The night before my ass crack-of-dawn flight to Las Vegas, Bill, Patrice, and I enjoyed ourselves some over-the-top entertainment a la Lady Gaga. At this point in time, I had basically just gotten back from Boston (and before that, camping, and before that, San Diego), and I was, again, feeling a bit run-down. I love stimuli. I love seeing new things. However, I think all the traveling and running around I had been doing totally affected my mood for Lady Gaga.
Don’t get me wrong! I definitely ordered myself a blue and purple Lady Gaga-inspired cocktail while Britannia Arms blasted a divalicious playlist, but I just have to say it about the show: I was kind of disappointed.
The months between purchasing Gaga tickets and actually getting to the concert were filled with a growing anticipation and excitement. I was ready to rack up Gaga right there with The Roots and Arcade Fire in my top two live performers. Of course Gaga’s genre is a bit different from either of those bands, so really I was just hoping for her to outdo the Spice Girls Reunion Tour (which I totally saw, by the way).
I loved the show. She’s so theatrical. She’s a fantastic performer. But I think, with all that I had heard about her earlier Monster Ball performances and with all the exhausted creative nodes in my body, I was expecting 150%, a catharsis. Instead, Lady Gaga nee Stephanie Germanotta gave me 125%.
Let me make it clear that I did not dislike the show. I was simply expecting more, and I wasn’t as floored as I had hoped to be. Shoot, I definitely shelled out a ridiculous $30 to forever remember her amazing costumes in a glossy embossed silver and black program. (I still remain one of the few outspoken individuals who generally dislikes the choreography in Lady Gaga’s videos and show. This concert was no exception.)
I just…Thought it would have less of a staged feel to it. Which, if you think about it, is impossible. Lady Gaga operates on big, dramatic ideas that can’t be executed without a lot of planning and orchestration. Still, I would have liked to have seen more of Lady Gaga’s B-sides. Make me a superfan.
From a marketing perspective, Lady Gaga’s kind of a phenomenal behemoth. The way she interacts with her fans is to decidedly identify with them, particularly their misfit sides (which is probably still lost on a good lot of blonde hair-bowed ditzes in the crowd). The story behind the show is that we’re all getting out of a gritty world of oppression to follow Lady Gaga & Friends to a gritty party named the Monster Ball – the craziest party on the planet. Lady Gaga is super open about her support for the LGBTQ community, and proceeds from ticket sales go to aid for the homeless. She puts on the gifts of customized wifebeaters, hair accessories, and cat ears that fans throw onto the stage. She calls a random fan in the audience at every show to chat them up.
One of my favorite snarky moments was when Lady Gaga called the night’s random winner. Even though the act is extemporaneous, the girl who answered had clearly practiced her lines for this very situation. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Lady Gaga had actually called her friend and Head Bitch ripped the phone out of her hands for the spotlight. When Lady Gaga thanked the fan for helping the homeless and LGBTQ community, I could just hear this CAUTION tape-burritoed girl saying “But…I don’t like opposite marriage” as she stood, open-mouthed and, for once, without a sorority girl-sounding response. The little monster in me does not believe that this girl deserved Gaga’s call, but in the spirit of the self-empowerment that Lady Gaga pumped into all of her monologues, Fuck it. Sorority Chick can be a little monster, too.
I was rather amused whenever LG told the audience to “Put your paws up” and people just started arbitrarily throwing their arms in the air. Good effort, guys. You really earned those $85 tickets.
Dressing the part.
Seriously, there was a larger proportion of Gaga-inspired costumes than there were participants at Comic-Con’s masquerade ball. Quite impressive, although one could very easily pick out the girls who went through the hip-hop section of the dance supply catalog and thought neon mesh was Lady Gaga-in.
I kind of feel like if you’re going to imitate Lady Gaga, you have to do it in full, and not in easy-cheap. However, I’m sure Lady Gaga, in all her diplomatic ways, would encourage such half-assed interpretations based on the principle that little monsters should be happy individual little monsters.
But doode, the fashion? Pretty amazing. Go Gaga.