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Music Blog

Photo slide show, concert review: Lady Gaga at Energy Solutions

by Jesse Fruhwirth
- Posted // 2011-03-22 -

Dressed like she was ready to have her loins anointed in some bizarre Temple Ceremony on Venus, Lady Gaga belted "Born This Way" and all her hits from the heart of Zion Saturday.

It's her undoubtedly pro-gay stance that, I thought, might get her more of a protesting push back from some members of our community, but all was calm outside the Energy Solutions Arena aside from concert excitement.

A very Ken or He-Man looking Jake Shears--if you're into to muscles, he'll make you melt--led the opening act: Scissor Sisters. They were good, except Shears wasn't even trying to use his famous falsetto in songs like "Filthy Gorgeous." I suppose Shears was hoping the glean off his boobs would distract you enough so that you wouldn't notice; at least, his six-song strip tease would suggest as much. For my money, I liked the old scrawny Shears whose falsetto pricked your eardrum, not the brawny Shears who's trying tease your prick so you don't notice that's not singing very well.

Overall, though, Scissor Sisters were quite good. I mean, Energy Solutions and similar sports arenas sound pretty bad no matter whatcha do. Scaling back on the vocal gymnastics and amping up the Moulin Rouge-style bawdy one-piece-at-a-time strip tease was fun, visual, and, hmm..., stimulating, at least for some. I saw Scissor Sisters perform for maybe 300 at Liquid Joe's way back in 2004 and it was fun to see how far they've come to playing packed stadiums with the reigning ruler of pop.

After public service announcements about gay homeless youth during the break--thanks Gaga for showing some social responsibility--the Lady emerged in an outfit whose "pants" were so skimpy they may not be legal in Utah if they were any higher. Certainly not running from the comparisons to Madonna, within three songs the Lady had her skimpy outfit juxtaposing neon crosses, mixing that religious and sexual imagery that few have done so overtly as Madonna.

The next set, as she sung "Fame," featured a burqa meets the Queen of Hearts outfit that was a little awkward, but funny (not sure if funny is what she was going for).

Throughout, Gaga would have special moments of reaching out to the fans; sometimes with vague messages: "You have made me so brave Utah. ... Tonight I hope I can liberate you so you can liberate me;" to overt: "This one's for the gays!" Then she launched into "Boys" wit sexy boxer-brief-clad dancer boys bopping around with her.

By the time she got to song nine--a piano interlude of the newer single "Born This Way"--I was adrenalized. This was a great show and midway through, I recognized it and, at that moment, Gaga did one of her best tricks: she sat down at the piano and turned off the disco circus of sounds around her, and sang. She did about one verse before breaking down into an angry, piano stomp reminiscent of the Dresden Dolls, then transitioned into a new song whose title I do not know (it almost sounded like a sample of "She's Got the Look" by Roxette).

She took an intermission around song 14, and came back in the same wig--"nuclear corn" was how my sister described the color--to do "Paparazzi" with a giant fish on stage--presumably symbolizing a fame monster, methinks? It was cute to watch her walk slowly and carefully as pyrotechnic sparkles shot from her breasts.

She came back to do "Bad Romance" and the full version of "Born This Way" for the encore, dressed in what I can only describe as temple garments from a future Mars--just what the lil monsters would expect from the Lady.

Bottom line: great show. High production value, good execution, high energy, super fun, some salvos to social responsibility (though there could be more of that in the future, Gaga, please!) and the sound wasn't distractingly bad.

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