Chicago Sun-Times
A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

Lady Gaga concert gets a mixed review

| 8 Comments | No TrackBacks
lady-gaga.jpgLast night, my web colleague Mark Bieganski and I had the privilege of checking out one of music's hottest acts as Lady Gaga performed at the House of Blues. It would be an understatement to say we had differing views on how the show went.

Loved it


The last time the newest mistress of pop music performed in Chicago, she was almost arrested for prancing around town in hot pants.

But during Tuesday night's sold-out double performance at the House of Blues, Lady Gaga had no qualms about going sans pants -- a signature staple that's followed her from the interview circuit to the dance stage.

Gaga kicked off her 11-song set with "Paparazzi" -- the third single from her debut album "The Fame."

While some may say she is nothing more than a regurgitated mix of pop queens Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani who came before her, Gaga showed she's more than a dancing lyric box. She's someone who can sing and put on a choreographed show but doesn't become overwhelmed by doing both.

If you've been to one pop music concert in the Britney Spears genre, you've been to them all: over-sized arenas, theatrics to distract from the fact the singer usually isn't singing and an artist's usually non-compelling relationship with its audience.

But that's not how it was for Gaga's concert.

Fans -- including myself -- knew what they were signing up for before Gaga's show: an hour-plus dance party to the tune of some of her chart-topping singles, including "Just Dance" and "Poker Face."

"My name is Lady Gaga and I've got no money because I've spent it all on my show," she said. "But tonight, Windy City, I feel beautiful and dirty rich."

But the sex-charged lyrics and rhythm that attracted many to her breakout hits carry through the rest of her songs and show that her album is actually pretty good.

Although Gaga is relatively new to the overcrowded pop music scene, she skillfully commanded her performance (literally at times with a lighted scepter) during her debut concert tour and early on showed there's a new diva on the scene to be reckoned with.

Surrounded by a trio of male dancers, her mysterious personality was reflected through a wardrobe use of scantily-clad leotards and outfits that made you think they were straight out of the '80s children's cartoon "The Jetsons."

Sporting a dress made of plastic bubbles, Gaga surprised the audience halfway through the show with an acoustic and showtunes-esque rendition of her hit "Poker Face" on a piano designed to look like her dress. At times, Gaga even used her foot to play the piano.

By mixing it up, one thing Gaga did prove is that her music and performance aren't always just a shuffle of pop-centric tunes that sometimes blend together in theme and sound. She can actually sing -- and isn't shy to show it.


Hated it


I'll never forget the first time I heard Lady Gaga's music. I was waiting for a girl to get ready and the song "Poker Face" came across her stereo. The lyrics were laughable.

For heaven's sake, they talk about her "bluffin' with her muffin."

In short, she's kind of laughable.

On the other hand, it goes against everything in my nature to sit here and rail against an unbelievably gorgeous pop star performing her radio-friendly anthems to a packed house on an otherwise boring Tuesday night.

But, as wrong as it feels, I have to do it.

Lady Gaga, the wig-wearing, dance-inducing sex symbol responsible for such drunken anthems as "Just Dance" and "Poker Face," shimmied her svelte little body into the House of Blues Tuesday to prance, dance and sing in front of a full house. And, despite the neon-electric sex dripping from her every move, the pop star exhibited the lack of depth needed to make her a transcendent star.

In the first headlining tour of her young career, Gaga exhibited a lack of direction that could be expected from a jaw-dropping diva who has suddenly been asked to interject depth into an overwhelmingly superficial act.

The First Lady of mindless pop shook her perfectly formed backside as she sang forgettable Christina Aguilera-inspired songs to a riled up crowd before busting out her radio mega hits Tuesday night. And as everyone in attendance began to shake their inhibitions to the infectious "Just Dance," I couldn't help but notice that the pants-free babe was just that -- a pants-free babe.

