Between jumping off a roof and dropping a mic, Lady Gaga's show was everything we've come to expect from one of today's best performers. But despite some worries that Gaga would start making political statements, there were surprisingly none.
That is, until you read between the lines. One thing most of us should know about Lady Gaga by now is that every piece of her performance is well thought out and done for a reason. In this case, she was able to keep the NFL happy with its message that the Super Bowl is a "unifying day," while also subtly making points about inclusion.
The obvious one was her performance of Born This Way, which is an anthem for inclusion and acceptance -- particularly of people in the LGBTQ community.
Likely the first time the word transgender was sung at the Super Bowl: "No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgender life ..." #Gaga— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 6, 2017
The less obvious moment happened early on, when she sang Woody Guthrie's classic This Land Is Your Land. The song's lyrics are rarely heard beyond the first couple of verses, nor did Gaga sing more than that; but the later verses paint a picture that's a little more... rebellious.
One verse in particular has been used by opponents of Trump's border wall and travel ban, in rallies against them:
As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." But on the other side it didn't say nothing, That side was made for you and me.
It seems hard to believe that Lady Gaga didn't know all this going in, and selected her set accordingly. If so, the brilliance of it all is that (agree or disagree) she said it without anyone being upset at her. The NFL was happy, the left was happy, the right was happy, and her performance is getting high marks across the board.