Event producers from across the country shared their thoughts on the Super Bowl LI halftime show, which was headlined by Lady Gaga.
While the New England Patriots came back during the second half to beat the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI on Sunday, the game highlight that had event producers talking was Lady Gaga's halftime show. Kicking off on the roof of Houston's NRG Stadium, the pop singer performed renditions of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” before descending onto the field with suspended wires to perform an array of her hits from the past nine years. While there were no guest performers this year, the inclusive show generally received positive reviews from producers.
Event producers from across the country told BizBash what they liked and didn't like about this year's show, including the use of 300 Intel drones, LED torches held by a choreographed on-field audience, pyrotechnics, and the lack of an unambiguous political statement. ...
“There was a lot to like about this year’s halftime show, but less to love than I had hoped, speaking solely through a production lens.
The introductory aerial stunts took a new twist in using the whole stadium as a blueprint for larger-than-life theatrics—and this treatment surely added a little surprise. The drones floating above Lady Gaga during the intro were absolutely gorgeous—almost holographic. And the crowd-synched torch LED lights were integrated in a relevant, experiential, and beautiful way, but still—even with the ‘human wave’ of lit torches perfectly and artistically synched and choreographed during ‘Born This Way,’ (the highlight of the performance), the audience was left wanting a bit more.
I waited for Gaga to push beyond the comfortable and use this platform to subtly push forward—even with a clear understanding that her focus on inclusion was going to dial down her own political statements to embrace America as a whole and show that all hearts are the same. But there were zero altered lyrics and no surprise guest performers.
Instead, we enjoyed an artist who has delivered some of the biggest hits of the past 15 years rely on old-fashioned, overblown stage production and her most popular songs. She picked only one song from her latest album, Joanne, which she delivered on piano—and it was nice.
While the halftime show aftertaste was a very respectable vintage of authenticity, Gaga herself put it best: ‘We’re here to make you feel good.’”
Letter Grade: B
Salkin is the senior vice president of creative technology and integrated production for Momentum Worldwide, a global brand experience agency. Clients have included American Express, Xbox, and Coca-Cola.