Lady Gaga took over the biggest stage in the world on Sunday when she performed at the Super Bowl 51 halftime show, bringing out special guest Tony Bennett to start the countdown and making good on her promise to perform an aerial stunt at the top of her 13-minute set.
Starting on the stadium’s roof, Gaga began by singing a few verses of “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land,” and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before diving off the roof and onto the field while suspended by wires in mid-air and surrounded by drones.
Gaga moved around the stage, nailing cardio-intensive dance choreography before strumming a key-tar while one of her backup dancers became a human mic stand.
She then sat down at a piano while the crowd held up electronic flames. “How you doing?” she asked. “We’re hear to make you feel good,” Gaga said before launching into “Million Reasons,” off her most recent album Joanne.
Ditching her sparkles for a white football-inspired look, Gaga then treated the audience to a full-length version of her 2009 hit “Bad Romance.” Flanked by dozens of dancers and massive stage explosives, Gaga brought the show to a frenzied peak before its end.
“Super Bowl 51!” she yelled before dropping the mic and catching a football. Gaga then jumped off a platform, ending this year’s halftime show in a blaze.
Before the Super Bowl, many fans and critics wondered if Gaga would incorporate a political message into the halftime show, and though she sang the pro-LGBT track “Born this Way,” she made no overt mention of President Trump or any of his recent decisions.
“The only statements that I’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I’ve been consistently making throughout my career,” she had said at a press conference last week. “I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality, and the spirit of this country as one of love and compassion and kindness. So my performance will have both those philosophies.”
She had also revealed that she was most excited to share the halftime show with her fans. “I really feel like it wasn’t given to me, it was given to [my fans],” she said. “Essentially, that kid who couldn’t get a seat at the cool kid’s table or that kid who was kicked out of the house because his mom and dad didn’t accept him for who he was, that kid’s gonna have the stage for 13 minutes, and I’m excited to give it to them.”
Gaga made her first Super Bowl appearance last year when she performed an extraordinary rendition of the National Anthem.