After Wednesday night's disastrous Electric Daisy Carnival screening event in Hollywood, it was clear the cops were on heightened and maximized alert for Lady Gaga's “block party” for Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Alas there was no need. Yes, there were a lot of people milling about — Kimmel is actually directly across the street from where the incident the night before occurred — but it was mostly the usual tourist crowd and flamboyant Gaga fans. After all the pictures and reports, we're guessing Hollywood was the last place a lot of people wanted to be, though of course Ms. G's Little Monsters were a rabid exception.
But even some hardcore fans were tested last night. While ticket holders for the event were asked to arrive at 6:45, their queen did not take the stage until almost three hours later, forcing the crowd to essentially stand in place packed together — without elbow room — the entire time. When we tried to move, those around us did not appreciate it. Good viewing spots were staked out upon arrival and no one was budging.
Neither the DJ (who was good), the emcee (who was kind of annoying) nor even gazing upon the wilder getups could fill the time. Some folks got thristy and yelled at the emcee; purses were not allowed in, much less drinks. Most just stood and texted, which was strange because cell phones were supposed be forbidden as well.
Finally, filming began. Camera shots of screaming fans. Goodyear blimp shots from above. “Gaga Gaga” chants. Mr. Kimmel himself announced the star right next to where we stood. (If you watched it last night, that redhead to his left was us.)
And then, she appeared.
Wearing a long, blonde Donatella Versace-esque wig, some sparkly black, pointed get-up that looked like a cross between the Michelin man and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, she began with the song, “You and I.” It's our favorite song from Born This Way, a near perfect power ballad with exquisite builds and a great chorus. Despite the love theme, it has very little schmaltz and a whole lot of sass. We've said this one reminds us of a Linda Perry track (particularly 4 Non Blondes' “What's Up”) but it's got a Heart-ish quality as well. Seeing it live was pretty awesome. Two hours awesome? No, but to Gaga's credit she acknowledged the long wait and promised more than the usual two song talk show stint.
The piano was rolled away, dancers came out, and then she went into “Edge of Glory,” which she did twice, because she wasn't happy with the intro. “Shit happens then you die” she uttered, before the do-over. Taped. Done.
Another, less engaging, ballad “Hair,” came next, followed by the Madonna-wannabe title track, “Born This Way.” Then, she referenced the milestone breakout that she first performed on Kimmel (her late night TV debut), “Just Dance.”
Kimmel had come on stage and shared a glass of wine with Gaga and her dancers right before, and Gaga noted that she “wrote the whole album drinking this stuff.” The mini concert ended for us on a meh-note. “Judas” is her worst song, in our opinion — repetitive, nonsensical pop filler — but we are apparently very much alone on this. Her fans flipped for it as the climax, mimicking every move and “ah-ah” in unison.
It all ended almost right before the show was about to air, which is unusual for a Kimmel appearance. No riots. No Police stand-offs. Just a lot of happy little monsters dancing about Hollywood.
More pics here.