Saturday, February 6

She Ate My Heart

So here's the thing about the Lady Gaga concert. It was immaculate. It was well-thought-out from the opener (Semi-Precious Weapons) to the Michael Jackson that she played while the stage was set up (people - read: me and Lil Sof Sof - were singing and dancing to "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Thriller" in a lit auditorium with a whole bunch of other singing strangers) to the dancers - who were characters more than anything - to the finale. The woman IS musical theater. This is what people don't understand. Any time I hear someone say "I don't get Lady Gaga," I think two things: 1. "I hate you," and 2. "That's because you aren't gay enough." I, however, am a gay man, so I get her just fine.

So CK covered basically the first half of the concert, and I'll do my bit mostly on the last half. My thing about the concert is that it was all so ENJOYABLE - even songs that I didn't like when listening to them on the CD (See: Alejandro or Dance in the Dark) were so well done and so entertaining that I sang along and cheered, and left the stadium liking them. Basically the whole concert was me and my friends singing along, cheering, and dancing. I don't know how she did it, but the whole time, even though I was in an auditorium full of people (Side note: kids at Purdue would not last two hours in the bars in Iowa City. Their "going all out" for the concert is like wearing stuff that I would seriously consider wearing to the bars. Neither LSS or Jbear were wearing pants, and my skirt was so short I basically wasn't either. It's ok though, we all had tights on, so it doesn't count.) I felt like it was a very personal experience. She talked to us as if we were a group of people who had come together not for a concert, but for some sort of social movement. This was particularly true when she shouted "ARE YOU LISTENING?" to the audience, echoing her moving speech that she gave at the Gay Pride rally in D.C. Like I said, if you don't get gay culture, you won't get Gaga - the experience was just her embracing who she is and who her fans are and giving them a show made especially for them.

Ok, to be less vague, I'll break it down by songs. "Monster" was one of my favorites and is a new obsession of mine, but CK's spoken about it already so I'll just agree that it's wonderful. "Just Dance" (aka The Ballad of the IC Bars at 1:00 am) was so much fun, and was well-placed at the beginning of the show;"Teeth" was fucking sexy and I'm thrilled she included it because that song is raw and animalistic (like the screens she was dancing in front of); "Boys Boys Boys" allowed her male dancers to dance shirtless in pants and suspenders, and that was just, you know, awesome. In between all these songs were her speeches and calls for cheers - "I'm a little like Tinkerbelle - if people don't clap for me, I die" - and, my favorite part, the story about seeing fans hail each other in Boston. Apparently she was riding in a car, and next to her was a car full of fans, singing Gaga music at the top of their lungs. She rolled down her window and looked out at them, waiting for them to see her, but they didn't. Then, from another car going by, as they heard the Gaga music pouring out of the first car, more fans acknowledged mutual Gaga love by sticking hands, curled into claws, out of their window as they passed; and thus, the claw, and the "Little Monster" greeting was born. We cheered and showed her our claws, in appreciation of the story. The moral of which, by the way, is ALWAYS BE ALERT, BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN LADY GAGA IS JUST GOING TO SHOW UP IN THE CAR NEXT TO YOU.

Just Dance

"Speechless" was probably my favorite song of the evening. She came out with a huge, busted-ass looking piano, and the performance was just emotional and gorgeous. I think the most amazing part of being a performer would be to have your audience sing parts of a song back to you, and she had us do that with this song. I mean, the song is already about her dad, and convincing him to get life-saving surgery, so hearing thousands of people sing back your words about such a heartbreaking/heartwarming subject - it must've been ridiculous and moving. She did "Paparazzi" and we decided that there must've been some sort of technical difficulty, because we assumed that she was supposed to end up hanging from the top of the stage (she was in the process of being lifted up there and then they kind of chickened out) but she didn't; so she just went offstage and we stood there for a few minutes, cheering, ready for the encore. I mean, she hadn't sung "Bad Romance" yet, so the show couldn't be over. So then finally the woman comes out IN A GLOWING ORB (like Glenda the Good Witch in Wicked - like I said, she IS musical theater) and says, "You didn't think I'd leave you like that, did you?" No Gaga, we didn't.

Glowing ORB

So then we're expecting "Bad Romance," and she jumps into "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)," probably the poppiest song she's done and one of my favorites. I definitely wasn't expecting it, because it's not like it was a single or anything, but it was great to hear it - at the end of the night, we said that she had sung every song we'd wanted to hear. After that, of course, was the money. She sang "Caught in a bad romance," and as if we weren't nuts enough already, we froke the fuck out. She said something to the effect of, "I'm going to give you what you deserve, Purdue" and the "Ra Ra Ah Ah Ah's" started, dancers cavorting around her, sky-high heels on, orb gone, just fucking performing. Disregarding the incredibly annoying tall guy who was standing in front of me taking pictures of him and his pocket-sized girlfriend in front of the stage, the performance was, as always, flawless. I may be able to put up video clips later, if I can get them from J Bear when I get back in town (I'm currently in CA.)

Bad Romance

At the end, like the theater kid she is, she came out with the entire "cast" of dancers and took a stage bow. You know, people think she's ridiculous, but really, I think she just really understands what she's doing. Her whole persona is about fame and spectacle, and it's like her life is a fucking piece of literature because of the ties she makes from performance to performance to CD to music video to speech to her fucking outfits- her life, her performances, have themes, which she cultivates and encourages. How many times has she used a burned piano? Masks? That monster claw (models of which, by the way, were covering her burned piano when she sang at the Grammy's with Elton John)? The lines about needing applause, about how she wants to be a star? She knows what she's fucking doing. She doesn't just want attention; she's building her outrageous persona for a purpose. I can't wait to see what she does next; the music industry had better catch up.

Final bow

Side note: Like Chatty Kathy, I too have a new boy roommate. This is because we live in the same house. And I'd like to state officially that I think having a boy roommate is SO FUN. I don't have a whole lot of experience living with boys - my mom didn't remarry til I was 17 and I don't have brothers - but (and of course this is in no way meant to insult the lovely women I've lived with before, including L Dubs who Boy Roommate has replaced while she studies in Australia) I am truly truly enjoying the experience. Boy Roommate and I do all sorts of fun things together - he makes me watch basketball and I cheer when they score touchdowns, I make him watch Real World: D.C. and he cheers when it is over. And we watch Jersey Shore together and shush anyone who dares speak while it is on. We are both looking forward to the Puppy Bowl, and he encourages me to drink copiously on Fridays even though he knows I work on Saturday mornings. Plus he knows I am up for cuddles and/or hugs whenever, though oddly he almost never takes advantage of these offers. It's a lovely relationship. Of course, I don't share a bathroom with him, and CK does, so that's a whole nother story. I bet it smells like boy products. Nice!

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