“Lady Gaga went for one big, glittering, diverse party with her Super Bowl halftime show,” writes venerable pop music critic Jon Pareles of The New York Times, noting that Gaga declared in the middle of her set: “We’re here to make you feel good.”
She had promised that her performance would be about inclusion, and she delivered on that promise, Pareles writes. The singer opened her set with a few lines from “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” along with a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance.
“But most of the show was simply about full-tilt pop fun: songs like ‘Telephone,’ about dancing at clubs, and ‘Bad Romance,’ about falling in love and lust,” Pareles adds. “It was a megamix of her songs spanning her career, from her 2008 debut single, ‘Just Dance,’ to ‘Million Reasons,’ the power ballad from her 2016 album, ‘Joanne.’ She sang ‘Million Reasons’ from a piano as people waving orange electric torches made patterns that radiated across the football field; that was her relatively still point in a fiercely athletic performance.”
During the performance, Pareles notes, “Dozens of dancers of multiple skin tones and genders joined her, matching her moves in exultant line dances and embodying her message of empowerment as a shared celebration.”
Here’s the performance, which was posted by halftime sponsor Pepsi …