Somewhere between hearing Lady Gaga discuss her tremendous dick and watching a remarkably hairless Scissor Sister or two strut around in a little hat and leather chaps, it was obvious that Orange County needed this last night.
Fire! Car piano! Sparklers! Crazy fucking costumes! Elaborate instrument hybrids (see right)! Cod pieces!
It was Lady Gaga's 150th arena show, and her 194th show since the 2008 release of The Fame. And the audience--dressed in stunning copycats of every incarnation of Gaga possible--was losing their minds.
At one point, Gaga noticed a fan pressed against the barricade on the floor, holding up his tattoo of her autograph for her to see. She expressed her gratitude, and told him she would try her best to never make him regret that tattoo: "I'm going to be an 80-year-old bitch with peroxide in my hair screaming my head off for you."
And really, while the fancypants production, costumes and set design were noteworthy, it was her ability to be one with the audience that was most incredible. She stopped to pick up items tossed on stage (some serious points to the little gal who chucked a red leather jacket on stage with the walkie talkie in the pocket--ingenuity!), told us a story about trying to talk to the evangelists protesting the show outside (evangelist: "I don't give a FUCK who you are.") and made us believe in the Mother Monster she had become.
The entire night felt like one giant motivational speech--just with six-plus costume changes. There was plenty of talk about religion, about equality, about individuality. Gaga mentioned being bullied in high school, being an outcast, being, yes, born this way.
And you know, there was something just so damn believable about it all. While we've been trained to believe everything about world-famous pop stars is contrived and manufactured, everything Gaga said last night felt genuine for whatever reason. Even if she was saying it while sitting at a flaming piano in her bra and panties.
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Critic's Bias: I love a fucking production--more pyro, more, more!
The Crowd: Sparkly. (Click here to see our slideshow of fans at the show.)
Overheard: "Gaga must be chaffing."
Random Notebook Dump: Susan and Mike Schroeder were seated five rows ahead of me. In feather boas and plastic novelty sunglasses. This is fantastic in so many ways. (And we've got a photo!)