Lady 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:
- “Follow the glitter way!”
- “Fight for what you believe in!
- “The rest of your life starts now. You can be anything you want!”
- “Oh noooooo! Now we’ll never make it to the Monster Ball.” “Yes you will, I’ll take you there!”
- 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?