Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Goo Goo for GaGa!

The lights dimmed. The crowd goes wild. A concert set to start at 8:00 pm pushed back to 8:45 pm at the Landmark Theater in Richmond had the patrons anxiously awaiting the arrival of the guest of honor: Lady Gaga. She came with a vengeance and had the audience under her “disco stick” until the last song. She brought her soul, her heart, her everything to Richmond, Virginia on September 28,2009.

The audience was a grab bag. Lady Gaga doesn’t bring your ‘regular’ concertgoers. Lady Gaga’s music and personality embraces individual expression beyond belief. Everyone who is into media these days can look for an example of Gaga’s fashion. The audience was no different. There were people dressed in skinny jeans, dresses, wigs; it was a regular circus. My roommates and I went all out for the concert with original outfits designed and created by Brendan Tufts ’11. The audience loved the atmosphere of the concert. Before the concert started they played upbeat techno music to get the audience pumped and there was a quite an anxious, but timid dance party that broke out to ease the desire to see Gaga herself.

I was in the second row outside of the ‘pit’ that had two rows of fold out chairs. So I was very, very close. When the lights dimmed you could feel the energy in the concert surge. The curtain fell and Gaga was on stage inside what would look like a volcano. She stormed the staged after an epic high-energy intro ready to take Richmond on.

Her musical style embraces a sound of its own. A little rock, a little pop, a little GAGA! Her vocals at the concert were SUPERB. This was no Britney Spears concert of strong ‘back up vocals.’ Gaga sang with a live mic through dance moves, picks ups, and flashing lights. Her vocals were gritty and full of energy. She had a falsetto that made my hairs on my neck stand on end. The one very important thing about this concert that made it good and kept the audience going wild was her variation. She varied her music. Gaga didn’t get on stage and sing her songs straight as you would here them on the CD. She fused techno remixes of her songs, acapella versions, and video versions of her songs.

Two songs embraced this idea: “Poker Face” and “Love Game.” These are two of Gaga’s biggest hits right now and she didn’t give the basic track from the CD she gave us so much more. During “Lovegame,” after revealing her infamous “Disco Stick” and performing a very high-energy version of the song she cut to a musical breakdown and cut to her ChewFu Ghettohouse Remix of the song. Not only is that mix one of my favorite techno mixes of the song, but also it sent the crowd wild. Then, later she flipped the high-energy song “PokerFace” on its back and performed it acapella with only a piano adding new fun, crowd-pleasing lyrics. During this song she got gritty and had hard hitting moments like Gaga standing banging some of the notes with her high-heeled foot. Awesome!

Back to the concept of fashion at the concert, as discussed in class, Ziggy Stardust broke down gender norms with a very gender-neutral ambiguity of his music sound and style. Gaga is no exception. Gaga entered the stage with a futuristic, silver, shiny dress that look liked it was straight out of the Jetsons. Then she transitioned to a jean jacket with huge pointed shoulder pads on it that would send any headmistress to the mall for a new look. Nothing was better than her entrance in a nude body suit wearing a clear jacket made out of solid bubbles. It was bold, it was new, and it was Gaga.

Last thing to note was the lighting and band. Bright strobe lights and fog added a great addition to this concert. Strobe lights would blind the audience at times for effect. The lights went right with the music. Gaga’s band was a special guest called “Kids.” Kid's awesome guitar rifts and drumming added a live and awesome effect to the concert.

She came with a vengeance! She wowed, she awed, and she is changing the future of music. She is an innovator, creator of fantastic music, and an idol. Gaga breaks down gender stereotypes of heterosexuality and normativity. Gaga loves one and all and it was apparent in this concert. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED GAGA!

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