Lady Gaga Super Bowl Halftime Show Lights Up Houston Skyline

Longtime lighting designer relies on Claypaky Mythos and Sharp systems for highly anticipated mid-game spectacle.

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Lady Gaga Super Bowl Halftime Show Lights Up Houston Skyline

Lady Gaga's Super Bowl LI halftime show was one of the most highly anticipated of all time.

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We told you before Super Bowl LI about some of the cool technology fans would see in and around NRG Stadium in Houston, including LED ribbon boards, solar panels, replay technology and two Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision end zone digital HD boards.

But, as you might imagine with a worldwide spectacle, there was even more technology sandwiched around the New England Patriots’ record-setting comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in overtime during the Big Game.

Professional Video Supply Inc. VP Jeffrey Washington spent a week integrating seven radios into the Telemundo Houston/KTMD network using its Persistent Systems LLC wave relay MPU5 technology, a mobile ad hoc networking system, at the Super Bowl Live Experience in the week leading up to the main event.

KTMD used the MPU5 radios in several live broadcasts leading up to the Super Bowl.

The second-biggest spectacle inside (and partly outside) NRG Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday was Lady Gaga’s halftime show. Lighting designer Bob Barnhart chose Claypaky Mythos and Sharpy fixtures to help illuminate the highly anticipated romp.  Barnhardt, who has been part of 19 Super Bowl halftime shows, used a grandMA2 console to control a portion of the lights during Lady Gaga’s theatrics.

Lady Gaga began her halftime show with a tribute to America, singing “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land” on the roof of the stadium. She performed some dizzying flying effects, crooned a medley of her hits, led high-energy dance routines and closed with a rendition of “Bad Romance” in an action-packed, 12-minute show.

Barnhart employed 56 Mythos on-field trusses set against the upstage wall below the first row of seats.  The lights were positioned on 2.5-foot spacings from the center of the field out to the 20 yard lines.

“We used Mythos with colors, gobos, zooms,” says Barnhardt. “I think we used all of its features in 12 minutes.”

Barnhart also used 126 Claypaky Sharpys, which were bolted to the fascia on two levels of the upstage side of the stadium from end zone to end zone. The compact size meant no one sitting above or below the lights had obstructed views from the fixtures.

“They gave width and dimension to wide shots so you saw the entire stage and most of the stadium,” says Barnhart.  “They cut through atmosphere and gave the scale and dynamics we’ve come to expect.”

Lighting director Jason Rudolph supplied a pair of grandMA2 full-size consoles, one active and one backup. He programmed and ran a grandMA2 to control the lights built into the stage, the lights at the piano ball and the handheld lights used by the field cast.

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