Ultimately, the performance was a mix of feel-good throwback songs with a dose of patriotism. Starting on the roof with red, white and blue lights in the background, Lady Gaga sang a brief medley of “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land.” She ended with the final line of the pledge of allegiance: “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” … before jumping off the ledge, suspended by wires, and flying gracefully to the stage on the field.
From there, it became a Lady Gaga’s greatest hits concert. She kicked things off with a brief line from “Edge of Glory,” and then segued into “Poker Face,” with the very appropriate lyric “I wanna hold ’em like they do in Texas, please.” Still suspended by wires, she flew from side to side on the stage, leaping and jumping in a terrifying manner — but appeared quite calm.
Eventually, she landed on the ground, surrounded by back-up dancers. She launched into “Born This Way,” the LGBT rights anthem, followed by “Telephone,” her 2009 hit single featuring Beyoncé. While some fans held their breath for a surprise cameo, there was no sign of the newly pregnant Queen Bey.
Continuing with the dance party, Lady Gaga launched into “Just Dance” while playing a keytar, the most underrated of instruments.
She slowed things down with “Million Reasons,” a ballad from her latest album, “Joanne” (released in October), and sat down at a piano. “Hey, Dad. Hi, Mom,” she said nonchalantly, her face lighting up as she gave a shout-out to her parents.
As the crowd swayed back and forth, some people holding up enormous candles, Lady Gaga strolled into the crowd and hugged a sobbing fan. After that emotional moment, she threw herself into “Bad Romance,” complete with an outfit change into a cropped football jersey-type top and incredibly shiny boots.
At the end of the performance, an army of back-up dancers carried her to another platform, where she climbed up and turned toward the crowd. “Super Bowl 51!” she yelled. Then she dropped the mic, caught a football and fell into her adoring crowd.