Lady Gaga show review
by Jaime Dunkle
On December 21, 2009 Lady Gaga performed at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. After selling 8 million copies of her latest album The Fame, it is not surprising that she sold out three nights in a row at the acclaimed venue.
Lady Gaga’s introduction facilitated a strong foundation for the show. An aqua blue grid was cast across the stage as a gigantic computer generated image of her manifested; it was as if a morbid Marilyn Monroe had an alliance with Terminator II, and Kraftwerk was invited. Electronic ambiance resonated throughout the venue as a loop of Lady Gaga announced her progressive mantra, “I’m a free bitch, baby.” It was accompanied by another sample loop of CeCe Pineston’s song Finally, which was perfect considering that “it” had indeed finally happened for the multifaceted Lady Gaga. After about two minutes the opening was finished, and Lady Gaga appeared before her loyal monsters.
The first song she performed was Dance in the Dark. Lady Gaga was clad in glitter and Christmas lights as she acted out parts of what resembled the Thriller dance; she was luminous and humorous. The song has an automatic melancholic tone because it samples Depeche Mode’s Strangelove, but Lady Gaga’s ability to be fun and carefree on stage transformed the feeling of tragedy to triumph; she has mastered the art of alchemy.
Lady Gaga’s performance was fearless—she was violent, vulgar, sexy, and silly. Her unique stage show also incorporated aspects of Madonna and Marilyn Manson; an interesting amalgam of previous glam stars. Like her predecessors, she added a new flavor to the mix; Lady Gaga broke the boundaries of pop music by creating a new wave of anti-pop juxtaposition.
Projections played during the interludes. There was one video that was especially symbolic. Lady Gaga was clad in all black, and threw-up aqua liquid on herself dressed in all white. When we briefly met backstage, she said it signified “when your past soils your future.”
Another bizarre video was The Manifesto of Little Monsters. As Lady Gaga’s voice-over spoke to her fans, there were several clips of her wearing extreme bondage masks while she made strange gestures. According to Lady Gaga, it even scares her when she watches it!
Lady Gaga’s spunky side was definitely revealed when she repeatedly made fun of lip-syncing. She would gaze into the audience and sarcastically chatter out of time; only the queen of paradox could get away with being so shameless.
It is no doubt that the artist has a symbiotic relationship with his or her audience. During the Monster Ball, Lady Gaga brought this truth to a whole new level. She assured her fans that she loved them, but not without demanding their love in response. She compared herself to Tinkerbell, exclaiming that she would die without her screaming spectators.
The most heartfelt segment of the show was Lady Gaga’s acoustic set. She sang the song about her father, Speechless. And then she performed a soulful version of Pokerface, during which she announced to the audience that if they didn’t like her show they could “fucking leave.” Of course the crowd loved every minute of it; Lady Gaga invited her monsters into her world, and they never once thought of abandoning her.
The seemingly innocent Stefani Germanotta has transformed into a wild woman of many wiles. When she assumed the role of Lady Gaga, she metamorphosed into the decadent ringleader of the Monster Ball; she became a modern initiatrix, offering solace to her devotees. When Lady Gaga was onstage she was as intoxicating as the finest of all wines, as if handpicked by Dionysus himself.
To see more photos go to Krystal Eileen’s photos at Gagadaily.com.