Before heading to the RBC Center around 8:00 p.m. last night, I was trying to prepare myself for the type of show I thought Lady Gaga would put on. I had heard from a co-worker, who saw the show in Philadelphia, that it was “horrifying” and “tasteless.” I was told it was nothing but performers on stage, and little monsters in the crowd, parading around in thongs and bras, and that it left little to the imagination. To top it off, a UK online article, The Daily Reporter, railed Lady Gaga’s antics and declared she had “killed off sex”, just five days before the show. Prior to speaking with my co-worker, I was familiar with Lady Gaga’s outrageous fashions choices (how can you not be she’s all over the news), so when my co-worker described the scene in Philadelphia I wasn’t entirely surprised. However, I am a self-proclaimed little monster myself, so hearing my co-workers opinion about the show, and reading the article that trashed Lady Gaga, didn’t deter me in the slightest from attending her concert in Raleigh, NC last night, which I had bought tickets to in April to make sure I was able to attend. So, as the clock ticked yesterday, and the Monster Ball got closer and closer, I kept wondering what I was truly in for. I didn’t care that Lady Gaga would be dressed in wild and creative costumes, dancing around practically nude, in theatrical sequences; in fact I was hoping for it! However, I was concerned that being a t-shirt and jeans concert goer I may not fit in with the other little monsters at the arena. I started to picture a crowd full of blonde-wigged fans in crazy high shoes, with face-blocking sunglasses and scantily clad bodies. Then I realized how awesome it would be if that was the crowd I was stepping into, because not only would I get to watch the show I could be a part of it, which is the whole point anyway. So, I threw my Lady Gaga t-shirt on, pulled up my jeans and slapped on a little eyeliner and headed out the door to the show.
When I arrived, I met the crowd I was expecting, but instead of one mass of blonde Lady Gaga worshippers, there was a cornucopia of little monsters walking through the arena doors. As expected, there were people in wigs, blonde, pink, green, and yellow, with the sky-high heels, fishnets and eightiesesque make-up, and that was just some of the guys. People had created their own hand-made outfits that entailed bodices, lingerie, heels that could make the shortest person looks like a giant, futuristic shiny garb, and of course a plethora of wig covered heads. The coolest article of clothing I saw, not on stage, was a black leather vest that had “Fame Monster” embellished into the back, and was sparkling with glitter. It was the epitome of true dedication to the music of Lady Gaga. As I continued into the arena, the anticipation of all the little monsters waiting for Lady Gaga to take the stage was palpable. The energy in the room was intoxicating and it quickly overtook any reservations I had made about my clothing choice.
A mere ten minutes later, Lady Gaga appeared on stage opening with her catchy dance jam, “Dance in the Dark.” Two seconds in, I was hooked. I was mesmerized by the tiny yellow-wig wearing figure on stage. For this song she stood behind a white curtain, her shadow moving in sharp increments to the music atop a flight of stairs. Once her intro was complete. She continued with “Glitter and Grease,” “Just Dance” and “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich.” Every choreographed move had the crowd entranced, or maybe it was her sculpted legs, which weren’t covered at any duration that evening. Either way all eyes were glued to stage. She moved on with “The Fame,” “Love Game,” “Boys, Boys, Boys,” and “Telephone”, where she answered her telephone teasingly accusing Beyonce of “always interrupting her show.” In between songs she would occasionally get serious and discuss her support for gay rights and her opposition to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, or how fragile and strong she can be, just like anyone else. She was endearing when she would thank the little monsters and explain how they keep her alive, like when you clap for Tinker Bell. She even made a promise to her fans she would never be washed up. My personal favorite line was when she growled, “there is NO lip syncing in this pop show!” For someone who is constantly hounded and criticized by the press for being just an outlandish character in the pop community, she seemed like a genuine and sincere person to me, just one who really enjoys playing dress up. Her set went forward with “Speechless,” and new power ballad, “You and I,” “So Happy I Could Die,” and “Monster.” Then she made us put our little paws up and show our “Teeth.” Next, Lady Gaga introduced us to Fernando, Roberto and “Alejandro.” She put on her “Poker Face” and posed for the “Paparazzi” which got her tangled with the fame monster itself. Finally, she ended the show with a pop, growl and a bang with “Bad Romance.”
Even though it was late on a Sunday evening I wasn’t ready to go! Her show was like being at a killer play with an insanely famously talented singer as the star. She is truly a performer. And, yes there are elements to her theatrics that are reminiscent of Madonna and Michael Jackson, but musical influences can’t provide you with the sheer key pounding, and song belting this star has. She was just born that way. And, yes she may walk around in nothing but her underwear, but let’s face if I had a body like hers I would be too! Thank you for coming to Raleigh, N.C. Lady and attacking some fellow monsters; it’s just what this city needed.