Lady GaGa, Live at the O2
"Tonight, my religion is Dublin!" GaGa hollers during 'Poker Face', and I believe her...
Celina Murphy, 27 Oct 2010
"Get your dicks out, Ireland!"
Finally! This thing's been chafing me all night....
It's the 132nd night of the Monster Ball tour, and understandably enough, Lady GaGa looks bored. As she squats and fist-pumps her way through megahit 'Just Dance', a weary pair of eyes shows signs of fatigue. Another night, another city, another Ball. I don't mind too much that she's not feeling it tonight - by the time the show is over, I'll have been witness to some truly insane stage frippery, plus I'll know what a gazillion dollars worth of leotards looks like.
But everything changes when Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta gets her first real snort of applause. "You have made me brave, little monsters," she bellows to an adoring crowd, cranking the concentration up to 10. "Now I'm going to be brave for you."
She explains that she created the Monster Ball so that her fans will always "have a place to go." There's a clear message behind the show and it goes something like this; GaGa's a stone cold weirdo, and by putting on this tour, she's giving all the other weirdos a place to express their freakdom. By indulging in her most vulgar tendencies, she's showing us that it's okay to be a mentaller like GaGa. It's okay to have someone vomit green goo on you. It's okay to breathe fire from your boobs. It's okay to stage an orgy in front of 14,000 people (Pink didn't bother to explain the reason behind her gratuitous wanking). It's okay to greedily tuck into hunks of human flesh. It's okay to look like a demon of hell, a yetti and a slut.
"You're perfect!" she screams, with all the gall of a ring announcer.
"You're a superstar and you were born this way!" she yells again - this time with real, palpable rage.
From here on out, it's top notch Madonna-brand showwomanship all the way. The sets, the choreography and the lighting are flawless. The costumes are, as expected, pure dynamite. GaGa's Irish accent needs work, but full marks for effort, Stef.
Actually, the constant name-dropping makes a nice change from countless other O2 performers who barely bother to scrawl the word "Dublin" on their palm. She even dedicates ballad 'Speechless' to her "on-off boyfriend" Jameson whiskey, noting that "he's a real pisser, but he's always there for you when you need him." She also very kindly offers up a track from her second album Born This Way - an impressive Queen-sized glam rock mini-opera called "You And I."
It's depressing to have to point out when an artist doesn't lip-synch, but if only to wag a finger at GaGa's counterparts in stadium diva land, I'll do it anyway. She sings every note herself - whether she's fleeing the tentacles of a giant angler fish during 'Paparazzi', crumping like a trooper during 'Telephone', playing the piano in her undies or strumming the bass keytar.