Oh my. I knew it would be fun, but it was SOFUNICAN’TSTANDIT. (Technical term). I knew Lady Gaga would be great, but seeing it for yourself for the first time is an amazing thing. The whole day was pretty awesome, as Gaga Buddy Susan and I deemed it to be a “Real Vacation” in which we did things like “not work.” Whoa. We spent the drive from Austin to Houston listening to every piece of Gaga on my iPod, consisting of The Fame Monster album, the Born This Way single, and some live stuff that is floating around. We were studied.
The first stop in Houston was for Thai food, but we had to no time to eat at the restaurant because we had to get ready for the rock show. We decided to stay in a hotel close to the Toyota Center, and you can get a surprisingly fancy hotel for a not-fancy price if you internet around a little bit. Yes, I just made “internet” a verb. The outfit assembly was awesome…Susan is a costuming genius (who knew?) and can do wonders with some AstroTurf and some floral wire.
I went with close-to-joining-the-KISS-army style makeup and a Mad Hatter meets Clockwork Orange theme. I did not do it on purpose, it was a “Let’s wander around Party City and pick up fun stuff” type of planning on my part. It all seemed to work, though.
We headed to the Monster Ball at the Toyota Center and immediately the parking attendant wanted to take our picture, which was simply the start of what was to come. We weren’t the only people dressed up by any means, but a lot of the non-dressed up people apparently made it a mission to take photos of all the dressed up people. So we posed for a lot of photos. Everyone was super cool, but I get it now that celebrities get annoyed because maybe they’re just standing in line trying to order a bottle of water and 6 people ask to take their picture and they just want water. It was fun for a night…if being photographed by strangers was a consistent part of my day I’d go crazy. I digress.
Semi Precious Weapons opened and they were good…they can definitely own a stage. Then we waited for a set change. AND THEN THERE WAS THE MONSTER BALL. Two hours of of this electro-pop-dance show coupled with a Broadway production and plot and coupled again with straight up Lady Gaga chat time. It was pretty amazing.
She played all the hits (which are many)…and she plays piano like a rock star. Like if Elton John was a 25 year-old girl. And then she stands on the keyboard and plays it with her boot heel. Then the piano is on fire. What? Yes. Then she spends 5 minutes talking about her new album and how much she loves mixing records, like we were all watching her at a coffeehouse or something. Then she blows your mind by doing an incredible dance number in ridiculously high heels.
The guy behind us is smirking.
I was right in my previous blog about the message…everyone was there to have a good time and be themselves. We took that as the invitation to NOT be our usual selves, which worked out just fine. As we recapped the night we loved how everyone from a 60-year old woman celebrating her birthday to a pack (a horde!) of teenage girls wanted their photo taken with us. I’ve been to a lot of country music arena shows, and there is a LOT more beer sold and spilled at one of those than I saw last night. Probably because half the audience wasn’t old enough to buy it and the other half couldn’t afford it ($8.75 for a beer, yo).
We got a lecture about bullying, a promise that she never lip syncs any of her shows, and an inspirational speech about working hard and making things happen. I was amazed at how Gaga, who JUST turned 25, commanded the attention of 18,000 people for 2 hours. She does this crazy show every night and climbs in the bus and does it again, and she had to tell US to get on our feet and start dancing. You would think she would be the tired one, but I didn’t see one lag in energy from the first note to the last dance step.
So there we go. I’m still thrilled. It was a fantastically entertaining show, an inspirational one, and an educational one. Gaga gets to do it on a large scale, but I learned if you can use every interaction with someone (or someones…or an arena full of people) by giving them a little light and hope and positivity for the day, you’re doing a good thing.
Of course I bought some merch.