This is how my evening seeing Lady Gaga started off: my dad (yes, my DAD) drove us into the parking area near the stadium and asked the attendant, “What’s going on here tonight?”
“Uh, Lady Gaga,” the guy answered.
“Sounds good! Hook us up!” my dad shouted. (My dad is awesome.)
My sister, her best friend, and my dad and I saw Lady Gaga in Louisville, Kentucky at the KFC Yum! Center (great name, really, nothing like imagining fried chicken and mashed potatoes every time I think of Gaga now) on March 12. I like Gaga, although I have nowhere near the levels of adoration that the Little Monsters do. She has some really great songs, and I was looking forward to seeing some wicked outfits and crazy stunts and what have you, the typical Gaga fare.
Scissor Sisters opened up at 8, with the announcement that “if you don’t know who we are, you’re probably not gay or British” (they were right!). They were a decent band, kind of a cross between Led Zeppelin and Joan Jett.
Gaga didn’t come onstage until almost 9:30, and it was definitely Gaga in all her glory—the blood, the massive red cape with the weird pointy shoulder pads, the insane heels, the weird hats, the pyrotechnics, the sort of gender-neutral dancers. Lady Gaga is nothing if not a performer to the hilt, and every time I see her on TV or wherever I feel like she’s only half human. I mean that in the best of ways. It’s just that one minute she was talking to a twelve-year-old girl near the stage (“I wish I had skin like yours, honey!”), and the next minute she’s freaking out all over the stage and the piano is on fire.
Gaga started things off with “Just Dance,” a good crowd-loosener in my opinion, and went through the usual repertoire from her first two albums: “Alejandro,” “Poker Face,” “LoveGame” (my personal favorite!), and two versions of “Born This Way,” a slightly overrated song in my opinion, but shh, don’t tell anyone. She also played the new “You and I,” about a boy from Nebraska (whoa?!), which was much softer than many of her hits and, of course, another great song. Gaga can wail on the piano, which makes me seriously respect her, just in the sense that she’s not some bimbo who happened to get famous. Aside from being an icon of the times, she’s a trained musician and really knows what she’s doing.
And yes, she wore the sparks-shooting bustier, and she definitely wore a latex body suit that made it look like she’d just gotten out of the shower and covered herself in petroleum jelly. Insert your own meat dress joke here.
Apparently at one point everyone on the field level got a cue that “This is when you should throw things!” and a bunch of bras and Barbie dolls went flying onto the stage. Gaga took several of the dolls’ heads off and threw them back into the crowd. Hopefully that had some special significance for the Little Monsters and didn’t leave anyone traumatized (OMG, MOTHER MONSTER KILLED MY SKIPPER!).
It was a crazy and hypnotic show, based on the premise that Gaga and her friends were on their way to the Monster Ball and had several mishaps on their way there, including their car breaking down, the subway system failing, and the FAME MONSTER jumping out at the last minute to destroy everyone’s souls. The Fame Monster looked a lot like the skull of a T-Rex from where I was, but I was very much in the nosebleed section and am not very reliable in knowing what was actually happening.
A final word: Lady Gaga is sort of the ambassador of anyone weird or insecure or different, which is an excellent thing to stand for when you have that sort of power.
But I was thinking: is she REALLY that ambassador of the weird if she’s the most popular pop artist in the world and everyone knows who she is? She’s gone extremely mainstream, maybe not in her music or her image, but just in terms of being a household name. But maybe that’s okay. Everyone is weird, and everyone could use a little Gaga, I think.