Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Wanna Hold 'em Like They Do in Texas Please | Lady Gaga in Concert

Monday night, Lady Gaga played in Dallas and my friend Robin and I went for a much-deserved Moms' Night Out. After sushi at Kenichi, we headed over to the American Airlines Center to take our seats for the show. As you may recall, Lady Gaga tickets were Steve's birthday gift to me way back in October. I had a blast, but am still so tired (we stayed up way past our bedtimes), that I'm still trying to catch up.

I learned two things while at this show: her fans are enthusiastic, and holding your hand up in the air like a "monster claw" for Lady Gaga is the equivalent of holding up "three fingers" at a Nascar race.

Steve: That's weird.
There were basically two types of concert-goers: Gaga's "Little Monsters", folks who went all-out dressing up for the show. We're talking wigs, wild makeup, leotards with fishnets...well, see for yourself:
The other type of concert-goer was the curious combination of parents with young children. "This is no place for children", I remarked matter-of-factly as Robin pointed out an jubilant pair of little girls running up the escalator to the upper level seats. I understand why a little girl wants to see Lady Gaga. I understand why a loving parent might think taking their little girl to a Lady Gaga concert is a fun idea. I just hope that in all the excitement of the show, that the little girls at the concert were too overwhelmed by their surroundings to pick up on all the explicit language being screamed from the stage by their idol. Otherwise, there is going to be an inappropriate scene on the playground the next day when those little girls scream, "Dance, you motherf*ckers, dance!" to their classmates while re-enacting the concert.
At one point, she lifts up the hood of that car and begins playing a keyboard that's inside.
The concert went as I expected. How amazing are the sets for this show? She sang all of her hits, and she sang them LIVE. It was obvious there was no lip-synching, and she made a point of exclaiming that she will never let her Little Monsters pay money to watch her lip-synch. She used more colorful language, of course, making a thinly-veiled jab at Britney Spears. Nothing you'd want your little girl to repeat.

Lady Gaga is really very talented and has a beautiful singing voice. Sometimes that gets lost in all of the "performance", but for a few songs, she sat at the piano and sang while she played. The girl has a set of pipes. She reminded me of Adele and Fiona Apple. If Adele and Fiona Apple were crossed with some hybrid of Elton John and Ozzy Osbourne.
She played a stripped down version of her latest hit, "Born This Way". It sounded better than the original version, which she sang during the encore. I might get clawed in the face by a Little Monster for saying so, but "Born This Way" is my least favorite of all her singles. Michael K from Dlisted probably said it best when he described "Born This Way" as a bad Xerox copy of Madonna's "Express Yourself". I just find the lyrics so overly simplistic and lacking any poetic quality or nuance, it sounds like something that a very earnest class of middle schoolers would have written and submitted as part of an "It Gets Better" songwriting competition.
Now we've reached the point in the concert where we discuss social activism and charitable causes. She champions the cause of gay rights, and she makes a donation to fund homeless shelters for LGBT youth in the cities she visits while on tour. She chose a lucky audience member (who she selected by calling them from her cell phone while on stage) and she made that lucky Little Monster the "Ambassador" for that donation, and also invited him to have a drink with her after the show. She has the phone conversation with him while she's on stage, and he's in his seat with a camera and a spotlight on him. It was really very adorable, because the guy was the cutest little twink, whose wig and makeup appeared to be a nod to KISS. When Lady Gaga complimented him on his look, and said that it reminded her of KISS, he nervously replied that it was his "KISS meets Black Swan moment". It was so endearing. the rocking out reaches a fever pitch, and everybody's all amped up as she just finished performing "Show Me Your Teeth"...
...she goes off on a tangent about bullying and being different and...being "Born This Way". It's important to her to make this statement, but she makes her point, rephrases her point, repeats her point some more, rambles on for several minutes, to the point where the concert lost all momentum. After ten minutes of patiently listening, I lean over and whisper to Robin, "Seriously, we just need to hear 'Paparazzi' and 'Poker Face', and then the show's over."

It really was a great show, and Robin and I had a blast. We walked across the street to the W Hotel bar, where we chatted a while longer until the lights came up. Then, we drove our sleepy-yet fabulous-Little Monster butts home.

Blogger's Note: This also fulfills Item #28 on my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days

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