So, the other day I went to see Lady Gaga at the HP Pavillion in San Jose as part of her Monster Ball Tour following up the release of her album 'The Fame Monster.' As anyone in their right mind could have guessed, Lady Gaga's "concert" was the most commercial thing ever, which was a big change from the concerts I typically attend. Now I would like to do a comparison between the concerts I typically go to, and the Lady Gaga concert.
Indie Rock Concert:
- Who is (visible) on stage? - the band
- How many costume changes? - 0!
- Who is there? - people with good music taste
- Pot? - yes.
- Concert? - yes.
Lady Gaga Concert
- Who is (visible) on stage? - Lady Gaga, a billion back up dancers (Lady Gaga lookalikes and Gay men)
- How many costume changes? - stopped counting at 2
- Who is there? girls (and a lot of them), stay at home moms, gay men, and I
- Pot? - no (thank god)
- Concert? - more like Lady Gaga musical
Now that you have seen that fantastic comparison, we can discuss the up and downs of the Lady Gaga concert. Let's begin on a happy note. There was little to no pot at this concert. The air was free of the marijuana scent, that which any frequent concert goer is able to recognize with even the slightest whiff. I haven't been to a single indie concert where I was not periodically attacked by the scent of "a plant." So not having to smell the plant constantly was definitely a plus.
Okay, so now that we have gone over the "up's," we can move on to the "downs." But... because I do not feel like just listing out everything I disliked about this concert, from here I am just going to do my typical concert right out, a negative one (lo siento ガガ さん).
The story begins with 3 words (or is it 2?), Semi-Precious Weapons. They were awful. But, although their music was really unbearable to listen to, they were still better than Abe Vigoda opening for Vampire Weekend. Yowza! One thing that was worse than Abe Vigoda about the Semi-Precious Weapons was their outfits which were completely stupid. The bassist decided it was cool to wear a blanket tied around his neck as a cape topless while wearing pajama pants while the lead singer wore skin tight, what appeared to be leather pants. Frightening, it was. Just as frightening as their music. So, based off of this we can determine that Abe Vigoda's music was even worse than the Semi-Precious Weapons outfits which were catastrophic. So to conclude, Lady Gaga's opening act = complete and utter failure.
When the Semi-Precious Weapons were done performing everyone was quite relieved. But, what was even more relieving was the fact that they turned on what seemed to be a Michael Jackson greatest hits album for about an hour until Lady Gaga decided to finally come on. Gaga took WAY too long to come on stage. Too much damn suspense. But finally, by 9:30 she decided it was time to bust our ears with screams from teenage girls, so she came on, sort of.
By sort of, I mean she came on stage, but from most seat you could only see a silhouette of her through a strange screen curtain thing that has a name that I am blanking on right now. I think the word is scrim. But anyways, she came on and sang Dance in the Dark, very nice... She continued to sing her billion and one hit songs she had until the concert was over and came back to sing her billion and second hit song, Bad Romance. It was a grand ending.
So here is my main complaint about the concert, I had to watch Lady Gaga and her many back up singers and dancers sing and dance for 2 hours without getting to see the drummer! Yes, the guitarist and bassists were on stage, but the dancers were just too much. I like your typical concert, the band on stage, thats it. Yes, the lead singer is always the star of the show, but not to this extent usually. I know the artists name is Lady Gaga and not Lady Gaga and her brass band or whatever. Wait, thats a terrible example, but you get the point, but I still would have enjoyed to see the very solid drummer who did a ton of fills on stage playing his heart out. Instead he was under like a tower thing and from my seat was invisible. So thats my main complaint, I like to see a concert not a Lady Gaga musical, Lady Gaga as the star, and her singers and dancers as the ensemble.
My other main complaint is that she changed her costume way too many times throughout the concert. Yes Gaga, I know your outfits are part of your picture but I dont need to wait seven minutes in between songs for you to change into a lamp shade. Come on! The problem with this was that for one you had to wait for a long time to hear the next song, but also that you would get all pumped up by the energy of the song and then she would go to change outfits and the energy would die down in those seven minutes. Plus, in the end she just ends up in her skimpy little outfit that she stripped down to after having an interesting costume on for 30 seconds (no exaggeration there).
So yeah, Lady Gaga is a very good performer when it comes to being as commercial as possible, but I MUCH prefer your typical indie concert without changing costumes a thousand times or having a thousand back up singers. Its just not needed. Im sorry Lady Gaga, but I was not impressed. At all.