Photos and words by G.
Lady Gaga is performing 7 shows at the iconic New York venue Roseland Ballroom shuts its doors for good on April 7, 2014. I attended her show on April 4, 2014 and before I give you 10 observations from the show, I’d like to reminisce a bit about Roseland. I’ve seen countless shows at Roseland from Radiohead to Lily Allen to New Order. The venue housed The Black Party and it was also where I danced on stage with Grace Jones! Such memories! Roseland you will be missed and it’s tragic that the rumour is that the building will be turned into condominiums! But anyway, here are 10 observations from the Lady Gaga show on April 4, 2014.
1. Lady Gaga performed for a paltry one hour. Even new bands that barely have one album out play for longer. I totally get that these are “warm up” shows for her ArtPop Ball tour, but that is ridiculously short. Let the rumours start as to why she was unable to play for longer? Is she on drugs? Is she getting off drugs? Is she just lazy? The show should have been advertised differently if it was going to be that short. For someone that loves her fans as much as she does, that’s a shitty thing to do to them. Which brings me to observation number two:
2. The VIP package made you pay twice as much as a normal ticket cost for the show. Though it did get you early entry to the venue (Entry at 5:30 pm. She went on at 9:15-ish), you did not have a special section to stand in, so if you got there late, you were screwed! In essence, the “VIP Access” made you have to stand there longer than everyone else and though it was nice that you were given a commemorative bag and poster (with poster tube), they gave it to you when you walked into the venue, so you have to schelp it around all night! In the mob scene that was the “pit” at Roseland, that was not a nice thing to do to your fans. However, as Roseland has notoriously bad sight lines, I guess it was either this or not be able to see at all.
3. Her voice sounds great. If the drug rumours are in deed true, it hasn’t affected her voice. She can genuinely sing! In fact, you can see a video of “Born This Way” shot by yours truly at this link (which will open in a new window).
4. If you tried to sneak up to the front, the Little Monsters will cut you! Granted, I thought that was kind of awesome because those of us in the front paid our dues for those coveted spots, but still – there ain’t no fury like a Little Monster scorned. The people standing near me and my friend at the show were total characters – on our left, we had a guy with the best biceps I’ve ever seen arguing with his sister about family business all night and on our right, a woman who literally had brought a drug store with her to the show. In the course of the evening, the woman drank mini bottles of alcohol which can be found at liquor stores, smoked several joints (she did share though!), had an E-cigarette and snorted coke – and ALL in plain view. Go on, girl!
5. When Gaga addressed the crowd, she used a squeaky Olive Oyl type voice which was ridiculous and annoying. When you are performing with your pussy out, it’s really hard to buy the “I’m so innocent” act.
6. 4 of the 11 songs she played featured her sitting down behind the piano. Also, one of the pianos was stationed in a spot where the over $500 tickets were, and while those people got a little extra value for their ticket price, the rest of the venue could pretty much not see a thing during that section of the show. When 15 minutes of her 60 minute show are being cockblocked by bad sight lines, that is NOT COOL!
7. Performing in your panties and grabbing your crotch is all the rage!
8. Gaga looked bloated. I’m not trying to start any blasphemous rumours, but as we all know, if you really break your hip, the recovery time is around a year and a half, not 4 months. Just sayin’.
9. The Merch. – “Lady Fucking Gaga” T-shirts and cups. Enough said.
10. She lives for the applause.
As I got to the end of my list, I realized it sounds like I am complaining. To some extent, I am complaining because I see A LOT of live entertainment, and I look at everything objectively (though I am completely grateful for the experience). I feel it’s the job of the performer to make me leave with a smile on my face. Gaga definitely did that and she puts on a good show (despite this one being criminally short) but in some ways the joy I felt was overshadowed by a bunch of douchey moves that her team concocted to torture her fans that have little or no basis in comparison to know the difference.
What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments section.
The setlist was:
Born This Way (acoustic) / Black Jesus – Amen Fashion / Monster / Bad Romance / Sexxx Dreams / Dope / You and I / Poker Face (acoustic) / Just Dance / Applause.