Concert Reviews

Lady Gaga at the American Airlines Center, 1/29/13: Review, Photos and Setlist

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A disembodied face (Gaga's, basically, but with Madonna's teeth and enormous eyes) appears in a prism made of LED lights. She announces that the prisoner has escaped. The face announces the plan of action. It is, precisely, "Kill the bitch."

Gaga emerges from the front door of the castle, enormous inflatable nether region first. Her enormous inflatable legs, in fishnet stocks, are splayed and her enormous, inflatable womb is full to bursting. The array looks exactly like a plucked turkey. This is not the last time that a woman=meat metaphor will be employed.

Dancers in nude spandex tumble from somewhere near her ankles. There is a zipper where her vagina would be. She herself is sticking out the other end, ribcage up, so as to ensure that you get who is giving birth here. She recedes within her own stomach and comes out through the zipper.

That takes us through 2.5 songs: "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)," "Government Hooker" and the intro of "Born This Way." The spectacle continues, unabated, through the rest of the set. The narrative gets a little muddled, but here's my version of the CliffNotes:

-Gaga dances around with her new progeny.

-The disembodied face emerges to tell us the womb has multiplied and that the burst was not small but infinitely big, and this is the beginning of a new race within humanity.

-Gaga gives her Sermon on the Mount. She clears up her role thusly: "I am not an alien. I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a human. I am not a creature of your Government, United States! When they ask, 'Who is Gaga?' I want you to tell them, 'I am you.'" It is unclear whether we are supposed to tell them that we are Gaga or that Gaga is them. Perhaps, given that she has already given birth to herself, we are supposed to imagine her as basically omnipotent.

-Gaga explains why she's here: To extract as much "love, inspiration and fashion" from us as possible before sucking the life out of every monster in Dallas, Texas. Then, she will invade the Earth with our presumably lifeless husks as our Texas pop star. "Some of you will have to decide," she says. "Will you stand by me forever?"

-Judas betrays her.

-She is taken to the top of the castle/stage set and is about to be strung up on what appears to be some sort of demonic flagpole, but she and her dancers/disciples usurp the aliens/Romans.

-Gaga sets up a comfortable living room in the second floor of the castle. The walls are adorned with a painting of her as Marilyn Monroe and she's holding another one where she's dressed as Bruce Springsteen. A Gaga-esque mannequin sits on the toilet.

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Kiernan Maletsky
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky