Sep
09
2010

  Great Time With Lady Gaga

Our babysitter did show up on time for us to go to the concert (I had my doubts about her), and I had a great time. Much about Lady Gaga's schtick puzzled me, though. She seemed inconsistent. She was big on proclaiming that everyone should be accepted for who they are, but then went on and described everyone not at the concert as the "freaks" of the world. It just didn't strike me as congruous with the we-love-everybody tone she seemed to be trying to foster. I doubt that most of her fans are particular about her semantics.

The show was every bit the spectacle that I had heard about and wanted to see. It was awesome. Especially the monster at the Monster Ball. The piano-on-fire was a nice touch to enliven some otherwise dull ballads. The costume changes were frequent, and over-the-top, as expected. Terry and I both were especially impressed with the mechanical headdress that opened and shut its halo as she sang.

I thought she expended a bit too much effort pandering to the crowd, but understood the effort. I'd heard an interview with Lady Gaga a few months ago, and she struck me as being very shrewd and calculated with her marketing. Her target audience is anyone who feels like they "don't belong" in regular society. It makes sense to me from a business perspective, there are probably many many more people who feel like they "don't belong" in some way or another than who feel completely at ease with their life situation. I must admit, that some of her empowerment pep talks were very appealing and motivating. In many ways, I don't fit in with regular people. Terry and I have chosen a rather unusual path for ourselves (hence we are often surrounded by older people, who've taken longer to get here). But other times during her frequent pep talk interludes, I just thought, "oh, isn't it sweet how she's trying to cheer up the misfits," since I'm certainly not as way out there as what I suspect she considers her "core" fan base.

The only thing that made me feel like an old woman there was the way she referred to the attendees as "her little monsters." And some in the crowd referred to her as the "mama monster" or something to that effect. But I didn't go to the concert in order to be her little monster. I didn't buy a ticket in order to join her club, she made it seem like everyone there was a part of some larger whole (the collective little monsters, I suppose). With my ticket purchase I wasn't buying entry into some subculture group, I was paying for her to sing and dance around in outlandish costumes for my entertainment. And she should not feel maternal towards me for doing so. This was another thing that puzzled me. Does she think that the misfits of the world are going to see her concerts to gain entry to her mythical monster-club? Is that actually why people are going to her shows? I am open to the possibility that I am in the minority in going for the main purpose of being entertained. It might be an old-fashioned concept, wanting to be entertained by a performer. I don't need to be pandered to, just entertained. But she pandered so much and so often, I wondered if that's part of what her fans expect, and want?

Regardless, I was entertained, mightily so. I'm very glad I went to see her show, and highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of either shocking spectacle or pop dance music generally. There was definitely some vulgarity going on, and while I might have preferred there be less of that sort of thing, I can ignore it enough to enjoy the show. But part of her image is to be outre, so you really ought to expect her to try to shock the audience in some way, so all of that was not unexpected for me. I know one other person (besides T) who went to this particular show (although I didn't see him there, JPJ is a large venue), so I'm curious to talk to him about it. It seems that many of my friends chose to attend some ladies' night at the Melting Pot this evening over the Lady Gaga concert. That really, really baffles me, and so does make me wonder if I even "fit in" as much as I think I do, perhaps I am even more out-of-it than I realize. . .