JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

July 23, 2010
American Airlines Center
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Carolyn Sortor
Photos by Ben Britt

Lady Gaga - "The Monster Ball" Tour

Costumes, Props, and Set Changes

Gaga performed expertly throughout the show, through frequent costume, prop, and set changes. Video, beautiful or fascinating, helped advance the Gaga-thology, screened at various times on a backdrop behind the stage, a scrim in front of the stage, and also on a cylindrical fixture suspended above the circular platform.

Throughout the show, the music was great, although so loud that I heard it perfectly well through the super-duper earplugs jammed into my ears; and the audience was clearly loving it, though they spent as much time pointing phones and cameras at Gaga as they did dancing. But then, she looked fantastic.

Gaga's music is consummately danceable. And her lyrics, though often ironic, tell truths about the subjects she chooses -- mostly, so far, the concerns of youth: identity, love, success -- especially identity. The melodies of most of her tunes don't sound like much when you hum them, but the beats are "sick," as she puts it, she's got a great voice and uses it well, and the instrumentation and audio textures are brilliant -- I think they help make her music hard to get out of your head, whether or not you like it.

Gaga emphasized again and again and again how much she loves us, Dallas , all her "little monsters." Overall, the tone did feel more or less sincerely warm, but to me, a bit pushy, and sometimes even patronizing. She seemed to want us to enjoy being uninhibited kids, with her as the pretty, convention-defying young teacher with whom we're hopelessly in love.

But like, um, is it really that she loves us so much, or rather that she wants us to love her? And what will she do with the love she's won from us?

After a final costume/set change, the show ended with "Bad Romance" – seemingly daring us to ask whether ours with her is one.

Bad or not, Gaga glues glitter on good.