If you haven’t heard, Lady Gaga was in town Monday night. After two packed houses at the American Airlines Center last year, she came back for thirds and continued to fill up the arena. And the Dallas audience was all over it — whether they were seeing the Monster Ball again or for the very first time.
Not much had changed from last year’s show and I didn’t expect it to, save for the addition of “Born This Way.” She got rid of the fairy tale princess getup and skipped out on “Eh Eh,” which I didn’t realize until someone pointed it out. Despite this being a repeat, Gaga still showed up with maximum intensity. She danced hard, she sang loud and she pretty much killed that piano of hers whether banging it with her fingers or her heels after singing a slower rendition of “BTW” and “You and I,” a song slated for her next album.
All the hits were there, but at times, Gaga would disturb her own groove to preach about “being yourself, be a star, equal rights, yadda-yadda,” just a little too much. The crowd would be worked into a frenzy after a song, and then came another sermon. We were, after all, in “church,” as she put it. I’m all for the positive message, but there came a point when the show was borderline Oprah. Perhaps having already seen it took away from the initial joy of the message. Am I a bad person?
Fortunately, she quickly got back on track with her crazy spectacles of a bleeding, fiery statue during “Alejandro” – and the bigger-than-life Fame Monster puppet during “Paparazzi.” I did appreciate her free-flowing chat with the audience. She pulled up someone’s poster and read it out loud with sincere appreciation. She joked about the random prop tossed onstage: “Did someone throw a hand up here?” Those were clever moments.
As if she needed more comparisons, Gaga’s piano version of “BTW” recalled John Lennon’s “Imagine” both in sound and in meaning. But she finished the night with the song in its original form along with an energetic performance people saw on the Grammys. With a paw raised in the air, the encore offering didn’t seem so much the end of the show, but more like a preview of what’s to come. Ending with the song on a future album made me wonder what her plans are. The date of her last show is May 7 and Born This Way is scheduled to drop May 23. Methinks she plans to maintain a high blip on the radar for the near future.
Opening Act Scissor Sisters flattened the place, if only the crowd knew it. Jake Shears, with his drop-dead perfect physique, worked his body out running all over the stage building up a bigger fan base for the band. The seated crowd was into it, but sadly never got on their feet. I appreciated Semi-Precious Weapons as her opener the first time around only because it was kind of their big break, but SS is, by far, an even better choice. They fit in perfectly with the edgier pop stylings and totally gay environment.
Ana Matronic has never impressed me much but she changed all that with her snappy messages to the audience (“when all you little monsters grow up, you too can be scissor sisters!”) and keeping right up with Shears in leading the band’s jam. She spoke the truest statement of the night informing the audience, “We are Scissor Sisters. If you don’t know us, well then you’re either not gay or not British.”
They only performed for a half hour, but with songs from all three albums, they made the most of it. And the sound was dead on, capturing the dancey thump of BabyDaddy’s bass and the sharpness of Del Marquis‘ guitar work.
With a slew of more party atmosphere songs like “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing,” “Night Work” and “Take Your Mama,” they knew their place as openers, but I could have easily watched them for another hour as they just delivered a fine performance. And Shears’ final reveal of him stripping down to his thong wasn’t a bad thing, either.
So, yeah, it was a good night.