Monday, February 18, 2019

Lady Gaga at Lollapalooza 2010: Some of what I hoped and everything I feared

Posted by teibs On August - 7 - 2010


gaga3Lady Gaga was some of what I hoped she’d be and everything I feared she’d be. I was ready for a big spectacle full of bizarre costume changes, massive sets, gaudy production and irresistible pop. I was ready to get caught up in it all. I wanted to. I didn’t. At all. It was shock for the sake of shock and it all came together to form a vapid performance. It was a self-indulgent Kanye-glow-in-the-dark-tour-esque production, full of eye-rolling cheesy one-liners, unimpressive dancing, an embarassing plot and a lot of fluff. Oddly sexual, confusing, uninspiring pop. It all lead to a constant feeling of waiting for a moment to take my breath away that never came and then feeling an immediate urge to leave.

Gaga’s silhouette posed behind the shadows of her massive curtain for opening song “Dance in the Dark” for what seemed like an eternity before emerging. Once she was out there, it was a lot of style and not much substance. I connected with nothing. You put all the elements together and it sounds like a real show stoper. Fireworks shooting out of her breasts and fire shooting from her crotch. A car that turns into a piano that she plays with her stilleto. A monster that may or may not rape you. Topless dancing men and women in fancy bra’s. I could see that being enjoyable if the package felt genuine or if the songs were enhanced by any of this or if Gaga was a particularly good dancer or if it all added up to something bigger. It didn’t. The neon signs reading “drugs” “good food” “death” and “what the fuck have you done” didn’t resonate with me at all. Nothing did.

It felt strained to get from one segment to the next and along the way I felt completely uninspired and bored. Something I’d never thought I’d be able to say at a Gaga show. It was surprisingly similar to how I felt watching Kanye’s glow in the dark tour. While Kanye traveled across the universe looking for the biggest, brightest star, Gaga wanted to take us to the ball. And when we were there, she was going to try to … arouse us and freak us out? If nothing else, Lady Gaga confuses me. She seems like she’s trying to inspire me to be happy that I’m a freak or a monster and to enjoy being part of this little weird world of hers. I want no part of this. From clips I’d seen of her, It seemed like she really connected with audiences and had strong banter and could really reel them in. She was Kanye-bad.

5 worst lines:

  1. “Follow the glitter way!”
  2. “Fight for what you believe in!
  3. “The rest of your life starts now. You can be anything you want!”
  4. “Oh noooooo! Now we’ll never make it to the Monster Ball.” “Yes you will, I’ll take you there!”
  5. Don’t rape me, monster!”

There was one moment towards the end of “Just Dance” where I felt myself start to give and dance and consider just going along for the ride, but it happened so late in the song, I lost all the momentum and was just done. A couple songs later, I looked around at the bored faces around me and shrugged and said “OK who’s ready for The Strokes?” A tiny part of me wanted to see how it would all pan out, considering that this would now definitely be my only Gaga experience, but there was a hard rocking band about to throw down on the other side of the festival. I left after 35 minutes and got to the Strokes just as they came on, exploding with riffs to “New York City Cops.” I couldn’t be more pleased with that decision.

As Time Out Chicago put it, “It’s hard to look past a woman screaming at a mechanical octopus’ monster tentacles, “Don’t rape me, monster!” I had hopes Gaga would just wow us. Put on a spectacle that was impossible to say no to.Be this pop queen goddess she’s touted as. That just did not happen. If I start calling her Lady BlaBla would you be offended? Would you little monsters defend her?


8 Responses

  1. BC Said,

    I’ve always gotten the impression that everything she does is strained. Like a less original Madonna or Prince. Hopefully she will be gone within the next few years.

    Posted on August 7th, 2010 at 9:14 am

  2. Armani Said,

    wait a minute.. there was Madonna and Bowie…

    now it’s duplicates and fusions and they make the most influential list (TIME) by what?
    as long as you have an ethical cause (and gay rights is a great cause, by the way)–

    but as long as you have an ethical cause and look like a hip mod young thang… you are at the top of the list!

    For the rest of us, please give us the original. there is Madonna and Madonna alone. no duplicates. and oh , by the way.. she too had ethical causes , but never hung them like neon signs for bigger ticket sales…

    Posted on August 7th, 2010 at 11:13 am

  3. Glen Donovan Said,

    Yes, I’ll defend her. It’s easy when someone is as popular as it’s possible to be (two years for global domination’s pretty quick in anyone’s estimation) for a blogger to gain some sort of “superiority points” by saying he was “bored” by his first experience of her. Forget the rock/pop/whatever genres for a moment. She’s undoubtedly an extremely talented musician whose work is not generated by a middle aged man in a suit (or leather jacket and jeans) and his team at one of the big record companies. It comes from her. That’s where her autheticity comes from and why she stands out from every other ‘major’ pop star still working. She is the first great 21st Century music star and she definitely excites at least tens, possibly hundreds of millions of people around the planet. Way over a billion views on the internet and counting. Killer hooks, Great ideas. Very strong message.too. Viva GAGA.

    Posted on August 7th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

  4. Christine K Said,

    From what others I went to Lollapalooza with yesterday said the show was lewd, crude, and sexual. She did eleven songs in two hours because she needed all that time for her one liners, her set, and her costume changes. She has a great voice and obvious talent but she puts on a terrible show. It was all about the sex and the Japanese iconography. The tentacle monster is a huge deal in Japanese animated porn and a young girl would always end up getting raped by it. So yeah, it sounds like she has an obsession with Japanese porn.

    There was one point in the show, from what they told me, that she dissed the BMI stage and praised some imaginary alcoholic father that may or may not be an influence on her life. She’s definitely not for anyone under the age of seventeen in person. Hell, I don’t even know why those Kidz Bop kids cover her stuff. She’s just ugh.

    It’s no wonder this reviewer gave the Strokes a very good review. He did no know nor did he sit through fifteen minutes of wondering when the Strokes would come on.

    Posted on August 7th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

  5. shesaidwhat Said,

    “don’t rape me monster” she said that? To her tween fans she seriously said these words and ppl still worship her? Screwed up.
    I used to like her at first but she isn’t good enough IMO when she says the over the top weird crap at her shows to those kids. Repulsive.

    Posted on August 8th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

  6. Thomas Said,

    I will defend her also. I was at this show and I think the main problem was the audience (This blogger included.) No matter how much she gave to the crowd, they rarely responded with the same energy. Lame. This was my fourth time seeing Gaga and this was by far the WORST crowd, followed closely by the Gaga concert in Rosemont I saw in January. Maybe it’s something with Chicago. Next Christine, you’re EXTREMELY misinformed. Japanese porn? Are you serious? And imaginary alcoholic father? More like her father who was ACTUALLY there…

    Posted on August 16th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

  7. Hendrik Said,

    For me is this simple : you expected too much…and Gaga over do it, this kind of show is not for lollapalooza…Gaga always gave her all…is just that you din’t want it.

    Posted on August 27th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

  8. | Festival Crashers Said,

    […] gave Gaga a chance once, and it was the worst headlining show I have ever seen at a festival. It made me sick to my stomach. On the other side, we have Tune-Yards and their beautiful, odd, […]

    Posted on December 15th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

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