Super Bowl LI show goes ‘Gaga’

Super Bowl LI show goes ‘Gaga’

OLIVIA BURGER
a&l editor

While enjoying the luxury of fatty snack foods from the comfort of their favorite La-Z-Boys, over 100 million Americans had a front-row seat to the biggest performance of the year Sunday evening.
The big performance broadcast on nearly every television set in the country was of course the Super Bowl LI halftime show, headlined by none other than the iconic pop queen, Lady Gaga.
Taking place at NRG Stadium in Houston, the famous Pepsi-sponsored performance was a spectacle to say the least, proving that everything, including the Super Bowl halftime show, is bigger in Texas.
With an artist like Gaga, you’re never quite sure what you’re in store for.
As a singer who has never failed to surprise with her outrageous costumes, contentious dance moves and futuristic pop music, she is always predicted to be unpredictable.
However, one thing that Gaga is guaranteed to deliver is a show – an incredibly over-the-top, outrageous show.
A show is what America was expecting, and a show is what America received on Sunday evening.
Gaga’s performance began with the artist atop of NRG Stadium with the city backdrop painted against a seemingly normal starry night sky.
In a bedazzled futuristic bodysuit with matching glittery eye makeup, Gaga belted out the first few lines of “God Bless America” and transitioned to “This Land Is Your Land” as the starry nightscape behind her shifted position and changed colors.
The moving, colorful stars were in fact not stars at all, but a fleet of 300 synchronized LED-equipped “Shooting Star” quadcopter drones.
The drones, provided by Intel, formed the image of an American flag behind Gaga.
After stating part of the Pledge of Allegiance with the drone-made American flag as a backdrop, Gaga seemed to jump off of the top of the stadium.
It was later discovered that the beginning of the performance including the drones and dramatic drop was prerecorded and filmed earlier in the week at NRG Stadium.
Due to safety reasons regarding the audience and the Federal Aviation Administration’s forbidden drone regulation at NRG Stadium, the beginning sequence was not as exciting as it could’ve been live, but was still fun to watch for viewers at home.
The true live performance began when Gaga was lowered into the stadium attached to cable cords and placed on a platform atop the main stage.
The pop queen didn’t spend much time on the platform, however, as she began to fly across the stage, flipping and dancing midair while still somehow managing to sing her hit song “Poker Face.”
After landing on the main stage, Gaga joined her dancers for an electric performance of all her popular hits including “Just Dance,” “Telephone” and “Bad Romance.”
While she mainly sang just the choruses from these songs, Gaga made a point to sing the LGBTQ anthem “Born This Way” in its entirety.
Presenting her famous message of inclusion and acceptance, Gaga included the verse stating: “No matter gay, straight or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life/I’m on the right track baby/I was born to survive.”
While many expected Gaga to include a dramatic political statement in her performance, the performance of “Born This Way” was a subtle way in which the diva delivered her directive.
Another special moment in Gaga’s performance was when she slowed down the show to play the piano and sing her newest single “A Million Reasons.”
With the stadium lit with cell phones and the field filled with lanterns, the performance displayed that warm and fuzzy mid-show moment that is a staple of almost every Super Bowl halftime extravaganza.
Gaga topped off her performance with a climactic rendition of “Bad Romance,” complete with massive fireworks, an elevated platform and a mic drop to end all mic drops.
Ending the performance as she entered, Gaga jumped off of the platform, catching a football in the process, thus marking the end of the Super Bowl LI halftime show.
From the way Gaga talked in between songs and the way she fell short of breath at the end of the performance, you could tell that she sang all of the songs live.
This is incredible considering all of the flying, dancing and running around she did. Not to mention, she sounded spot-on with how her hits sound on the radio.
Providing a pageant of excitement, theatrics and drama, Gaga certainly left no viewer bored.
Whether a casual fan of Gaga or a dedicated little monster, every watcher could certainly agree that the performance was entertaining to say the least.
When you strip away the drones, light show and fireworks Gaga’s performance was actually somewhat simple.
Gaga was a one-woman show with no special surprise guests — simply because she didn’t need them.
Her talent alone was enough to entertain the largest and toughest crowd in the world and her showmanship was indisputable.
With her pure dynamic talent, her message of inclusion and her patriotic flair, Gaga gifted us a display that is as modern-day American as it gets.

OLIVIA BURGER
[email protected]