Lady Gaga slayed last night’s Super Bowl halftime show in a GIF-worthy way.
Wrestling memes quickly followed her breath-taking entrance — a plunge from the stadium roof.
LADY GAGA FROM THE TOP ROPE pic.twitter.com/DNgEW6bTW3
— ️ (@imWaavey) February 6, 2017
But I was more awestruck by her exit, which involved running up stairs in heels, dropping the mic, catching a glittery football (thrown by Brian Mann of Rice University Athletics), and leaping out of camera range.
First of all — holy shit! She caught that ball with a hundred million people watching.
And the way she simply disappeared from the set at the end struck me as the inverse of another great musical exit. Prince participated in playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” as a tribute to George Harrison at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and if you haven’t seen this video, watch it now before I spoil it for you.
Do you love that or what? Prince tosses his guitar up in the air after his blistering solo and we never see it come down. I like to think that no one was there to catch it — it simply ascended to the heavens because it knew it could never top that experience. Yep, some kind of vanishing act is my new favorite way for performers to end a show.
I also liked the way Gaga dealt with our fraught political situation, starting out with “God Bless America” and Woody Guthrie’s inclusive, leftist anthem, “This Land Is Your Land.” (Guthrie actually wrote his song as an irritated response to “God Bless America.”) Then, midway through her set, she performed her own anthem of acceptance, “Born This Way” (or, as I think of it, “Express Yourself, Part 2.” #sorrynotsorry) She didn’t have to say anything explicitly about Trump when she could sing these words to gay- and woman-hating Vice President and Super Bowl attendee Mike Pence.
“No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave.”
The song hit harder than usual in the current environment, especially on such a big stage, so I’m not sure what critics like the Los Angeles Times would have preferred. Anything she said outright would have been criticized from both sides as both too much and too little, so why not let the music be the message? Also, why is the one woman who gets significant camera time during a football game obliged to be the voice of dissent even though she would surely suffer for it? Let the football players say something, if people want a Super Bowl protest!
My only Gaga-related complaint is one about my own negligence — I totally forgot to wear my Gaga letter rings!
My right hand is out of commission, but my left hand is available for ring duty, so that was a missed jewelry opportunity.