The artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta has kept herself in the news for her duds, her work with the GLBT community and now her feud with Kelly Osbourne. Also, she's quite devoted to her fans, and last night at Staples Center entertained those Little Monsters with a two and a half hour show that mixed extravagance with carefully crafted pop anthems. Backed by a gigantic three-story castle that folded and moved along with a revolving troupe of dancers, the singer mixed the peculiar with the bizarre. Her narrative, however, was a bit hard to follow.
For the first hour, there were almost as many costume changes and wacky moments as songs. The storyline had something to do with space; there was an Oz-like hologram. She entered the stage on a horse, emerged from an egg before “Bad Romance” and zipped around the circular catwalk on a motorcycle.
While introducing “Born This Way,” she talked in front of an inflatable belly. She started the song after emerging from a vagina. Maude Lebowski would have been proud.
The drama kept ramping up, and the shock (and awe) value began to wane. But once she simplified her show, ramping down the set and costume changes, the final 90 minutes moved briskly and showcased her booming voice and magnetic persona. This was more enjoyable than the carefully-scripted beginning.
While some of her banter in-between songs may have gone on a bit too long, you can't question her loyalty to the little monsters. She dialed up a concertgoer before a second, piano-driven version of “Born This Way” and invited five fans who were in the inner part of the catwalk to join her on-stage during “Marry The Night.”
You'll be hard pressed to find someone who saw a Lady Gaga show and left disappointed. But the outlandishness of this tour makes one wonder if she'll be able to keep outdoing herself.
At the end of the day, hits anchor her wackiness boat, and being weird for the sake of being weird could have her on a slow slope toward irrelevance, something akin to the direction Marilyn Manson has been headed.
The crowd: Scantily-clad Gaga fans dressed up as Gaga.
Random Notebook Dump: There was a make-your-own GIF station. The apocalypse is upon us.
“Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)”
“Born This Way”
“Black Jesus † Amen Fashion”
“Fashion Of His Love”
“Heavy Metal Lover”
“Yoü and I”
“Born This Way” (solo piano version)
“Edge of Glory”
“Marry The Night”