Whether you are a fan or not, you have to give credit where it's due. She's a damn good performer. Christina, Jessie and Mariah get out there and rock the vocals. Britney (back in the day) and innumerable girl groups get out there and bust the moves, but there's no denying that Gaga gets out there and smashes them both... at the same time. LIVE! The only other female pop performer (leaving musical theatre artists aside) I've seen with those kind of skills is Beyonce, and, oh, look, they paired up. Twice!
I think you either love Gaga or hate her. I don't think you can be ambivalent about her, but correct me if I'm wrong? I for that matter love her. I love her music, her outfit creations and her fragility. I love her "brand", oddity and crazy. But most of all I love her message. This whole tour was called the Born This Way Ball, following on from The Monster Ball tour a few years back (Wikipedia has a short synopsis here). Where The Monster Ball was a story about the long journey of striving for fame and fortune and, unfortunately, all the crazy that goes with it when you arrive at your destination, this was a spectacle in tribute to individuality, diversity and acceptance.
Listen to the words of Born This Way, Hair and Bad Kids and they're all about being proud of who you are, what you do and why you do it. I felt like this was the message. I feel like Gaga always has a message! I feel like everything she says/does/tweets/wears/inks on her arm is deliberate and controlled. I feel like that is a good thing. I like it.
The show was set in with a futuristic tone, narrated by a Holly-esque hologram (a reference lost on you if you weren't a Red Dwarf fan) called Mother G.O.A.T and was full to the brim of political and societal references (a song in tribute to Princess Diana? Hmmm) . I chose to ignore those and listen to the points she made about self affirmation and pride, so let's not get in to it! I'm no music, politics or arts critic, I'm just a Gaga fan, so I can't give you any critical review on the content , I can just tell you that I loved it for just being Lady Gaga's own personal brand of Bonkers (yes that's a capital B). Outrageously, comically, heart-warmingly Bonkers. Her outfits. Her choreography. Her random commentary. The staging. The dancers. The star-struck fans that she pulled up on stage. The fact that she was born from an inflatable zipped-up vagina (that looked suspiciously like a giant Christmas turkey) and morphed in to a motorbike. The fact that she rifled through the debris that her super-die-hard fans threw on to the stage, found a t-shirt and wore it, but found a Barbie and drop-kicked it to the side (I too hate Barbie!)! The tributes she made to other great artists. The fact that she ran around like a crazy person waving a Union Flag. The fact that she thanked us profusely and repeatedly for coming to see her show. The fact that she continues to show her nay-sayers that they were wrong to put her down and tell her she would never succeed. So ner... basically!
After a summer of feeling happy, full of pride and beans and being surrounded by positivity and optimism with sporting role models from the Olympics and Paralympics all over the media, seeing Lady Gaga back on a stage re-affirming that positivity, self-worth, equality, diversity and love is worth fighting for and screaming out loud for, I felt even more energised. I wish they'd helicoptered her across London (she was performing at Twickenham) after her Sunday night show to the Olympic stadium to round off the closing ceremony instead of Rihanna. But that's a whole other issue.
Very excited for Art Pop to arrive and her promotional activities (a.k.a. controversy and outrage in the Daily Mail most days!) to kick off.... is it too soon for countdown sleeps?
Long Live Lady Gaga! Long live crazy.