I am a 17 year old student attending Roxbury High School and about two months ago the marching band was called to a secret meeting in our auditorium where we had to put our phones on the stage so we could not contact anyone outside of the auditorium. That was so no one could leak the word out of us performing in the Super Bowl half time show. We all signed confidentiality agreements saying we could not tell anyone that we were in the super bowl or anything about it. We had 6 rehearsals to learn the entire show 2 weeks prior to the event. 2 of which were at an armory and 4 at MetLife Stadium. We were called the LED Cast and our task was to march around the field with the LED panels that would light up accordingly with the show. We weren't allowed to keep the panels but they let us keep the uniforms. We weren't allowed to tell anyone we were performing until this NY Post article was released: http://nypost.com/2014/01/30/bruno-mars-halftime-setup-will-be-first-of-its-kind/ However, we weren't allowed to tell any details about the show's content. A few of my friends (/u/ExperienceOrb and /u/thecupquake) and I would love to share this experience with you so please AMA!

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/01Xqu

Comments: 275 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

DellFargus178 karma

What was it like being on the field longer than Peyton Manning was?

Sopko74 karma

Well we were on the field for about 10 minutes and it was awesome!

brunub64 karma

Was Anthony Keidis' mustache as terrifying in real life?

Sopko91 karma

I wasn't very close to him but it scared me how old he was. I forgot how long the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been around.

brunub31 karma

Since long before you were alive. Did you have any access to any of the stars like RHCP or Bruno Mars? Or were you just carted out to perform?

Sopko47 karma

I ran into Bruno's band on the way to the wardrobe on Friday and got some high five's and hand shakes. Queen Latifa drove by in a golf cart while we were waiting to go out yesterday. Got to do a little group interaction with Bruno Mars' brother (i think...) he was doing the drum solo just for camera angles because I don't think Bruno was there yet. The coolest was Wednesday Bruno did "Just the Way You Are" with us on the sideline and we all cheered and he waved to us and wanted to say something to us but his mic was turned off.

ExperienceOrb25 karma

Before the performance we stayed at a nearby AMC for about 5 hours, then got a police escort to the stadium at the start of the game. We waited in the tunnel, ran on to the field and then basically left right away. So no, we didn't unfortunately.

Sopko18 karma

Yes he was there with me!

BillTNJ52 karma

That's a great story! I do have one question. When RHCP started playing, it almost looked like the band members from Bruno Mars' band were playing air guitar to RHCP. How did it look from on the field?

Sopko143 karma

Most of the show except for the vocals and some of the RHCP Drums were prerecorded so everyone was kinda faking it.

nsconde4 karma

What about when Bruno played the drums? It seemed like he nailed every note.

Sopko19 karma

That was prerecorded. It was an easy solo.

[deleted]1 karma


Sopko3 karma

I am positive that it was prerecorded because we all stood near the drum set while someone played it and it is muted. I don't think the set was miced either

TheNSAKnowsMyPasswrd3 karma

Was Bruno Mars singing live or was that also pre-recorded?

Sopko23 karma

He was singing live

ExperienceOrb36 karma

The music was all recorded prior to the show. We used it to rehearse and it played in radios we had in. So it's likely that the only live part was Bruno and Anthony Keidis singing, and probably Bruno's drum solo. The other instrumentals could have been from the pre-recording.

Sopko65 karma

Bruno's Drum solo was prerecorded.

jisip32 karma

No way. Really?

Sopko58 karma

Ya we were able to get up close with the drum kit on Friday and Bruno's brother/cousin was just messing around on it a d the entire set is detuned and muted.

standingintheshadows32 karma

Is Bruno Mars as tiny as he seems? I always want to put him in my pocket. You guys did a great job btw!!

Sopko58 karma

Thanks a lot! Yes he was the shortest on stage but the camera angles and his short band members made look like he was an average height. If you noticed Anthony Keidis was kinda bent over when he was singing with Bruno because he was taller than him and they both needed to fit in the shot.

tidrion24 karma

I can honestly say, I've never been so jealous of three members of a high school marching band in my life. My wife and I agreed that the best thing at the Super Bowl this year was the halftime show. Ads sucked and the game sucked. The three of you helped save one of the most popular American sporting events from utter failure. Great job, you should all be very proud.

Sopko15 karma

Thanks that really means a lot to us!

toucansam2920 karma

What did you guys do after the halftime show?

Sopko51 karma

We got on the bus and went home which kinda stinks because because I wanted to see the game.

[deleted]14 karma

Wow, that seems awesome. What an experience, huge stadium, huge event, fireworks were there?

My questions: 1. How big is the Superbowl in America? 2. Were you allowed to interact with players? 3. Were you nervous?

Sopko34 karma

  1. The Super Bowl is the most watched event in America.
  2. Unfortunately we we didn't get to interact with a single football player.
  3. No one was nervous because the show was very easy and we were all very excited. It was honestly the great experience in my entire life.

Fugitiveofkarma4 karma

Most watched?

Would it even be bigger than say a presidential debate? In the years of elections obviously...

Sopko50 karma

People care more about football than politics here in America believe it or not.

KaBoom75211 karma

How hard was it to keep it all a secret? Did you ever tell someone or even come close?

Sopko30 karma

It was really hard haha. Can you imagine you are going to perform in the super bowl half time show wuth Bruno and RHCP and you can't tell anyone. I told my best friend because we are in a band together and we are trying to get this new song out asap and these rehearsals got in the way of that. The one person I should have told was my boss because he almost fired me for taking 2 weeks off and not working super bowl sunday.

Benji09046 karma

What did your boss say when you finally told him?

