The visual balance of those 2 words has me sidetracking into my favorite song from the late George Michael: Wake me up before you gogo/Gaga/I'm not planning on going solo....
Why did Lady Gaga go solo at the Super Bowl last night?
We're used to seeing the big star surrounded by lots of other stars. Last year, Beyoncé got assistance from Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Gustavo Dudamel, University of California Marching Band and Youth Orchestra L.A. The year before that Katy Perry had Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, and Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band.
When Madonna performed in 2012, she had LMFAO, Cirque du Soleil, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, Andy Lewis, Avon High School Drumline, Center Grove High School Drumline, Fishers High School Drumline, Franklin Central High School Drumline, Southern University Dancing Dolls, and a 200 Person Choir consisting of Indianapolis locals.
I was going to say that Madonna seems like the closest thing to Gaga, but in Super Bowl halftime terms, she's as far from Gaga as Gaga can get.
We haven't seen a fully solo halftime act since 2010, when The Who performed... and The Who are a group and hence not as fully solo as the solo performer Gaga. And The Who were the last in a line of old-school rock acts that came out and performed like a band in a stadium. The immediately preceding years, in reverse chronological order were Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Prince (who had support from the Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band), The Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney.
If you take one step further back, you get the notorious halftime show of 2004 when Justin Timberlake ripped Janet Jackson's bodice and exposed one nipple-shielded breast. That show was also crowded with Jessica Simpson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, and 2 different marching bands.
So why did Lady Gaga go it alone*? I think it was to show off the extreme energy and athleticism involved. She began perched on the rooftop, courageously dropped on a wire, powered through 13 minutes of song, and ended singing while running upstairs. It was a big brag: I'm stronger than everyone!
Was that about her or about all women? I heard someone assert that it was a "female empowerment" message. Maybe it was about Hillary Clinton. Lady Gaga was a high-visibility supporter of Hillary Clinton's failed run at the presidency. And Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for Gaga's Super Bowl "message."
The very last thing Lady Gaga did in her performance could be interpreted as a statement about Hillary: She fell off her platform.
* She did have a gang of dancers with her some of the time. I was a bit puzzled by what they were supposed to be in their all-white costumes, which — with strips of fabric hanging off — seemed like bandages. They weren't behaving like mummies, and there were football helmets and shoulder pads, so I wondered if it was some sort of contribution to the football is so dangerous it should be abolished movement.