Britney Spears and Christiana Aguilera have already conquered the too-sexy-for-school angle, but Lady Gaga is still tackling it.

Admittedly, the sold-out crowd seemed to enjoy the histrionics, but if you stripped down the already stripped-down Gaga's sexy show, would you find any true talent?

This is the question that plagued me as the 23-year-old gyrated her perfect body on stage. I wanted to like it. I wanted to get lost in her hips and uncovered thighs. But the superficiality of the entire experience hung over each hip swivel and booty-shake.

For one moment, we'll place artistic integrity aside. There is no doubt the overflow crowd at the intimate House of Blues enjoyed every dip and arched back, but these sexy moves only take an artist so far. For the meat-and-potatoes crowd, there was little sustenance in Lady Gaga's show.

Perhaps it's too much to ask of a woman who proudly hides her hand behind a stoic poker face, but it sure would have been nice to have some artistic ingenuity behind the sexy moves. For those looking to get lost in mindless lyrics and kinetic sex, the pop star delivered.

For those looking for anything more, she left them to play a losing hand.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


I like lady gagas voice. Shes no Christina but i think its a pretty good voice. However i find it discouraging that she is going down the path of OVERSEXED, overdone pop divaness that i see over and over (and over) again. Shes the latest version of Miss Spears. Im sick of this prop music. Lady gaga has a good voice and im sure lots of talent. No more prop music please, give me something i can chew on. ps i love u lady gaga

I don't think it IS prop music, though. Gaga's pretty damn smart and has shown herself to layer multiple meanings in some of her songs, and the sexual innuendo is part of the message, I think. I've read an art analysis by a 17-year-old Gaga, and from what I gathered, she's fascinated by the naked body and the shame reaction that goes with it most of the time.

I get a lot more meaning out of Gaga's music than anything Britney Spears ever produced, so I don't see the comparison.

Lady Gaga is indeed such a hardworking artiste! She will be heading down to US next.We've just got tickets from . We are sure her Lady Gaga Tickets will be a sell-out too!

Lady Gaga is indeed such a hardworking artiste! She will be heading down to US next. We've just got tickets from . We are sure her Lady Gaga Tickets will be a sell-out too!

I attended Lady Gagas concert last night in downtown Indianapolis. While I enjoyed more that half of the show, I was disappointed by some of the comments she made. Anyone that listens to her music or is part of her following knows that she is an advocate of homosexuality. Which I believe speaks wonderfully about who she is and her character. There was a portion of her show where she was "connecting" with her audience. She made a comment that Jesus loves ALL of His children, no matter who you are or where you come from. Which I completely agree with. She then goes on to introduce her foreign male dancer, we'll call him "Mike". She stated that she liked Mike because he like American girls. -The crowd cheered.- She then goes on to say that she also liked "Mike" because he liked American men as well, JUST LIKE JESUS!!! -The crowd cheered.- I can't even begin to say how much this particular comment bothered me. To even imply that Jesus was gay or bisexual is completely blasphemous. After that comment I left the show immediately. I can only say that my repesect for her as an artist has been altered to say the least. I know this may or may not affect certain readers but I wanted true believers in Christ to know what she's about and what her views are, because I heard it from her mouth. Do with it as you will, I will no longer be an advocate for her or her music.


i like your song of alejandro

I thing she got a great voice and also she is a very good stage performer. There are many people don't like lady gaga but there is a large number of people who loves lady gaga.

Okay, I am probably sooooo lagte replying to this comment but I had too..What Lady Gaga meant was yes "mike" liked american men, just like Jesus did, but by mike obviously being gay(backup dancer for lady gaga lol) he really really liked american men way more in the sense. She did in no imply Jesus was gay. I hope this helped clarify the statement..I love christ and lady gaga!!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on March 25, 2009 3:23 PM.

Let the countdown to Plaxico Burris' court date begin was the previous entry in this blog.

Shawn Johnson gets restraining order against alleged stalker is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 5.04