Lady Gaga at the American Airlines Center, 1/29/13: Review, Photos and Setlist
-Gaga delivers her message of inspiration: Five years ago, she was waiting tables in New York. Then she figured out that she could take her clothes off and that she could sing, and now she can afford all the fancy wigs she wants. "Don't come here to worship me," she says. "Come here to worship you."
-A woman emerges from the depths of the castle, her body comprising the frame and fork of a three-wheeled motorcycle. It is Gaga. My interpretation is that it is also the evil authority figure from the very beginning (which was also Gaga). One of her dancers rides her around the stage. Several definitions of that verb apply.
-Gaga asks three of her dancers -- Montana, Ian and Black Jesus -- if they give a fuck. They emphatically do not. She asks Dallas, Texas, if we give a fuck. We also do not.
-Somewhat confusingly, based on the not-part-of-your-government thing from earlier, she jogs around with an American flag and says, "I may be an asshole, but I fucking love my country."
-She gets behind a battered shield/piano and hauls some monsters onstage out of the crowd. There is some product tie-in with Virgin Mobile and some charity giveaway action.
Photo by Luke Darby
-There is a wedding, and Gaga attends hanging from a meat hook with a few plastic gutted pigs. The groom realizes the bride is also a man and exactly zero of the 12,000 people in attendance are surprised by this development.
-Gaga and two of her female dancers are run through meat grinders.
-The disembodied Madonna head sings "Paparazzi." Maybe this song was about Big Brother all along? But the face also seems very mournful. Perhaps it has learned to feel.
-Tragically, at that exact moment Gaga shows up with a light scepter and blasts the Madonna face until its eyes start to bleed. "I'm sorry, but she had to go," she says.
-Gaga ends the main set with a triumphant "Suck my dick, Dallas!"
So that's the gist of it. The actual songs are so amazingly secondary to this whole flash and bang that at some points Gaga herself breaks out of the middle of a verse to address someone in the crowd, leaving only the dozens of backing-track Gagas to continue over the PA. I can never quite tell if the guitarists are actually connected to any amplifiers anywhere; probably it doesn't matter.
Not that Gaga can't sing. She makes a point to showcase this on several slower songs, and her voice is nothing short of mighty. It's just not the main reason anyone came. All around the arena, there are people dancing rapturously, crying, holding their loved ones. Invade again anytime, Lady.
Lady Gaga at American Airlines Arena, 1/29/13: Setlist
Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)
Born This Way
Black Jesus † Amen Fashion
Fashion of His Love / Just Dance
Heavy Metal Lover
Yoü and I
Born This Way
The Edge of Glory
Marry the Night