Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review: Lady Gaga’s simple and safe Super Bowl performance

Stefani “Lady Gaga” Germanotta confirmed that she would be performing at the Super Bowl on Sept. 29 via her Instagram. Gaga’s newest album, “Joanne,” was released a month later in October where it topped the charts, but then quickly fell in sales. This was a familiar pattern for Gaga, as her previous album experienced the same slump in reviews and sales. Gaga was was confirmed for the halftime show by the NFL officially in early October.

After the 2016 election, talk among the general audience of how political Gaga’s halftime performance would be arose. After Beyonce’s very political messages at the Super Bowl 50’s halftime show, the expectation was that Gaga would do the same in the highly political climate of the U.S.

Lady Gaga’s performance at Super Bowl 51 began with a pre-taped rendition of “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land.” Gaga sang while seemingly on top of the stadium with a light show that slowly formed into an American flag. After awkwardly jumping down off camera, it was revealed that she was slowly being lowered into the stadium by a harness. 

The real performance began with her singing several of her most famous songs, including “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Telephone,” “Just Dance,” “Million Reasons,” and, finally, “Bad Romance.” She sang and danced all across the stage and then back again, she slowed down to play the piano and sing “Million Reasons,” then brought the energy back again with “Bad Romance.” Finally stopping after throwing the mic down, Gaga jumped off the stage. 

It was not a bad performance by any means. Lady Gaga is a phenomenal singer without question, and being able to sing and dance at the same time is no small feat. The performance reached incredibly high viewership, 117.5 million to be exact, without needing a political message or the help of a superstar surprise appearance. The subtle political message of singing “This Land is Your Land” in front of the American flag will probably anger as many people as it pleased.

Ultimately, the problem with the performance was that there was a lack of surprise. There was no moment that shocked or awed the audience. This event will be remembered for her two jumps off camera, the weirdest mic drop ever and being a very non-controversial, uneventful live performance. This was just like every other Super Bowl performance -- but without any surprise appearances. 

But, what more could you have expected? The Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl 51 halftime show pulled the second most viewers ever and has already received nearly 20 million views on YouTube. The show did its job well to get high viewership, without pulling anything extreme or surprising. It was a success for Gaga and all of the show’s sponsors.

mvalenti@theeagleonline.com


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