August 22, 2010


I saw lady gaga (#14) in her monster ball tour thursday night here in portland. oh, my. you know, it's going to sound ridiculously cheesy and you're going to judge me forever about it, but I had never had one of those "oh my god, this concert was amazing" experiences and ... I totally had it with lady gaga. the tickets were my birthday present from my mother (I had requested them) and I had wanted them because I'm a gaga fan but also because it struck me that the show would be in the ilk of madonna or michael jackson -- the kind of thing you'd be glad to have seen twenty years from now, when she's more famous or dead or something. and the concert did. not. disappoint. it was an honest to god theater piece as much as a concert, with an (admittedly loose) plot, a lot of stage mechanics, a GIANT PUPPET, and at least 9 costume changes. the costume changes themselves, of course, were probably half of why I wanted to go -- and the dresses/bras/weird headdresses were as outrageous as I wanted them to be. one headdress and dress were animatronic (the headdress moved by itself); there was the requisite bikini, a dress that she appeared -- endearingly -- to not be taped into enough (she kept rearranging her right boob inside the dress. haven't we all been there?), some fake blood, and the flaming bra.

she was simultaneously hilarious and super sweet when she spoke to the crowd, talking often about gay rights (at one point congratulating two of her dancers, gay men who had fallen in love with each other while the tour was in jerusalem) and constantly reminding her audience that "the freaks are the people outside tonight." seeing the make-up of the crowd was almost worth the ticket price: men and women in full gaga costumes, people in all sorts of outrageous tights and bustiers and shiny clothing, a lot of blonde wigs. (my friend lauren, who by the way was the most fun concert date ever, turned to me at one point and said, do you think these people just had these clothes in their closets?!). but gaga was also quintessential gaga, ending her sweet motivational speech at the opening of the concert by saying, "now dance, motherfuckers!"

and then following it up with this, of course.

she had another few hilarious one liners, the funniest one in context being, perhaps, when she said, "I'm sure you've all heard I have an enormous ...[long pause] ...dick," in reference to those people who used to swear she was a drag queen. the impression one got was that she is potentially a normal, nice person underneath the gaga image. she sang well and danced all night, a consummate performer, and I think one of the reasons I like her so much as an artist is that she is so entirely devoted and committed to this thing she's doing. she's not phoning it in, ever. she does all the dancing, she does all the singing, she plays the shit out of a flaming piano. I have a lot of respect for complete dedication in just about any medium. awesome effing show.

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