Lady Gaga unzipped herself out of a giant inflated vagina before singing ‘Born This Way’ – the title of her current tour – at Parken last night. And her two hour and 20 minute show was filled with antics like that.
After tattooed, bedraggled rockers The Darkness, warmed up the crowd – and their ripped front man said it was a pleasure “to thrust ourselves upon you this evening” – a one-hour time lag followed before Gaga came onto stage. In the centre of the stadium, men in disco ball platform shoes, women in wigs of every shade and hue and a 16-year-old wearing only stockings and a black thong waited attentively. It was a wacky audience, from teary tween/teen diehards, to an aggressive, caterwauling woman – probably high on hallucinogens – with a chopstick-speared lime in her hair.
Eventually, the curtain fell and a fairytale castle came into the view of 36,000 people. A cavalry of soldiers and a black unicorn marched onto stage and Gaga made her grand entrance. She appropriately sang ‘Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)’ with her face covered in a black, diamanté headpiece while she sat atop her noble steed. It was a striking opening but the plot – if there was one – became impossible to follow later as the scenario and costumes became increasingly bizarre and farfetched.
The famous ‘meat dress’ made a comeback, complete with matching meat shoes and meat-wearing back up dancers. It was only the female dancers who wore meat and Gaga made a point of crushing a man in a meat grinder. Similar feminist stunts involved a tuxedo-clad man miming cunnilingus on Gaga before she shot him dead. Yes, it had it all: a confusing and convoluted mix of sex, violence, fashion, religion, and drawn-out pep talks with the crowd.
This reviewer counted 12 costume changes, which made the show feel more a theatrical performance than a concert. Nevertheless, Gaga did do justice to some of her most well-known tunes: ‘Judas’, ‘Poker Face’, ‘Bad Romance’ and ‘Just Dance’. And slowing it down and sitting at her motorcycle/piano for ‘Hair’, Gaga showed that underneath the peroxide, sky-high shoulder pads and copious eye-liner, the 26-year-old can sing. But the singing took a backseat from the theatrics.
At one point, as is routine during her shows, Gaga sat on the stage while her charges threw gifts from the pit. These offerings included decorated bras, tiny unicorns, tiaras and necklaces. In an attempt to inspire, Gaga told long anecdotes about her undying self-belief and rise to fame. She plucked teenagers from the crowd and filled them with dreams. Embarrassingly, many could not stop crying with happiness. Gaga did make one good point when she said: “It’s all about you, not about me. Don’t worship me, worship yourself.” But the uplifting discourse was too drawn out and became sickly. It was also a bit much when she produced a Danish flag from her motorcycle and ran waving it madly across the stage catwalk.
Gaga came out for a two song encore, singing ‘The Edge Of Glory’ and ‘Marry The Night’, finishing with the same intense energy as she had thrown in from the start. She took her time and gave her fans the attention they craved, but in the end, it was too much show and not enough song.