Lady Gaga Strikes Balance Between Politics and Performance

Courtesy of Associated Press
Courtesy of Associated Press

Along with an unprecedented Patriots comeback Sunday, Lady Gaga’s halftime performance at Super Bowl LI generated national buzz. The popstar, known for her catchy lyrics and outrageous costumes (most notably her 2010 “meat dress”), kicked off the performance with an ode to America, singing the opening line to Woody Guthrie’s, “This Land is Your Land,” just days after President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Super Bowl fans have become accustomed to loud political statements built into halftime shows, and they expected no less of this year’s performer. Gaga is a vocal advocate and spokesperson for LGBT rights and, although she made no explicit political commentary, she picked her songs strategically, creating a fierce and inclusive medley representing all types of Americans. With Vice President Mike Pence in the audience, who is often associated with being against LGBT rights, she sang “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track” from her 2011 hit, “Born this Way.”

This is not to say she lacked the extravagant production aspects typical of the Super Bowl. Gaga spent the first three minutes of her performance on wires, making incredible jumps and somersaulting through the air. With dozens of dancers backing her up, she sang until she was breathless and showcased the quirky moves fans have come to expect. In the packed NRG Stadium, all eyes were on Gaga. She slowed things down with “Million Reasons,” playing the piano amid thousands of audience-held candles before transitioning into “Bad Romance.”

Under colossal red flames, she ended her night with a mic drop.

Gaga didn’t bash President Trump and she didn’t wear a dress made from raw meat, but her performance was compelling nonetheless.

From her beginnings as a singer in dive bars to performing at America’s favorite sporting event, Gaga has made quite a name for herself. She was slated to impress and she did.