Goo Goo for Gaga

As much as I love pop music, its not a genre of music that ever really crosses my mind to go and see in concert. I like my guitars and drums and I like them loud with guys who look like they’ve done a tad too much heroin singing on the microphone, so the thought of buying tickets to any pop act never really crossed my mind. However a friend of ours, who consumes pop culture like no ones business happened to buy a few too many tickets to the Lady Gaga concert here in Philly on the 14th (yes Halo day). Now I own the Lady Gaga albums but they certainly don’t get played as often as say Metallica but even so my wife and I decided to take on two of the tickets and just go out and have a good time.

While it did not seem to be a great idea once we got into the arena and we were exposed to the freak show that are Lady Gaga fans. I have to admit, I felt a little out of place walking through the concourse of the Wells Fargo Center but I took the opportunity to click a few photos and tried to make the best of it. Once we got to our seats everything changed though, the crowd was very friendly and it was like the biggest party I’ve ever been to. And then Lady Gaga hit the stage and the place erupted with people rising to their feet never to be off them again for the rest of the night.

Say what you want about her music but she knows how to put on a show. The concert was a mix of a broadway musical mixed with a full on rock concert. She was backed by a full band (two guitarists, a bassist, two keyboard players, a violinist and one of the hardest working drummers I have ever watched live) and a small army of dancers / backup singers. You would think that this would be the worlds biggest lip sync event but she does it all live. She messed up at a few notes and it was evident in the vocals that she wasn’t singing to a track. At one point she futzed up her piano playing and pretty much stopped the show to tell the crowd she will always perform her shows live, something a few other pop-stars could take a cue from. She also changed costumes about 10 times throughout the course of the show but the changes were never overly long and because of that she was able to keep the energy of the show very high.

While it certainly was a fantastic show, I was quite surprised at the number of small children there (the title of the post comes from the shirt backs of a small fleet of young girls). The Monster Ball is not for small children in the least as she repeatedly yelled for Philly to show her their cocks during her rendition of Lovegame. She also got a bit political at times, speaking openly about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and how everyone should call their senators and tell them how it is. She has quite a message behind her performance and its one that I wasn’t expecting but ultimately had no problem with. She promotes being yourself, be that a freaky old dude wrapped in caution tape, the dude dressed up in a dress, or me in my black t-shirt, and the Monster Ball (as she calls her show) is a place for everyone to just come and be free. She talked about her now infamous meat dress and made a joke about how next year she will wear a tofu dress.

Overall it was a wonderfully entertaining experience. The music was great and while I didn’t know all the songs (despite owning the albums) they were all done in an entertaining way. She hit her big hits (Dancing in the Dark, Just Dance, Poker Face, Telephone, Paparazzi, Alejandro, and Bad Romance) and played a song of her upcoming new album. I don’t remember the name of the new song but I will say that based on her performance of the Beatlesque ballad the new album is a day one purchase when it comes out.

Sometimes I can be a bit close minded and I went in wondering what freak show I walked into and left glad I partied with these little monsters because everyone was just there to have a good time and enjoy the show, something I can’t say about a lot of other concerts I’ve been to. The Lady Gaga was an experience that I won’t soon forget and I would be more than willing to go back and see her on her next trip to Philly. If she comes to a town near you, I would highly recommend going.

5 out of 5


One thought on “Goo Goo for Gaga

  1. I too, am a music fan that tends to stay within the hard rock genre… and I too am a Lady GaGa convert. Granted, I never have anything against other types of music, but given the initial surge of press, I originally felt that GaGa was just a Madonna clone. While she does take some cues from Madonna’s playbook, she is still a much more original artist than that. She writes her own songs, for one, which gives her instant respect in my eyes. She also, as you pointed out, plays her material live… no lip-syncing, seemingly no auto-tune, and lets any mistakes fly out into the air without any regret. That’s a huge deal when it comes to my view of a musician.

    The music also stands for itself. It’s pop, but it’s pop done right. Catchy and simple hooks, but done in a way that intrigue you in their hidden complexities. The first time I actually sat and listened to Poker Face through a pair of headphones convinced me of her talent, as I realized how perfectly she blended a great song out of such simple elements. Also, the song Again Again is a very blues-based track that sits well with me, almost like a throwback to some of the old-school rock-pop tunes that I grew up on. While I avoided her at first, I’m glad I gave her stuff a listen. Pop music sorely needed an artist like her to show up and give it some credibility.

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