If you're anything like me, you watch and participate in Super Bowl parties for everything but the actual game. As one of those traditional and outright huge days in the sporting industry, it's hard for even the most apathetic person to turn away and ignore the commotion coming from this very important football game. There is something in it even for those who are not sports fans (aka, me).
That brings us to one of the reasons why I care about a sporting event: the music.
The Super Bowl Half Time Show is one of the most coveted gigs for any musician. It may be an unpaid gig (if you don't account for production costs), but it is the ultimate performance to snag. This year our Half Time super star performer will be the always entertaining, Lady Gaga. With Gaga we can expect, for one, a very large stage show (and with that, a very large production bill), and also maybe some political drama, as the singer has been known to voice her anti-Trump opinions. Whatever may happen on Sunday evening, it is bound to be none less than a spectacle. And the Half Time Show isn’t the only performances to watch out for this weekend.
If lucky enough to snag one of these pricey tickets, people in Houston are able to begin celebrations on the Friday before the game. Club Nomad, a venue that (as rings true to it’s name) is constantly on the move, and, like a pop up shop, springs into existence at different times and places to create a pretty wicked experience. This year on February 3rd, Club Nomad will pop up in Houston to celebrate the Super Bowl, sponsored by Pepsi’s new LIFEWTR. DJ Khaled and Bruno Mars will be performing. Mars played the half time show in 2014 and also made a guest appearance with Coldplay last year.
If you're planning on being in Houston this weekend and didn't already get your tickets for Club Nomad, you can still find ways to spend a good chunk of change on a hot show. On the actual day of the event, a star-studded lot of performers will be apart of a pre-game concert at NRG Center. This roster includes Lady Antebellum, who have re-emerged on the scene with their new single, "You Look Good," O.A.R. and Tyler Farr. Pop-country heavy weights like Sam Hunt and Taylor Swift will also make appearances this weekend.
But let's focus on what us TV viewers are all tuning in for: the actual game (or shall I say the music during). These celebrity appearances are far from lacklustre as we will see right off the bat. Luke Bryan will sing the National Anthem and much like many of the greats before him, (Gaga, Alicia Keys, Garth Brooks to name a few), Bryan is a celebrated artist in the music world.
The next star we should watch out for is Tony Bennett. However, don't expect him to jump on the stage and perform a number with Gaga. He's rumoured to introduce the Lady via screen only. The two worked together on their acclaimed duo album Cheek to Cheek, so his appearance won't be a total left-fielder. On the other hand, Gaga is in the midst of promoting her latest album Joanne, so she most likely won't be performing anything off the duo’s album anyway.
So how did Lady Gaga land the Super Bowl- a significant bump up from performing the anthem last year? Perhaps she was the next big pop star in line to get the coveted gig after Adele had supposedly turned down an offer. After all, she is a mega star known for her thrilling stage shows and over the top persona. It seems only fitting. Perhaps it's simply a testament to good promo. Gaga has been having a strong run- playing the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Saturday Night Live. Joanne, while having received mixed reviews, has been everywhere, and whether you like it or not, you can probably sing most of the lyrics to her single "Million Reasons" (not that there's a whole lot of them).
While these many reasons are all plausible, when we first found out about her Half Time Show gig, it was announced that she gave the NFL a sneak preview of Joanne that ultimately sealed the deal. Maybe they just liked the album.
We could speculate for days, but given her track record, Lady Gaga is a good decision, and her performance is much looked forward to. While she is rumoured to be playing the show alone (not an unusual rumour for the Super Bowl), you never know what surprises are in store for the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show.
Oh, and if you’re actually watching for the football of it all, The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will be playing.