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Gaga's Super Bowl Performance: The Reviews Are In

Gaga

Some were underwhelmed by Lady Gaga's seemingly quiet activism; others praised her for an inclusive and fine-tuned medley.

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Sen. Marco Rubio loved it. The Washington Post was bored. There were few passive responses to Lady Gaga's performance at Superbowl LI in Houston.

Beginning the show with "God Bless America," the Pledge of Allegiance, and, in what may have been directed at the Trump presidency, "This Land Is Your Land." The latter was originally written in 1940 as a protest song by Woody Guthrie, who slammed the nation's divisions and the wealthy's indifference to the poor. The rebellious first version of "This Land Is Your Land" is rarely sung or even acknowledged, and Gaga didn't sing the most controversial verses, decrying "private property" and portraying hungry people waiting in line at a relief office.

Also, whether Gaga was aware or not, Guthrie also wrote a song about Trump's father, decrying his landlord as racist (the Justice Department sued Fred Trump in the 1970s for alleged discrimination; he settled without admitting guilt).

Regardless, many saw the inclusion of "This Land Is Your Land" as a perfect nod to the current state of the union. She also received accolades for singing the lyrics of "Born This Way" that mention racial minorities and LGBT people. Gaga also performed "Poker Face," which she's repeatedly said is about her fantasizing about being with a woman.

Here's what some notables had to say about the show (the New England Patriots bested the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, by the way):

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30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.