listener and football fan pointed out on Twitter.
Yet Jay-Z's Roc Nation has produced the halftime show since 2020. In 2022, the hip-hop artist Dr. Dre performed alongside fellow hip-hop stars Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. The year before, the R&B singer The Weeknd performed.
Another fan illustrated at the time, "All you hear in most NFL stadiums during games is hard rock/heavy metal....yet when it comes to the Super Bowl bands like Metallica don't even get a sniff. Why is that?"
Bettencourt previously toured as Rihanna's lead guitarist, appearing on her "Loud Tour" (2010), "Last Girl on Earth" (2010–11), "777 Tour" (2012), "Diamonds World Tour" (2013) and other appearances.
"It's a difficult gig," the guitarist said in 2014. "The hats that you have to wear, feel-wise. … You go from a basic pop song like 'Umbrella' to a reggae song to a club track to even like, a punk song and R&B stuff."
He added, "The amount of different textures and feels, and to have to play along with these incredible musicians who hear everything — it's definitely not a punch-in-the-clock-type situation."
See Rihanna's halftime show below or watch it here. Keep up with rock and metal news by subscribing to Loudwire's newsletter and getting the Loudwire app.