Subculture for the Masses

Posted by Jess Watt on July 12, 2010 11:22 AM

The Semi Precious Weapons of NYC we've seen a few times in fairly small venues. Lead singer Justin Tranter even had a high kick contest with me and its safe to say I got my ass kicked (he is 6ft. and wearing heels).  But where we didn't expect to see him, was at the ACC opening for Lady Gaga. Now I think it's safe to say that not too many of us at The Hour have a lot of Gaga on our ipods but she's still selling out stadiums so what's the deal? We went to find out. And what we found was not what we expected.

Lady Gaga Hands-Photo by Jess Watt.jpg

The show opened with an elaborate smokescreen effect and a giant Gaga Silhouette. The costumes and sets were as elaborate as a Broadway show.  Her set included a street car, cityscape and an awesome neon green Rolls Royce, but the best thing about the Rolls is that under the hood - was a keyboard! Her angular goth and gladiator heel fashioned outfits came outlandish and often.  The choreography and scope was a show reminiscent of a Madonna tour right down to the blonde, headset and the muscleman gay dance-troup. On her Monster Ball tour she is very Madonna meets Marlyn... Manson, with hints of Gwen Stefani. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga showed us much more than the MTV dirty bubblegum side of her.  I didn't realize what a gay rights and human rights in general advocate she was, constantly talking to the crowd and encouraging people to feel better about themselves and follow their own minds. She called everyone superstars and told us we were born that way.  She had very down to earth human qualities about her and tight MJ style dance group moves.  Her showmanship, humanity and elaborate details really exceeded her songs. She also has a great voice and actually plays instruments including piano. Not unlike one of her surprise audience members in particular - Sir Elton John was in attendance. 

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Gaga truly is an entertainer, and her outrageous style is pretty outstanding though taken from the fashion, pop and subculture trends of the time.  She knows how to take what's big and make it bigger, from the hipsters of electro pop to Vampire chic and Monster Balls, she's a hybrid genius and has much more depth than she may have been given credit for. It was amazing to see what a difference radio, marketing and distribution can do for an artist. To see all the fans that will fill 2 entire ACC's, most dressed actually as her, really highlights the power of media.  I wonder what Peaches would do if given the same resources?  Lady Gaga opened the set with the song that first went #1 in Canada 'Just Dance' and closed the night with 'Paparazzi' which featured a giant "fame monster". The other notable song of the night, was a ballad called 'Speechless' which she played on the piano while squatting on its bench.  It was a song she played about her father and tonight she played it about you and me. 'You and Me' is also one of the new songs she's written for her upcoming album which she also snuck in tonight.  Overall it was an impressive theatrical performance and showcase of subculture and modern trend, packaged for the masses.  

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Experienced by Jenn Good

Photos by Jess Watt

Categories: Blog Entry , Music and Concerts