Lady Gaga gave a Super Bowl halftime show that was equal parts her signature outre self and Americana -- somewhat surprisingly skipping the fierce political statement she was expected to make.
She started the set with "God Bless America," wearing a David Bowie-inspired glittery space suit, perched high atop the roof of Houston's NRG Stadium. The red, white and blue flag formed from floating lights shined in the sky behind her.
As rumored, the star took advantage of her high perch by taking a big, crazy leap off the edge of the roof to dive down onto the stage suspended by cables. Taking a position atop some bizarre-o scaffolding, she jumped right into hits including "Poker Face" and and "Born This Way." Just as she said she would, she had no special guests -- making her the first in many years to rock the house solo -- and thusly performed "Telephone," her track with Beyonce, without her.
It was a predictably high-energy set and though it was without the political statement many figured she'd make, Gaga was a bit more "of the people" than Super Bowl performances past. Naturally, the message about inclusion came through clearly during her LGBT anthem "Born This Way," but Gaga also gave a touching and personal shout out to her dad and mom while singing "Million Reasons." At another point, she walked down among the people in the crowd, touching and hugging lucky fans. "We're here to make you feel good,"she said. "You want to feel good with us?"
It felt good! For "Bad Romance," she made another costume change -- all of which happened with dizzying speed -- into an all-white ensemble in tiny shorts, a cutoff jersey and goth shoulder pads, in a callout to the game. In the end, the singer dropped her mic (literally), and then -- much like she did when she entered -- she jumped off into space -- this time catching a football in the process.