With Lady Gaga comes a whole new kind of star; she is certainly one of a kind and has become a worldwide pop phenomenon in a flash.
I soon realised as I walked up to the epic O2 arena that I had never seen a gig at this venue, but had only visited it in its former life as the Millenium Dome. Inside I couldn’t believe the space and quantity of restaurants and bars, and then of course there is the 20,000 seat concert hall in the centre, unbelievable. I had on a new pair of big brown feather eyelashes for the occasion; as expected there were some other outrageous eccentrics dressed up for the gig wandering about. At one point a girl so perfectly identical to Gaga walked by that the crowd behind me momentarily thought they’d spotted the star herself.
Her show, ‘The Monster Ball Tour’ at the O2 is supported by Semi Precious Weapons, who are friends of Gaga’s that she spoke fondly about onstage. The performance she gave was a tour de force, physically and mentally. She certainly involves her audience, and at times even threatens us screaming: ‘don’t leave here loving me more...leave loving yourself more’. In fact the lectures continued throughout the show, shouted aggressively at the desperately keen listeners. There was a real feeling of vengeance in her speech, under all the make-up just a little girl who felt she needed to gloat at all those who have put her down over the years.
The most exciting thing about seeing Lady Gaga is the group speculation about what stunt she is going to pull next, how mad her outfits will be and how grotesquely great her staging will look. And she seemed to please her fans on all counts. The show was set out as a kind of musical reminiscent of the Rocky Horror Show and the gothic Addams Family, to give you an idea. Bright neon words hung from a brilliant twisted staircase and a car sat centre stage soon to be opened out into a keyboard. As the show proceeded the stage transformed frequently as did Gaga who seemed to have a different skimpy outfit for each and every song. The musicians played along with Her Highness, all live and yet prancing around the stage like possessed creatures. At one point she grabbed a Santa toy from a presumptuous fan only to stand on stage decapitating the poor little thing with her killer stiletto.
Beneath the wild character is a very talented musician, a fact that can easily be forgotten when watching such a devilish and daring performance. It seemed at times to be improvised on the spot, a pretty scary idea with 40,000 beady eyes watching your every move. I was reminded by my friend that little Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta started out as a pianist and this is a skill she still very much uses in her music. Towards the middle of the show she sat, or rather squatted, at the piano to play two calmer songs. At times her body was contorted or horizontal or strapped into a uncomfortably tight costume and yet she seamlessly sung every note, bang in tune; it was impressive to say the least.
‘Poker Face’ was the highlight number for me, the atmosphere just soared when those first notes beat out. It was the song that Gaga seemed to enjoy most too.
Thanks to my lovely friend for the tickets, and a spectacular night.