It was totally fitting to see Lady Gaga in Sin City this past weekend--the girl's familiar with bad behavior, as she often opts to appear pantless and slings sex like it's her job.
And even though she screwed Phoenix over by skipping our city after her tour with Kanye West went kaput, who would turn down the opportunity to spend a decadent weekend in Vegas to check her out? Not me.
Lady Gaga, or Lady Gay Gay (as her $75 sweatshirts read), played at the Palms Casino Resort at the Pearl Concert Theater this past Thursday and Friday nights. My $160 ticket scored me an upper-level seat (I had to buy from a broker) but luckily, there wasn't a bad seat in the house and I could see the stage perfectly. The venue was also cool because there were several balconies that upped the class factor.
Lady Gaga chose to focus on the visuals for the show, which was exciting in some ways and disappointing in others. The stage had three video walls that angled toward the audience and displayed chic images of Gaga, as well as pictures to go along with the songs (there was a video of a snarling bear during the song, "Teeth.")
And she had about a dozen dancers in crazy costumes moving along during most of her songs. They wore everything from light-up helmets to full body-suits and were dizzying to watch both because of their fashion and because of their dance moves.
But a live band was nowhere to be found. Instead, a backing melodic track was played while Gaga sang live and danced, and it wasn't until more than halfway through the show that a couple of the screens lit up to reveal musicians playing instruments behind the walls. The musical group was quickly dimmed back into oblivion.
I understand that Gaga's music is predominantly dance and doesn't require anything more than the electronic stuff we're used to hearing on her albums, but I believe a live band could have presented a whole new experience for her fans and really jazzed up the songs and the show.
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Thankfully, Gaga did get behind a piano for a few songs, including her best track, "Speechless," and an acoustic version of her smash, "Poker Face."
She sounded great, even better live than on the album. But while she played for nearly 2 hours, much of the show consisted of her asking the audience if we thought she was sexy. To see someone with so much talent, who's an advocate for gay and homeless communities, constantly ask the audience silly, needy questions was disappointing and a waste of time.
I know Gaga isn't all about sparkle and glamor, judging from shows she did back in the day as a brunette, but now she's carrying the Madonna torch a little too far to be considered endearing.
And if I'm paying $160 for one ticket, I expect to see more live music instrumentation than just cheesy choreography. Her show was super-entertaining, but I'm more excited about seeing her with a full band some time.