Ga-ga, oh la la. Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show did not disappoint, unfurling appropriately enough after a startling first half that saw the Atlanta Falcons besting the New England Patriots 21-0, and that was hardly the only big surprise Super Bowl LI had up its (very, very sequined) sleeves.
In the weeks leading up to the big game — and its halftime spectacular — rumors persisted that Gaga would be suspended from the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium, that she would make a political statement, that she wouldn’t make a political statement, that she wouldn’t be joined by special guests and would play out the show entirely herself.
Gaga kicked off her show in patriotic style, singing Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” before moving smoothly into Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” from the roof of NRG, before jumping (yes, jumping) into the stadium, thankfully secured by wires. Initially floating above a packed field of Little Monsters before hitting the stage for some of her signature dance moves, Gaga performed some of her biggest hits, including “Poker Face” (with a special Texas-sized shoutout), “Born This Way,” “Bad Romance,” and “Telephone.”
“We’re here to make you feel good,” she proclaimed to the crowd before hitting the piano for her recent jam, “Million Reasons.”
As could only be expected from a Gaga-fueled halftime spectacular, the field was filled to bursting with backup dancers, pyrotechnics (should she really be sailing over those?), impressive stagecraft (remember how you wanted that “Jem and the Holograms” movie to look? it was just like that), some of the best boots you’ve ever seen in your entire life and tremendous energy. While most halftime shows feature a bevy of performers, Gaga notably kept all the glory for herself, zinging through a playlist studded with her biggest hits, including stints on the keytar and the piano.
If there’s any performer who could pull off a one-woman halftime show, it’s Gaga.
The show was Lady Gaga’s first halftime performance, though she sang the National Anthem at last year’s Super Bowl when the halftime extravaganza played home to Coldplay and Beyonce. Other recent headliners have included Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, The Who and The Black Eyed Peas.