Lady Gaga LIVE!

Going to a Lady Gaga concert has been a bucket list item for a while, now. I love her message, a lot of her music, and have even walked out to one of her songs before (“Applause”, look it up, homies). I heard she puts on an uh-may-zing show, so naturally I wanted to check it out. For the longest time, she didn’t tour, and there were rumors that she wouldn’t ever tour again and was even out of the music business altogether. Rumors like that are tough to verify, because if you google it, you’ll get a bazillion results from random forums and websites filled with people spouting more rumors and opinions (I’ve come to realize that that’s the Internet in general).
In 2016 Lady Gaga (AKA Mother Monster) came out with a new album, Joanne, and announced a world wide tour!

 

She was coming to Vegas in June 2017, so we bought tickets THE MINUTE they went on sale.

Unfortunately, the best way to get a fight booked is to plan a vacation, concert, or other special event. It virtually ensures you will get a fight on the date of the event you’ve planned. TUF was announced not long after we bought the tickets, and vying for a world championship meant Gaga would have to wait. So we sold those tickets and competed on TUF. I’m not going to lie, there was definitely a moment on that show when I thought, “I can’t believe I gave up Lady Gaga for this.”

 

After TUF, we bought tickets again for her next, and last, Vegas show. It was going to be this time, or no time.

We arrived at the T mobile arena and walked down to the floor. The first thing we noticed was that there were two stages, one at the head of the arena like a traditional concert, and one across from it, near the back of the floor at the other end of the arena. People had started gathering around both. Not sure what that was all about, we went to the front, near the main stage.

One thing that stood out to me was how polite everyone was. There was no pushing or crowding. No super-drunks getting ready to throw up or kids trying to start a mosh pit.

Lots of people were dressed up as Lady Gaga, wearing a costume or outfit she had famously worn at some point (I didn’t see any meat dresses, but there were a lot of pink hats, and open shirts with nipples taped up).

Lots of furry collared open shirts
  Some fishnet body suits
And a shit ton of pink hats

I also noticed right away that a lot of the crowd were LGTBQ community. Lady Gaga has always been a loud proponent of equality, which is a piece of her message I love the most.

The show started and I pretty much lost it.
(GIFs are video clips I shot at her show with my phone)

 

Gaga is a total rockstar in every sense of the word.

 

She performed Poker Face, Alejandro, Telephone, Just Dance, Love Game, Applause, and a ton of others. She changed outfits 7 or 8 times. There were flames and back up dancers and a huge screen that played background art and clips of her, like music videos.

 

About halfway though the concert, two big platforms rose up into the crowd, and two big walkways lowered from the ceiling (I’m not making this up). Gaga marched across the platforms, singing the whole way, to the stage at the other side of the arena, where a piano was set up.

 

She gave a speech to the crowd, asking if any of us had ever felt different. Different than the rest of the world, out of place, awkward, like we didn’t belong, not good enough, unloveable. I started welling up a bit -haven’t we ALL felt like that at some point? I think the speech was probably mostly aimed at the LGTBQ community, which made up a large part of the audience, but it could have applied to anyone, really. For me, it brought to mind my struggle with addiction, the times growing up I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin and out of place, what I went through on TUF this year and the struggle it was to just be true to myself despite the repercussions. The comments I’ve seen people make about me being an addict and the the way I look have stuck with me, and I was reminded of them.
She told the crowd, the sold out T-mobile arena full of 20,000 people that had ALL felt different and unloveable and lonely at some point in their lives- that being different meant you had to be brave. It meant you had to be brave enough to be yourself, always, and that it would take courage but that if you were brave enough to be yourself, you would find people who loved you exactly the way you are, and that it would be worth it…because we were born this way.. And of course here the crowd lost their minds, and I was losing mine too, and crying, and feeling inspired and hopeful and grateful all at the same time.
It was a cool moment to be a part of. Lots of people, including me, were crying and cheering. It’s amazing to watch one woman inspire so many people all at once, to give them a safe place and encouragement they actually take to heart. She sat down at the piano and performed Come To Mama and an acoustic version of The Edge of Glory. Then she sang Born This Way, while marching back to the first stage.
Before the night was over, she also touched on gun violence, a topic you guys know I feel super strongly about, before she performed Angel Down.

Shots were fired on the street
Near the church where we used to meet
Angel down, Angel down,
But the people just stood around…

Then she performed Joanne. When she did, she talked about who Joanne was – her aunt, or would be-aunt, if she were alive. Joanne was her father’s sister, and had died of Lupus when her dad was young. It was an event that changed her father forever, she said, and she always wondered what her father would have been like if Joanne had lived. She said we all have events in our lives that change us forever, and Joanne, the song and the album, were about the people we were before those moments, and how the pain of those experiences changes us, connects us, and makes us all the same.
Then she asked us to think back on the person we were before our own Joanne, before our own moment that had altered us, and where that person we had been had gone. Of course here I thought of my dad and started crying all over again.

Take my hand, stay Joanne
Heavens not ready for you
Every part of my aching heart
Needs you more than the Angels do

Girl, where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’, goin’ girl?
Girl, where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’, goin’ girl?

I have never, ever in my life CRIED at a concert, and never twice, goddamnit, but here I was leaking buckets again.

I was wondering if she would leave everyone so somber before she finished, but she didn’t. After Joanne she lightend the mood back up. Gaga fans in the know (Monsters, she says!), began throwing hand drawn artwork, letters, poems, and gifts up on stage. One person threw a jacket that had been airbrushed with a picture of her face. Gaga picked it up, oohed and aahhhed over it, and then put it on. Someone else drew a picture with her, her aunt, and a friend of hers who had passed away. She picked it up, showing it to everyone while pointing out the people on it. She chose a letter at random and read it out loud, then hopped down onto the audience and gave a hug to the people that wrote it. I’ve never seen a performer do that before!

She ended the concert with a few more hits and then finished the night up by going back to the piano stage and performing A Million Reasons, promising to come back to Vegas at some point.

It was incredible experience. There were lots of people at that concert that had seen her perform live 6, 7, 8- plus times. When I heard that, I thought, no shit?!
But now I can see why. Hell, I would go again tomorrow if she were playing here in Thailand. I’m already planning on going if she tours again, and I recommend you do too. Definitely worth it.