Every couple of years there comes an entertainer that is undeniably revolutionary. One of these performers is Lady Gaga. Whether you like her music or not, she is crossing boundaries between gender, fashion, art, and technology. I’ve been to many a concert, but none like this. A total body experience, this concert incorporated art, music, video, dance, lights, sound, technology, and just plain awesomeness. Gaga embraces technology to rock her fans’ worlds in ways they’ve never experienced before.
An embodiment of her dedication to technology, fashion, and art, is Gaga’s Monster Ball tour. Waiting in the pit for Gaga to come on stage, I was standing there looking at a black stage with a scrim curtain concealing the actual stage. We knew the concert was about to begin when sound and video engineers got on stage, setting up and fixing the white balance for the show. After 90 minutes of waiting, the hall goes dark to reveal a holographic projection of Lady Gaga herself on the darkened scrim. Then appears a projection video of Lady Gaga herself stuck in limbo between slow motion, real-time movement, and fast motion video. From behind the scrim comes rolling fog and flashing lights reminiscent of an Ibiza nightclub that gives the illusion that whatever is behind the screen is about to explode… and boy is it about to explode. As the beats get faster and more intense, so does the projection, moving faster and more spastically. Finally, Lady Gaga’s voice amplifies over the speaker, but there’s still no sign of the lady herself. Turning into a dance party explosion, the scrim goes dark and the strobe lights take over. With rising energy, a small cluster of lights can be seen emerging onto stage. Finally, a change in the lighting reveals Lady Gaga veiled behind the scrim, covered by blue geometric light spheres still being projected onto the screen. With another scrim in the distance behind Gaga with a similar geometric pattern, Gaga seems to be suspended between the two worlds of geometric 80’s awesomeness. When the scrim is finally lifted and the geometric squares disappear the show truly begins. Instead of just using interesting looking sets or cool costumes like most performers, Gaga throws herself into a world of technology by utilizing lights, sounds, dimension, fashion and art. Every aspect of the show reflects her mood, method, or mottos.
The set is enclosed by video screens, which accompany her performance depending on the song by displaying slow/fast motion video of Gaga. As always, her videos are super fashionable and cutting edge, portraying the Lady in slow motion, fast motion, being manipulated by people, wrapped in gauze, covered, etc. – the videos are sometimes awkward or portray Gaga in an unattractive light, but they are always intriguing and add to the visual wonderment of the set. Like the opening number, Gaga used this spastic slow motion/fast motion video throughout the show. Besides just video, Gaga enhanced the show using lights. Strobe lights pulsed to the beat of the songs to keep the party going. Gaga even turned the center of attention to the audience when she flashed the strobes in the party goers faces as an intro to her song “Paparazzi.”
The show mainly consisted on Gaga on stage with her dancers. During certain songs, Gaga’s full band would be illuminated to stage left and right. Sonically the concert was fantastic. The low end detail was phenomenal and left me completely deaf, but I loved every minute of it and would do it again. I did notice that Gaga’s ear pierce kept falling out and obviously she didn’t want to go deaf, so she was stuck constantly sticking it back in her ear as gracefully as any lady would. There was no feedback and with songs like “Bad Romance” and “Teeth” where you might expect a little static or feedback from the depth of the bass, there was none. Comparable to a mind blowing dance party, the bass pumped all night keeping everyone’s energy high and the concert bumping.
Gaga strives to be one with her fans. Aside from just being the center of attention like any normal performer would be, Gaga tries to incorporate the audience into her performance by making it more like a party than a concert. Throughout the show she proclaims her love and appreciation for her fans, expressing her excitement over her progress in the past year and her recent Grammy nominations. She is not a diva in the way that she wants to be adored for her looks or worshiped on a pedestal. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty, be a little awkward at times, and show herself in a weird or disturbing way. And because of this, she’s more fabulous and mind blowing than ever.
An avid concert goer, I was blown away by the level of commitment Gaga has towards giving her audience the type of show they’ve never seen before. The combination of technology, fashion, art, video, and music made the show so much more of an interactive experience than any other I’ve ever been to. Truly a breakaway from the plastic pop singer, the Gaga revolution has begun.
To celebrate the Monster Ball Tour, we’re giving away a pair of Lady Gaga’s new Heartbeats headphones (black version). To enter to win, Tweet at us saying “I’m a little monster and I want to win the Heartbeats! http://bit.ly/8XmTUj @chip_chick @ladygaga @beatsbydre“