Lady Gaga’s knockout performance at the 51st Super Bowl on Sunday has left the whole world in awe. While many were expecting a confronting political statement from the notoriously vocal star, what they got instead was a jam-packed 13-minute set of Gaga’s biggest hits.
While many are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief they had a short reprieve from the political situation currently gripping the nation, Gaga’s song choices are leading some to speculate that the singer incorporated a secret message into her set.
After a brief introduction from one time collaborator Tony Bennett, Gaga launched into an operatic rendition of “God Bless America,” before quickly changing to Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”
As Vanity Fair notes, this song has been adopted as the unofficial anthem of those protesting Trump’s immigration ban. It does seem like an interesting song choice for Gaga, and many of the lyrics are as relevant today as the day they were written.
“As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said ‘No Trespassing.’ But on the other side it didn’t say nothing, That side was made for you and me.”
“Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can ever make me turn back This land was made for you and me.”
The remainder of Gaga’s set was a list of the star’s biggest hits. Her outfit a glamorous nod to the NFL, the star jumped between the microphone, keytar and piano while belting out hits from “Poker Face,” to “Born This Way,” “Telephone” and 2016 single “Million Reasons.”
Rumors swirled in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl that Gaga, a vocal Clinton supporter, would use the event to express her political views. Reports that the NFL had forbidden Gaga from discussing anything remotely political were denied.
At a press conference in Houston on Thursday, when asked by a reporter if she planned on using the occasion to make a statement, Gaga’s reply was true to form.
“I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality, and that the spirit of this country is one of love and compassion and kindness. My performance will uphold those philosophies.”
Gaga continued by dedicating her performance to at risk youth, a segment she works with regularly through her Born This Way Foundation.
“That kid that was kicked out of the house because his mom and dad didn’t accept him for who he was? That kid is going to have the stage for 13 minutes. And I’m excited to give it to them.”
Following tonight’s performance, there are reports Gaga will announce a tour to support her 2016 album, Joanne. In an interview last October with Howard Stern, Gaga explained that she gave the NFL a preview of the album prior to its release, a decision she believes helped her win the right to perform at the Super Bowl.
There were rumors last year that the NFL originally offered the spot to Adele, who refused the gig because “The show isn’t about music.” The NFL finally announced Gaga’s headlining spot last September.
Performing prior to tonight’s game were several members of the original Hamilton cast, who delivered a stylized rendition of “America the Beautiful,” before country star Luke Bryan performed the national anthem. It has been noted that the Hamilton stars, Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones altered the lyrics of the song to make it more inclusive.
In keeping with this theme, crooning to the crowd from her piano, Gaga told the audience that her only intention was to make them “feel good”.
[Featured image by Matt Slocum/ AP Images]