Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lady Gaga's Monster Ball is Fearless in NYC


"This is our third of four dates together," Lady Gaga tells the beyond sold-out audience at Radio City Music Hall Saturday night. "So I'm not going to go all the way.

"But at least I can suck your dick and not feel like a slut."

It's in this moment that you realize that Lady Gaga is not Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera or Rihanna or Madonna, or any female performer you've ever seen, for that matter.

Gaga has balls. Nerve. Chutzpah. In one frame, she tells a success story ("I was just a brunette Italian girl from New York until I wrote a song that changed my life [Poker Face]") and in the next, she's dancing in a gyroscope, offering us oral sex. (Could Britney ever get away with such a statement?)

Gaga is talented. She writes astronomically catchy, platinum-selling pop songs, and at the ripe age of 23, has the pipes and piano skills to back them up.

More than anything she has though, Gaga has soul. She sits at the piano while ravaging through a stripped-down version of "Speechless," a song she wrote before her dad underwent heart surgery in 2009. She urges us to make purchases on Ladygaga.com on Sunday, January 24, all of which are going to Haiti. Gaga chokes up, discusses homelessness, and champions gay rights endlessly throughout her show. She's here to make music, but she wants the world to be a better place. Gaga is, well, a Lady.

Gaga's fans, "little monsters" as she calls them, cheer obscenely as they run through Radio City's aisles, decorated in lightning-bolt facepaints and legless leotards. The room looks like Halloween, but it's not. It's just another night in the Haus of Gaga.

"The freaks are outside, and we locked the doors," Gaga screams from the stage, segueing into ruby red lingerie for a pin-up performance of "Teeth." Did we mention she's covered in blood from a chest laceration?

Gaga's fascination with sex and violence stretches deep throughout her two-hour show - but the monsters remain unscathed. They know their Gaga best: shocking show, sweetest heart.

"I love my hometown so much," she says, reminding us of the time she "bled to death" at Radio City during a performance of "Paparazzi" at the MTV Video Music Awards.

"Everyone told me, you can't bleed to death on domestic television," she tells us. "Yes I can. Watch me."

This time, "Paparazzi" involves Lady Gaga being chained by her pigtails to a metal plank, as two backup dancers direct her every move.

"I'm kind of like Tinkerbell," she says, laying flat on the stage. "You know how Tinkerbell will die if you don't clap for her?"

It's this fearless honesty that makes Gaga endearing; her unabashed want to be loved - need to be loved - that separates her from the poker-faced pop tarts of her day.

Gaga closes the night in her trademark circular shades, flapping a set of glittered wings to "Bad Romance" as she smiles upon her crowd.

Lady Gaga is a monster, but we are not afraid.

[Photos by Ivy Jones]




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