When you’re Lady Gaga, you can do a lot of unnecessary things at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
You can hire someone solely to hold your microphone while you play the keytar. You can buy a glass shard to use as a prop telephone onstage. And perhaps most impressive of all, you can convince the National Football League to let you dive into the NRG stadium from the roof wearing little more than a bungee cord.
Lady Gaga has a track record for making people uncomfortable, but the way that she rolled at the Super Bowl Halftime show was more Fear Factor than anything. This shouldn’t come as a shocker; when it comes to performances at uber-professional events, she drops the “Gaga” and embraces the “Lady,” usually winning over a fair amount of haters who seem to be surprised that she actually has decent pipes (see: her two tasteful and traditional Oscar performances). The most offensive offering in her entire performance was her midriff, and in that sense, Lady Gaga let down a lot of people tonight at the Super Bowl tonight, because there’s no American pastime quite like bitching.
To the people who thought Lady Gaga would get political at this year’s halftime show; relax – she opened with a mishmash of the most ‘Murican songs backed by 500 drones from Intel forming an American flag. Other than that, Gaga provided the “mum mum mum mah” heard round the world.
“I want to hold them like they do in Texas plays…” she started midair, in Houston, both an obvious move and a classy one, as it first distinguished her as the pop act to watch.
It was a short 12 minutes for Gaga, who only played six songs, but revived the most important classics from her discography. Clad in a bejeweled leotard and David Bowie eye jewelry, Gaga broke out the discostick for the first time since her Born This Way Ball and exorcised any and all demons in “Telephone” (sans Beyoncé), “Just Dance,” “Born This Way,” and perhaps more importantly, a fiery version of “Bad Romance.” Even though Joanne tune “A-YO” was made for performing to millions of proud chest-thumping Americans watching from dive bars, it didn’t make the cut and ballad “Million Reasons” weaseled its way instead.
For the most part, the Halftime show was 90 percent Monster Ball renaissance and 10 percent rodeo. As for an explanation for her clear lack of art-kid weirdness — everyone knows any refined star can’t be seen in a meat dress twice.
Watch her entire performance below, with a few behind the scenes shots pre-show from Gaga’s Twitter.
— NFL (@NFL) February 6, 2017
— xoxo, Joanne (@ladygaga) February 5, 2017