Everyone still wants to know why I went to Lady Gaga last night. And I had a few good reasons; I wanted to go to the stadium for a big concert, I could go with some friends who had actual seats (in the old days I would go to concerts with my own crate to stand on so I could see), and I imagined a Lady Gaga concert to have amazing spectacle.
I loved the efficiency of the park and ride from the Civic. I loved how easy the stadium was to access. I loved the amazing smell of the sea as we walked through the gates and I loved the great sky view once inside. I loved that I was a 47 year old off to a concert with my friend and her 12 year old daughter, who was going to her first big concert ever. I was a little pissed that you weren’t allowed to bring in one single thing of your own to eat and as a non wheat eating non meat eating person there was literally nothing to eat at all, except for a packet of Simba chips for R25, but that shall be the subject of an open letter to stadium management.
Lady Gaga made a spectacular and grand entrance at 9pm (after a seriously forgettable performance by The Darkness; a UK one hit wonder band that posed not one drop of creative threat to the Gaga gaggle) and then, for the first couple of songs at least, we were exposed to the crazy, complicated, and amazing combination of brilliant set, costume, dancing, singing, lights, weird hologram, and giant four storey castle that was completely mind blowing. Yes, I was having a great time, and I even knew (and liked) some of the songs! This was the Lady Gaga I had expected; edgy, provocative, cheapandtrashysexy, foul mouthed and rude, energetic and bizarre. It was fun! Her dancers were outrageous and amazing, the set twisted and turned, her costumes were crazy and radical and it was all going as planned.
Then it turned. Then she did a weird “I love you Cape Town” speech. It was long. And shmaltzy. And completely manipulative. It felt like she thought we weren’t loving her enough. And it went on and on. I was uncomfortable and I wasn’t the only one. And then she did it again. Then she took ages choosing fans to come up on stage with her, and they were godawful. They smooshed around her while she sang the song about being born beautiful and I started gagging at Gaga. It was endless. She was like a little, broken winged, American, Oprah-Barbie with trite bullshit about how we could all make it and become stars. Eeew. And then she did that again! In her encore. By which stage a third of the crowd had left the stadium. I bet they were as creeped out as I was.
We were all efficiently moved from the stadium back to the Civic in a bit of a dwaal. What had just happened to the psycho who told us she wanted us all at work with crazy hangovers in the morning to turn her into the slightly simpering fag hag who needed to share her childhood dreams with 45 000 of us? Weird out.