I'm going to be honest. I don't remember much about the show.
I arrived in a cab with my friends, all dressed for The Monster Ball. I had an actual seat while the rest of my group was on the floor, so we separated, not keeping to our plan of meeting up for a drink. So I wandered all over the Ford Center, checking out the lack of costumes. I was overdressed. I thought I would be UNDERdressed. There were a lot of people dressed comfortably. And in basketball shorts and dirty t-shirts.
I said hello to a couple of friends I met along the way, and had a cigarette with them, and continued walking around. My heels starting to chafe, I decided to grab some water and go check out my seat, which was FANTASTIC, by the way, and there was music on, but I didn't really hear what it was, and then I saw some chick onstage dancing, and I was confused. I thought that GaGa's DJ friend Lady Starlight would be providing pre show entertainment.
Yeah. That was her.
Back outside for some more walking and all of a sudden, Semi Precious Weapons take the stage---they are incredibly loud. Yes, I just said that. I would have been fine had I already been inside at my seat, but my social anxiety and night blindness kicked in, so I waited a bit to go inside. When I did, I was pleased. I enjoyed what I heard, enjoyed the costume change the lead singer did on stage, from one outfit, with a nude bodysuit and Spanx underneath, to a whole new outfit. He's GaGa's Sassy Gay Friend.
Liking what I hear, and planning to check them out later, I go get some expensive ass merchandise to support them. I get a too expensive bright yellow tote bag that says "I can't pay my rent but I'm fucking gorgeous-Semi Precious Weapons" that I HAD to have, and some tiny GaGa pins attached to that bag now.
I spent forever in that damn line. But since the stuff was a birthday gift to myself, I wanted to make sure I got some tiny mementos. Looking back on it, I probably should have gotten the bazillion dollar tour book to help me jog my memory, but what are ya gonna do? There were some window lickers at the counter who wanted to check ALL the sizes of ALL the shirts and practically try them on...It was ridiculous.
I finally got what I needed, decided on a last smoke and a visit to the facilities, and on my way back into the arena, I realized that I was late for curtain.
I wasn't VERY late, but I missed the countdown and the bit of "Finally" by Ce Ce Peniston at the top of the show. I got there just as she was starting "Dance in the Dark." She is unseen at this point, singing from behind a screen. And yes, she IS singing.
Ok. I know the show was about a group of Little Monsters trying to make it to The Monster Ball but their car breaks down. Then they have to take the subway, and somehow, they end up walking through the darkest part of Central Park, where they encounter the Fame Monster, a creature that can be killed by camera flashes, or from having its picture taken. And somewhere in there, a twister comes along and changes Gaga's clothes.
The show was broken into acts, with musical and visual interludes to fill in while costumes were being changed, but I'm not entirely sure what went where. I got the set list online, but no mention of the Interludes is made, although you can see them on youtube.
The Interludes were huge projections with insane, visceral, and evocative images that made you feel sick/react/feel and want to turn away, all at once. But you don't turn away. Not when Stefani is vomiting out her talent all over GaGa. The blue they use for the vomit is soft and soothing and familiar, and it doesn't jar you. Fuschia would jar me. You don't look away when GaGa bites into a cow heart---over and over and over, blood gushing. Now THAT was a fantastic, horrifying image.
There were others, but like I said, I have Concert Amnesia. The memories god blurry after Mother Monster commanded us "Dance you mother fuckers! Dance!"
So I did.
Ok. Act 1 is in The City, where the car has broken down. You can tell it's The City because of all the bright signs and words and steel, including the box that rises and lowers and elevates her...Every city has one of those, right?
She opened with "Dance in the Dark" behind a screen. That's all we saw of her for the longest. And then...purple and shoulder pads.
For some stupid reason, I was fumbling with all of my twentieth century technology while trying to pay attention. The set was awesome. There was a Bentley onstage that had been painted green and was messed up.
Her next one was a song only her "Superfans" would recognize, her demo called "Glitter and Grease." I'd never heard of it. And then she played "Just Dance," which only 35% of the population of the Ford Center was doing. What was the lack of participation about? No matter what she did, she just couldn't get EVERYONE on the same level. I was pretty UP there, practically the only on in my section fist pumping so much that I'm now an honorary member of "Jersey Shore."
