Concert Review: Lady Gaga

MGM Grand Garden Arena, Jan. 25

Few artists can get away with making an entrance by popping out of an inflatable zippered vagina. But Lady Gaga can. When her Born This Way tour made a two-night stop in Las Vegas, she brought the spectacle that fans have come to expect from the pop star—one that perhaps only her true fans can appreciate.

The production value of the show was high, naturally. Costumes were elaborate, and included lots of latex, pink hair, her famous meat dress and a twisted take on a nun’s habit. Sets were interesting and dynamic; highlights included a gothic castle and a Trojan horse. Her hit songs were a fun use of her powerful voice; the best were “Born This Way,” “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi.” She even had a backup dancer whom she referred to as “Black Jesus.”

But Lady Gaga fell short when she repeatedly offered contrived “self affirmations.” One example: leading the audience in a chorus of “I don’t give a fuck,” in regard to society’s views on self-image and sexuality. (Gaga’s mantra is proven to be hypocritical by all the effort she clearly puts into her own appearance.) She then dove in for the biggest cliché and wrapped herself in an American flag while skipping around the outer perimeter of the stage during “Americano.” By the end of the two-hour show, the routine was old and tiresome. One thing is for sure: Gaga is a great singer and should let that carry her. I think we would all enjoy with less “Monster”-shtick (what she calls her fans) and more of her beautiful voice. ★★★☆☆

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THE ROYAL VISIT: It’s always a delightful social occasion when the Lady Gaga comes to our province to entertain us peasants using the tools of her office: the extraterrestrial drag, the enormous meat grinder, the simulated childbirth and more. Just knowing that we’re going to get a show with this level of refinement and sophistication should make you want to become a better person. Seriously, though: Who else is working on this level these days? David Bowie is retired. GWAR is fun, but if you’ve seen them once, that’s plenty.

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