For something being branded as “Music’s Biggest Moment,” isn’t it weird how forgettable the Super Bowl Halftime show is? Okay, sure, fine, last year we got to enjoy the wonder that is “Formation,” but be honest: Did you remember that Coldplay was there too? Do you remember anything from two years ago other than maybe Left Shark? Likely you have to go all the way back to 2013 to get a halftime show you really cared about, because Beyoncé is life.
So while the bar was super low all things considered, credit to Lady Gaga for what may have been the most memorable start in halftime history. That shot on the top of NRG Stadium was incredible, and did a really good job setting up the rest of the show. Plus, how rad was it to hear some Woody Guthrie? (And I bet none of you had that picked for your “What Will Gaga Play First?” prop bet.)
Maybe the biggest shock of the entire performance was the decision to play “Telephone” in Houston knowing good and damn well that Beyoncé wasn’t going to show up. As it’s one of her two perfect singles (“Paparazzi” being the other), it was great to see it pop up. Add in the Texas reference in “Poker Face,” and her Lone Star State ties were well on display in this performance.
Fun fact: first time since 2010 that the featured performer didn’t have any guests involved in his or her set. If we’re being honest, that was the right decision: While Gaga’s star might not shine quite as bright as it did a few years back, this set was a great reminder that not only is she one hell of a singer, she’s got some of the finest pop songs around in her catalog.
Cutest moment of the set? Tied between shouting out her parents during “Million Reasons” and hugging that one fan. There’s really no one in pop music as good at creating moments live with his or her fans as Gaga. That’s not shade at your favorite; that’s just truth.
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SHOW ME HOW
Between “Born This Way” and that Lumber 84 ad that played in the break before, Republican Twitter was probably none too happy about how halftime played out.
Hope you’re ready to see that mike-drop in .gif form way too much for the next weeks.
(Well played on that Genius spot that played after the show was done.)
In summation, this halftime show felt stronger than many a recent one, albeit maybe four years late. Then again, pre-Artpop Gaga might have meant an appearance from Jo Calderone, and does anyone really have time for that? Yeah, maybe the outfits weren’t quite iconic, but the music was about as good as you could hope for, especially if you’re the type that’s always wondered what Gaga would do with a stadium-size platform. (P.S.: Book her for the Rodeo.) Try not to let the lack of Beyoncé cloud your heart.