Sopko24 karma

I called him up after the NY post article was published and he greeted me with "Hello Mr. Famous!" He was happy for me and gave me extra days off because he said I needed to focus on this once in a lifetime opportunity. My job was saved.

okletstryanother4 karma


Sopko11 karma

Its a small pizzeria in my town. He usually relies on me for big days like that so he was a little mad when he saw i took all of those days off.

okletstryanother5 karma

Mind dropping a link to your music? Always on the lookout for young talent :) thanks

Sopko19 karma

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY5QJT0M0BQ This is our best thing so far. We got another coming out this month. :)

okletstryanother5 karma


Sopko5 karma

We hyped this one for a little while. It was in the news paper and we got business cards but then we shifted our focus to our next song. We have been working on it for a year to get it perfect and we are getting it as close as possible.

Layman962 karma

Just listened to the whole thing and that was way better then I expected. I subscribed and I will be waiting for more. Nice job!

Sopko3 karma

Thanks a lot man I really like you music too!

Layman963 karma

...you lost me. My music?

Sopko3 karma

Sorry i thought you were someone else! Thank you anyway!

nosaJ42973 karma

You said you're 17, right? What about your parents? Did they know?

Sopko2 karma

Both of my parents knew but my sister didn't

trollinwithdagnomies10 karma

How many people are in the marching band and do you know how you were chosen?

Sopko19 karma

I think there are 95 kids in our marching band and 90 of us were chosen to march the other 5 were sent to be in front of the stage. There were 420 total kids marching on the field.

trollinwithdagnomies5 karma

So did they just pick the 5 closest high school marching bands to the stadium?

Sopko16 karma

They picked the best marching bands in the area. Roxbury went undefeated locally this year.

attack_monkey1 karma

How about BRHS?

Sopko7 karma

Bridgewater-Raritan? They have always been a good marching band in my opinion! They did very well at Towson, Maryland this year. Beat us by a few points.

attack_monkey1 karma

Oh I was wondering if you knew which other high school marching bands performed

Sopko3 karma

5 bands performed at the Super Bowl XLVIII Half Time show: Roxbury High School, Morris Knolls High School, Nutley High School, South Brunswick High School, and Bergenfield High School.

ludvista291 karma

And Sparta High School

Sopko4 karma

Sparta might have been cast as fans in front of the stage. They were not members of the LED cast.

Epicequestrian9 karma

Did you get to meet Bruno?

Sopko11 karma

No but I really wanted to

maxfoo27 karma

What instrument do you play outside of this show?

Sopko16 karma

I was the section leader of the pit so I actually never marched before this and thank god my friends helped me every step of the way. This was my last year of marching band so I am thankful for such a great payoff in the end!

okletstryanother7 karma


Sopko10 karma

County College of Morris. I originally wanted to go to a big school because I could but none of them had Audio Engineering major and I looked at the facts about the graduating class this year so its the right place for me.

TnT3261 karma

Are you planning on attending another school after CCM? Also do you go to the Rockaway mall over Ledgewood?

Sopko1 karma

Ya but I don't know know where I'm going yet. Haha rockaway mall!

Kressious6 karma

Keep whatever they let you take home. It'll be a good memory one day.

I was in the 2000 half time show in Atlanta and sounds like a similar experience to you guys.

I was able to keep the drum I used and still have great memories with friends from the rehearsals and show. I wish I kept better track of the letter they sent me afterward.

Do you have any friends who didn't want to be in the halftime show, but regret it now?

Sopko7 karma

No but i have a few friends that were in Marching band last year and didn't want to do it this year. They immediately regretted that decision.

musicmerchkid3 karma

I graduated from Roxbury in'06 abd played trombone in the marching band. Did Mr. Nichols break the news to you guys? Where you disappointed not to get more screen time? I played a festival at grants stadium and it was such a thrill to play nj front of those empty seats, I can imagine the thrill with all the people.

Sopko4 karma

Mr. Nichols broke the news to us. I wasn't really disappointed that we didn't get a lot of TV time because people who payed to see the super bowl saw us and a lot of important people saw us. I have never been so energized in my entire life, it was the greatest feeling in the world! This was a marching band competition that we win no matter what that's why we weren't nervous. This was the payoff after a great season and I am so thankful!

randomman02x3 karma

What parts of the show where pre-recorded and what wasn't?

Sopko4 karma

Everything but Bruno Mar's vocals and RHCP vocals and I think the drums. We had little radios that broadcasted the prerecorded track so we could keep time.

10randhawa2 karma

Who do your prefer Bruno Mars or RHCP?

Sopko5 karma

Even though I don't listen to modern music I prefer Bruno Mars. I used to be a RHCP fan but they never stuck with me.

Walking_anarchy2 karma

Is your band director Mr. Nichols?

Sopko3 karma


IRapeBoys2 karma

Did you get paid?

Sopko7 karma

No but it didn't cost me a cent to do this

jorienevans2 karma

Why wasn't flea's bass plugged into anything

Sopko10 karma

Everything but vocals were prerecorded

doctordabbie2 karma

What was the atmosphere like as a 17 year old? Were there different amenities as a performer, or was it on a volunteer basis? Either way, way to go. Will you continue wanting to play in front of that many people as a performer?

Sopko3 karma

As a 17 year old this is was an absolutely amazing and almost surreal experience. As already being a performer this was a dream come true! I want to perform in front of many people for the rest of my life in the rock band setting! I am in a band now and we are kicking into high gear soon with the release of our new song and I hope to go big with them. After this experience I learned that anything is possible!

swag_0D1 karma

were the peppers really plugged in and playing live?

Sopko2 karma

No read* the comments

[deleted]1 karma


Sopko2 karma


hlouuu1 karma

Can you share a picture of your costume?

Sopko2 karma

It's in the album above