Lady Gaga plays it safe at Super Bowl LI halftime show -- then announces world tour
To the roof, Gaga!
As rumoured, Lady Gaga, dressed in a silver spacesuit-like outfit and matching boots, opened her Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday night on the top of Houston’s NRG stadium.
The vibe was patriotic and, yes, even political, without directly mentioning polarizing U.S. President Donald Trump, as the 30-year-old singer began her 13-minute, reportedly $10-million performance with a mash-up of God Bless America/This Land is Your Land.
The latter is a protest song (apparently used by anti-Trump protesters more recently) by folkie Woody Guthrie as a response to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America, which he disliked.
Then Gaga quoted from the Pledge of Allegiance: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Gaga then descended from the roof on cables and into the stadium, where she sang a snippet from The Edge of Glory, leading into Poker Face.
In other words, it was a fairly safe performance, without any star collaborations — both Beyonce and Elton John had been rumoured — but made its political points in a more subtle way.
For example, Gaga flew through the air a second time to land on the stage to join her dancers for Born This Way as two towers lit up with flames in the background.
That song’s lyrics celebrate people of all sexuality and race at a time when some appear to be under attack in Trump-era Washington.
“Don’t be drag, just be a queen/Whether you’re broke or evergreen/You’re black, white, beige, chola descent/You’re Lebanese, you’re orient,” she sang in one verse.
In another, she sang, “No matter gay, straight or bi/Lesbian, transgendered life/I’m on the right track, baby, I was born to survive.”
Telephone came next, but alas, there was no appearance by Queen Bey, pregnant with twins, who signs the song with Gaga on the original recording.
Just Dance found Gaga strapping on a keytar and gold jacket before she headed into the audience to play the piano on her new song Million Reasons.
“We’re here to make you feel good. You want to feel good with us?” she asked.
Gaga inserted mid-song, “Hey dad, hi mom!’ amid beautiful images of lights being waved by the crowd on the floor, and cellphones lit up by fans in the stands.
As Gaga ventured into the crowd on the ground, she hugged a crying girl in purple. (Maybe a Prince fan?)
Back on stage, she closed with Bad Romance while dressed in white shoulder pads and silver sequined panties and backed by dancers in white. Gaga was propelled upward by an elevating mini-stage as fireworks exploded.
“Super Bowl 51!” she announced at the end before dropping her mic to conclude a performance that neither blew it — nor set the place on fire.
After the performance, she announced she'll be heading out on a world tour, launching on Aug. 1 in Vancouver, with dates in Edmonton on Aug. 3, Toronto's Air Canada Centre on Sept. 6, Montreal's Bell Centre on Sept. 4. Tickets for the Canadian shows go on sale Feb. 13.