How to throw an epic Super Bowl half-time show


Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl half-time performance this Sunday will be the result of her longstanding pop scholarship, which of course extends to pop music’s premier showcase for its top artists. “The thing is, it’s such a big world stage in terms of how many people see it and it’s been done so many times,” Gaga . “I think the challenge is to look at it and say, ‘What can I do differently, how can I elevate certain little things here and there and also make it about the music?’”

An admirable goal, but history is littered with Super Bowl half-time performers who tried something “different” and found themselves pariahs. With that in mind, here are five must-have elements of the Super Bowl half-time show that Gaga can refashion in her own image this Sunday.

When Madonna came out for her show in 2012, she asserted herself as pop royalty by arriving on the Lucas Oil Stadium field on a giant throne. Reports that Gaga – shades of the Beatles! – might indicate that she’s thinking of making a similarly big splash. (Literally, if there’s rain; one of the reported plans for transporting her between the domed stadium’s roof and its field involves cutting a hole in NRG Stadium’s protective covering.)

One of the problems with Gaga’s catalog as of late has been the unfocused nature of her songwriting; while Joanne was a vast improvement on 2013’s messy, sprawling Artpop, it still gets stuck in musical cul-de-sacs at times. Perfect Illusion, the album’s glammed-up lead single, brings to mind the theme-park ride known as the Gravitron – its blatant channeling of Laura Branigan’s romantic desperation is enjoyable at first, although after a while the listener feels like she’s being whipped around in circles for four or so minutes. But the relatively brief nature of the half-time show (recent spectacles have hovered somewhere around the 13- or 14-minute mark) means that she can medley it up, which will allow her to hit her songs’ high points in rapid succession and even promote some lesser-heard cuts from Joanne, which spent last week at number 58 on the Billboard 200.

The Super Bowl half-time show programmers have recently re-embraced pop, which languished in NFL exile for a few years after Justin Timberlake’s . But there’s still a tentativeness about the shift, which is evidenced by the cramming of guests on to the stage for any performer who exists out of the classic-rock paradigm (or whose name is Beyoncé). Coldplay was the scheduled headliner last year, but Beyoncé’s just-released thunderbolt Formation and Bruno Mars’s Minneapolis Sound throwback Uptown Funk stole Chris Martin’s thunder; Madonna’s catalog was cast aside in favor of the Minaj/MIA trifle Give Me All Your Luvin’ and two LMFAO songs; and poor Bruno Mars had to deal with the Red Hot Chili Peppers homing in on his territory. Gaga’s biggest collaborations in recent years have involved much-beloved crooner Tony Bennett and the even more beloved Beyoncé – who hails from the Super Bowl setting of Houston and .

Bruce Springsteen’s stage-long slide in 2009 provided an eye-popping half-time show moment, as did Beyoncé’s getting bodied in 2013. Gaga’s penchant for sleekly controlled dance moves and showy costumes – from the oversized pink cowboy hat that defines the Joanne era to – will certainly work in her favor here, although let’s hope she doesn’t try to conjure up the memory of the lackadaisical Left Shark, who became beloved after sleepwalking through Katy Perry’s 2015 performance of the bouncy California Gurls.

While matching the drama of Prince’s 2007 set-closing performance of Purple Rain – which was accompanied by, no lie, rain coming down in Miami – will probably be impossible for any Super Bowl half-time performer who hasn’t brokered a deal with Mother Nature, Gaga certainly has songs that can hike up the spectacle and get the crowds in NRG Stadium and huddled in front of televisions around America fired up for the game’s second half. Bad Romance, Gaga’s 2009 Fame Monster epic, is the obvious choice here; not only does it have a hand gesture for everyone to join in on, but its closing growl of “want-yondon for the foreseeable future with the in-form Frenchman aiming to secure a new contract at Chelsea.”Yes. Yes. Yeah, of course,” he told the Evening Standard. “There are a few months to go, games to win and maybe another tropLoftus-Cheek has revealed how he has endured a tough season.The 24-year-old has been sidelined since May with an Achilles injury, but he has recently returned to first-team training.”Tough times are definitely hard to stay motivated,” he told the cluhy, and after, you knoohhh-bad-roohh-ohh-mannnce” will allow for a big finish where Gaga holds a pose while fireworks blast around the stadium. But The Edge Of Glory, Gaga’s 2011 attempt to distill the entire Footloose soundtrack into a single track, might be an even better choice – especially if she honors the late Clarence Clemons’s contribution to the song by inviting his ys he wants to win the Rakuten Cup ahead of fixtures against Chelsea and Vissel Kobe.New signings Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Neto are all in the travelling party and members of the squad were in Tokyo at the presentation of the Rakuten Cuson Jake to sit in on the solo.