Dressed as the craziest looking version of The Flying Nun I've ever seen, GaGa and her dancers head to TMB via subway, grinding on each other in the subway car before busting out onstage with her Disco Stick.
I remember her in a two piece black outfit, and she strode down the runway to the end of the catwalk, and people started throwing her presents. She was wearing a NY Yankees cap and a St. Louis Cardinals jersey when she began the next number. What I want to know is, where was all the OU stuff?
Someone tossed up a copy of her favorite book(a plant, you think?) and she read a couple of her favorite passages. One of them is tattooed on her left arm.
“Confess to yourself in the deepest hour of the night whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. Dig deep into your heart, where the answer spreads its roots in your being, and ask yourself solemnly, Must I write?”
This was the point in the show where I cried. And became inspired and hopeful.
She mentioned her favorite charity and how much money they get every night she has a show. And THEN she "called" one lucky fan(the ungrateful bitch was in MY section) and gave her and her friends better seats. And then "Beyonce" called to phone in her part on "Telephone." This was at about the halfway point, and GaGa showed no signs of stopping.
And when she sat down at the flaming piano to play "Speechless"(written for all the Drunk Assholes she's ever loved, her favorite Drunk Asshole being her dad, who is no longer surprised by anything she says or does, not after all the blood and sequins). And proceeded to play the piano with the stiletto heel of her boot.
After "You and I" she and two of her dancer disappeared into a "twister" and when the twister was gone, in its place was GaGa, dressed in a very-Glinda the Good Witch outfit, complete with wings, which she opened during "So Happy I Could Die>"
And then we encounter the Fame Monster in Central Park. It was a huge, stagehand-driven creature with sharp teeth and many...tentacles. Of course the song here is "Monster." It's during this song that the monster ravages her and tears her apart. Her costume goes first, and then she disappears into the stage floor, reappearing a moment later all bloody, shot up from below, ready to tell us how to kill the monster(by taking pictures of him, letting that flash go0. I guess we got 'em.
I. Went. To. CHURCH.
One of my favorite songs is "Teeth." Her music is permeating 5/6 of my writing projects right now, and this song is one of the most played on the playlist.It started as a normal dance number, but then it became a Black Baptist Gospel Revival. She was writing on the floor, still singing, her voice as strong as at the beginning of the show.
I never heard her voice crack, never saw her breathing heavy, never saw her makeup run, never saw her look haggard like the St. Louis reviewer saw, I saw a gorgeous girl with a nice ass, baskets of talent, words of inspiration, and a reason why Westboro Baptist Church SHOULD worry. I scoffed at the St. Louis bloggers' comment that any Lady GaGa enthusiast who went to the show left a Disciple.
He was not wrong.
After "Teeth" there was an Interlude, and then for "Alejandro," the Bethesda fountain was rolled out(I would LOVE to be a member of her set crew!) and my jaw dropped. I had read about this part, but I had forgotten about it.
I was so starstruck by a PIECE OF THE SET that I didn't even notice the two dudes onstage making out at the end of the song. Well, Bethesda was shooting flames, and I see gay makeout sessions all the time.
"Poker Face" and "Paparazzi' ended the show. When she said good night, I thought I had missed more of the show than I actually did. But then came the Encore.
The curtain went up to reveal her in the gyroscope. She soon stepped out of it to come down for the dancing.
and don't think I didn't know the choreography. I was ready for it. I danced HARD.
And she ended with a bang! She set the place on fire, literally. She shot sparks from her bra and panties. It was awesome.
And then it was over. And I immediately forgot everything I had just seen. I've been asking questions since to fill in the blanks. Seriously. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a a very detail-oriented person(just ask Dr. Don Bristow!) and a memory for bringing up old shit, but I couldn't remember a THING about the show I had just seen. I'm still having trouble.
A good remedy for Concert Amnesia?
GaGa in March.
This was just a dress rehearsal.
Dallas, here we come!
to see concert footage from the Ford Center, click the title of this blog. Picture of Rory, Daphne and Tinisha by Random Photographer. Pic of silhouette GaGa by Rory Littleton. The rest of the fab pics are by Lyss Cosplay.