The event that “little monsters” had been anticipating for years finally arrived last night, when Lady Gaga took the stage for the Halftime Show at the SuperBowl LI in Houston. This Superbowl saw the meeting of the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons and was hailed one of the greatest Superbowl games of all time, making all those FanDuel fans happy and the “little monsters” go gaga for its half time show.
Yes, Gaga, because for the 15 minutes of the show Stefani returned to her former self and only gave a glimpse of Joanne for the obligatory promotional moment. The Halftime was an opportunity for this popstar to remind people why she became such a huge phenomenon when she first hit the scene and why she was able to capture audiences around the world in such a short span of time.
It’s no surprise, then, that the setlist was largely occupied by her 2008-2011 hits, the ones that made her a household name in the mainstream landscape.
With a brief patriotic intro sung on the roof of the stadium with the American flag behind her in the sky Gaga made her political statement on the state of her country in the most subtle way. Not by making a critique, not by taking a side (even though her views have been widely known), but by reminding people that America is for everyone and not just a select few. Then, she literally dived onto the stage and started showcasing her catalog of Dance Pop mega hits: “Poker Face” was the first number complete with acrobatics, followed by the inclusive statement of “Born This Way,” which became an athem for the social outcasts upon its release.
The show continued with “Telephone” (though with no appearence by Beyoncé) and her very first single “Just Dance.” Gaga then slowed things down at the piano to perform her current single “Million Reasons,” delivering a powerful and emotional vocal performance that made for a beautiful moment. The now officially Pop classic “Bad Romance” closed the set with an energetic and epic performance and Gaga left her indelible mark amid choreography, live vocals and outfit changes.
Evidently absent from the setlist were the singles from her 2013 album Artpop, though “Applause” felt like a given due to its upbeat nature (it could’ve perhaps replaced “Just Dance” as it slowed down the momentum) and no other songs from her current album were performed. A choice that perhaps has to do with the reflective nature of this show, where Lady Gaga chose to highlight the things that made her an iconic artist and not the ones that made her mainstream relevance tumble.
This morning, Gaga occupies a large part of the album and singles top 10 on iTunes, a sign that her performance last night captured the audience and made people rediscover her as an artist. And the positive publicity will surely shift a lot of tickets for her summer tour announced shortly after, even though Gaga has always been a big concert draw.