Ever since the halftime show of Super Bowl 50 when Beyonce showed up for her song "Formation" with backup dancers dressed like the classic Black Panthers militant group - interpreted by some critics as an "anti-police" stunt aligned with the "Black Lives Matter" movement, there's been plenty of anticipation for what newly politicized gimmick will be inserted into Super Bowl LI's own halftime show, especially in light of President Donald Trump.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The rumor-mongering was in high gear when Lady Gaga was announced to be the halftime entertainer, and as the Mother Monster trained up with her dancers in the comfort of her backyard, more mass guessing ensued. All were holding their breaths when the game halted at halftime, waiting for how it'll go down. What transpired was inspired wire-work, pageantry and visual punch typical of Gaga, but there was no overt political stuff anywhere.

Advertisement

Lots of drones

The 13-minute long halftime presentation began with the impressive sight of thousands of remote-controlled drones filling up the skies over the NRG Stadium in Houston. Then Lady Gaga herself showed up on top of the stadium roof singing "God Bless America" a capella. It sounds like a weird way to start the show, but all questions were swept from the mind when she jumped off, down onto the stadium's performance area (designed with a blinged up "Mad Max:"Fury Road" aesthetic) on wires and the song numbers rolled out in earnest.

Aside from "God Bless America" and "This Land is Your La," seven of the Mother Monster's most iconic songs were belted out for the Super Bowl audience's listening and viewing pleasure.

Perhaps in a call to Beyonce from the last Super Bowl halftime, Gaga made some teasing hints during her segment of their duet song "Telephone" that, while turning out to be a red herring, didn't much detract from the enjoyment of the whole experience.

When "Telephone" segued into "Just Dance," Gaga picked up a keytar while the song's lyrics were projected with lights on the field by her fans. This was followed by her on the piano for "Millions of Reasons," which seemed to be the longest of her song samples. Finally, she brought things to an explosive end with "Bad Romance," ending the show with her climbing a jagged platform, dropping the mic down below, catching a thrown football and jumping down herself (to a discrete stage exit) while the drones took to the sky again.

Advertisement

Optimism and inclusiveness

For the sake of brevity, Lady Gaga only sang the choruses of all her featured songs, with a particular exception. During her fifth segment "Born This Way" she also included the lines mentioning sexual orientation and skin color ("No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life/I'm on the right track baby/I was born to survive."), and punctuated the song with a Michael Jackson crotch grab.

Advertisement

That's about as "political" as the halftime show ever got, but anyone who caught Mother Monster's speech at the pre-Super Bowl news conference would've known. For this, Gaga's halftime show has yet to earn much flak on social media.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more