Dressed in a sequinned Versace jumpsuit, Lady Gaga took to the stage in what is perhaps the most coveted concert EVER – the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Her set was flawless.
Vocally, Gaga was on point. She started with a mash-up of ‘God Bless America’ and ‘This Land Is Your Land’ in a pre-recorded segment before vaulting into the stadium, and she only upped the ante from there. For a brief few seconds I feared Gaga would go down the route of some of her previous performances (her Brit Awards performance of ‘Dance in the Dark’ comes to mind) when she began singing ‘Poker Face’, but cut herself off several times. I thought she was going to try and cram in every last song she’s ever produced.
But alas, no. The stunning ‘Poker Face’ segment, in which she hybridised both the studio and live versions, was followed by ‘Born This Way’. Whilst many derided it as gimmicky at the time, ‘Born This Way’ has never sounded more current, and rightfully so the breakdown midway – in which she sings about people of all colours, sexualities and disabilities – was almost drowned out in cheers from the crowd.
Next came ‘Telephone’ – perhaps the only surprising moment of the set. There’s no denying that ‘Telephone’ is a tune, but it doesn’t exactly stand up against some of her other songs. I’d have preferred a song from ARTPOP – Gaga appears to have forgotten that album completely in her set unfortunately, which is a crying shame. Say what you want about the album as a whole, but ARTPOP has some bangers on it.
‘Just Dance’ was next, unsurprisingly – it’s the song that propelled her into stardom, even if it doesn’t really stand the test of time – followed by ‘Million Reasons’. I’m glad Gaga chose not to force Joanne through her set. This was a celebration of her entire career, after all. But ‘Million Reasons’ was beautiful – perhaps her best performance of it to date. Certainly she was loving it. Just look at that smile before she began, or the crack in her voice as she name-checked her parents.
And the night ended on ‘Bad Romance’ – it had to, right? ‘Bad Romance’ is frequently regarded as the ‘Thriller’ of our generation, and its an apt accolade. There’s no denying that ‘Bad Romance’ is a stunning feat of lyricism, iconography, and music.
Aside from one brief costume change (thank god!) and a few pyrotechnics, Gaga shunned her previous love of theatrics to deliver a high-energy showcase of some of her greatest hits. Whilst it may have been bold to take on the entire 12-minutes alone, Gaga proved that she is a legend by delivering on every single level. Just look at that mic drop! And that catch! And that jump. What a LEGENDARY end to a stunning performance.