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Pepsi’s 32nd Super Bowl Half Time Show Starring Lady Gaga,Sunday, January 5th, 2017, Reviewed


So,OK, brought to you by Pepsi’s Zero Sugar, and on the heels of Lady Gaga’s hysterical Tiffany And Co’s black and white commercial about, you know, being a great artist, Lady Gaga  understands from the great American pastime, consumerism. As she stood under the stars and on top of the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas at the start of Super Bowl half time show, to sing a snatch of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” before reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance, she expressed another great American pastime: freedom of expression.  A perfect mix that honored corruption while acting as an extend bashing of President Trump. Nicely done, Lady Gaga,  I say. But you noticed I mentioned corruption – Gaga is both the problem and the solution,  though forgive her Tiffany’s and she is mostly the solution.

After the Trump dis, Lady Gaga, strapped to wires,  descented partially to some sorta rocket landing still above the field and nailed a fine “Pokerface” before rushing past her, I guess, former Little Monsters for “Born This Way” and personal best “Telephone” (no Queen Bey didn’t show). It is odd how pointedly political it all sounds. Or at least how it comes across. But is it any good? So far, though a segue to “Just Dance” is a bit iffy and worse is Gaga at the piano for the pathetic “Million Reasons”. I didn’t hate Joanne, her last album, a major stiff, but I didn’t like “Million Reasons”. Obviously, “Perfect Illusion” was the song she should have gone with as she pushed her third product of the evening, though the piano based song gave her the chance to say “Hey Dad, Hi Mom” mid song, before dancing and leading us to what we want to hear, “Bad Romance”,  and then a dramatic mic drop to end it. Over and done in thirteen minutes.

In a pre-game interview, Gaga shouted out the Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen halftime shows as her favorites. Michael brought the half time show into the modern age, they are still using his template,  and Bruce showed how little you needed to hold the world enthralled. I enjoyed both. A lot. And you can see between the state of the art and the piano song, how they influenced her.  And I enjoyed Lady Gaga a lot as well. Her problem, the new material isn’t up to the job, was obvious, but she managed to be both inside the establishment and a million miles from it. She looks odd, never predictably beautiful, she is angular and on the outs, try as she may she is always gonna be Ziggy Stardust Lite culturally and yet fully formed as such: she has an obviousness at odds with her oddness, she is so self-evident it can be off putting. Which is, of course, the entire raison d’etre. Also, she has learnt a lot from Tony Bennett and her singing has improved and improved. Lady Gaga managed to offend no one (not so they can call her out on it) while making her position crystal clear. Now, that was tough.

Finally, I wish she’d performed “Paparazzi”  but whatever else we might have wanted no one need whinge too much about a show with both “Pokerface” and  “telephone” and “Bad Romance”,  and over and out within 13 minutes. This land is, in fact, Lady Gaga’s land -and she just showed how much of it she is willing to share it.

Grade: B+


  1. Irene Diamond on February 6, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Thanks for the insightful Review, Iman. I loved her light blue costume! She does have a beautiful singing voice. We’ll see!

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