Super Bowl Halftime Shows tend to fall into one of two categories: performers who try to create a spectacle and performers who try to put on a more standard concert with their classic hits. Tonight, Lady Gaga gave us a spectacle, but in the middle, she was able to pause and really sing a few of her classic songs. It was a wonderful balancing actor, which was fitting since it started with her singing on the roof and descending down to the stage. It was a performance people will be remembering for a long time, and it was one Gaga should be very proud of.
It all began with Lady Gaga standing at the top of the stadium in Houston. She performed a medley of classic American songs before she suddenly jumped off the top and down to the stage. It wasn't a shock, exactly. Everyone knew she would eventually make her way down, but the visual was still a really cool one, especially with coordinated lights going off in the background.
You can check it out below...
Once on the ground, Lady Gaga fell into a more conventional rhythm more akin to one of her normal concerts. She played "Poker Face", "I'm On The Edge", "Born This Way" and "Telephone" with a ton of pace. The dancers went to work behind her, and she injected as much energy and momentum into the performance as she could, even heading out into the crowd to interact and get funky.
All of that would certainly have put Lady Gaga into the top half of Super Bowl performances over the years, but it was the ending which really vaulted her into all-time classic. She moved to the piano and had the courage to really slow things down, singing "Million Reasons", almost as if it was an encore to one of her shows. She let her voice shine and tuned out all the typical over-the-top hoopla that comes with the Super Bowl. For a minute or so, it was just her, and it was wonderful. The change of pace lasted just long enough to serve as a contrast, and just as it got dull, she picked up the pace again, headed for the stage and busted into a finale of "Bad Romance".
Lady Gaga has been doing this for a long time. OK. Maybe not as long as Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen, but she's been around the block a few times. On top of that, she has the inherent nature of a showman. She knows what the crowd wants, and she gave it to them today.
It's impossible to know how history will remember this Super Bowl performance. There are a lot of factors that go into being remembered (like left shark), or near the best, but no matter what happens, this one will be remembered very, very fondly. It was that good.
Well played, Lady Gaga.
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