It's hard to recall sometimes, but at one point classic rock artists were the norm during halftime at the Super Bowl. The above gallery of bands that should perform at Super Bowl 51 instead of Lady Gaga makes the case for returning to that golden era.

Of course, a parade of pop stars – ranging from Gloria Estefan and New Kids on the Block to Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera – had dominated the halftime agenda prior to the 2000s. Even when they added ZZ Top in 1997, it was part of a revue-style, multi-artist performance. But things began to change with U2's memorable appearance in 2002, and then emerged as a full-fledged trend following Janet Jackson's infamous 2004 wardrobe malfunction.

Suddenly gone were shows featuring the likes of Diana Ross and Enrique Iglesias while digging into another round of chips and salsa. Classic rock would be featured during five of the next six Super Bowls, as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen performed before a lightly regarded turn by the Who ended things in 2010.

Organizers have returned to pop since then, ignoring a key opportunity with last year's edition in which they could have taken advantage of the setting at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., to showcase some of rock's great San Francisco bands. Super Bowl 51's featured performance by Lady Gaga is no different – though we'd like to note that we are not anti-Gaga, only pro-classic rock.

So, who might make a better choice to perform at the big game? Click through to read more about the seven acts that should perform at Super Bowl 51 instead of Lady Gaga.

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