Lady Gaga's high-flying Super Bowl halftime show dazzles
Pop star began with God Bless America and sang medley of her hits including Bad Romance, Born This Way
Superstar Lady Gaga blew the roof off the NRG stadium in Houston, Texas, during her Super Bowl halftime performance Sunday.
The Paparazzi singer began on the venue's retractable rooftop singing God Bless America and a few lines from This Land Is Your Land in a subtle political statement that tried to unify a polarized nation through mutual patriotism.
"One nation, under God, indivisible," she recited in a happy tone as the backdrop lit up with red and blue lights. "With liberty and justice for all."
High energy, high acrobatics
From that point, it was all her. There were no cameos, duets or surprise appearances — she didn't need them. The pop singer gave an upbeat and highly-produced show, leaping onto the stage with suspension cables to begin a medley of some of her most popular tunes. She also had three costume changes throughout the show.
Starting with Edge of Glory, she kept the energy (and acrobatics) high with Poker Face, the inclusive-themed Born This Way, Telephone and Just Dance before slowing it down on the piano for Million Reasons and then ending with the crowd-pleaser Bad Romance.
Throw in a shout-out to her parents, incredible live singing, and a final dramatic mic drop, and the crowd was won over.
'One of the best ever' halftime performances
That was clear from reaction online — her performance scored points with plenty of viewers who commended her vocal abilities and the entertainment value of the show.
TV news personality Piers Morgan called it "one of the best ever" Super Bowl halftime performances, while actor Chris Pratt described it as "freakin' awesome."
Dancing hard. Singing live. Ends it catching a football! I always liked <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Gaga?src=hash">#Gaga</a>. Now I love her. Sorry not sorry. That was freakin' awesome.—@prattprattpratt
Lady Gaga covered more ground on the field than the Patriots. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SuperBowl?src=hash">#SuperBowl</a>—@BryanCranston
Impressed with and appreciative of <a href="https://twitter.com/ladygaga">@ladygaga</a> 's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HalfTimeShow?src=hash">#HalfTimeShow</a> performance. Opened with patriotism and sang live. 🤘🏼—@DLoesch
BRILLIANT by <a href="https://twitter.com/ladygaga">@ladygaga</a>. <br>One of the best ever Superbowl <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HalftimeShow?src=hash">#HalftimeShow</a> performances. <br>Great voice, great theatre & no politics... bravo. 👏👏👏👏 <a href="https://t.co/YYcZ7WLSUv">pic.twitter.com/YYcZ7WLSUv</a>—@piersmorgan
But wait, did she or didn't she?
Gaga's opening message was so subtle, in fact, that many people might not even have caught it.
This Land Is Your Land, the famous 1940s American protest song, has been a rallying cry in many U.S. cities by anti-Trump protesters.
Gaga, who openly supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 American election, said in a news conference earlier this week that she believes "in a passion for inclusion and "in the spirit of equality" and that her halftime performance would uphold those philosophies.
But whether the song represented a partisan message or non-partisan earnestness, her end game was simple:
"We're here to make you feel good," Lady Gaga said on stage during the show. And she did.