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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There’s a bit of accepted wisdom that in crafting a stand-up set, you close with your strongest joke and open with your second-strongest. At the Riviera’s Starlite Theatre January 17, Steve-O kicked off his Original Pranksters Comedy Tour performance with “Who has two thumbs and loves blowjobs?” as he ripped off his shirt to show the tattoo of himself inked on his back. So. That should give you an idea of how the rest of the set went.

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