It was such a last-minute thing. We’ve always wanted to watch, but for some reason, we never got around to buying ourselves tickets. Then, by the time we wanted to, tickets were practically sold out. The last time tickets were this hot, at least as far as I can remember was during the Maroon 5 concert.
The Araneta Coliseum was PACKED. It was quite a sight to see so that venue without finding a vacant seat! And the energy was just incredible. Sometimes, because an act is so popular, a lot of people go just because it’s the “in” thing to do, to be seen at that concert. But with this one, it was as if everyone really wanted to be there. Rich, poor, male, female, she-males in drag – name it, they were there.
And when she finally came out, it was pandemonium. I remember back in the 80’s when I’d get so frustrated with Pinoys because the local audience was always so reserved, so polite, that no matter how big the performer was, the appreciation was polite applause as best. Not anymore. I feel so proud that we’ve become such an appreciative audience. The crowd shrieked at every provocation.
She announced earlier on that her best friend from way back as a kid, is a Filipino. Then she’s have such one-liner gems like: “I was asked, ‘Lady Gaga, do you have a dick?’ So I answered, ‘Yes I do, and it’s bigger than yours.'” Another went, right before launching into one of her hits, she said: “This one goes out to every motherf**ker who didn’t believe I would make it. And also to everyone who did.”
To me at least, she seemed to be going through something. One moment, she’s extolling the days when she and her friends had no money at all, and the next she’s saying that the one thing she hates the most is MONEY. If it’s not a shtick, it’s almost as if she already wants nothing to do with “the fame” (and fortune) that she worked so hard for. But then maybe it’s part of the show since a lot of the themes of her songs have something to do with either money or fame.
After the concert, she tweeted that her show in the Philippines was her first arena concert ALONE. Apparently, she’s been touring all this time opening for other acts. So she said that she’d never forget Manila. It makes more sense now becaused she did say towards the end of the show that she cried 5 or 6 times because of the warm reception. The crowd fondly cheered its disbelief thinking she was just saying that like other acts do when they say, “This is the best crowd EVER!” But apparently, maybe it’s true!
The woman’s got pipes. She’s not just a pop tart who made it on the strength of her looks and her shtick. She can really sing. She sang all of her hits, and you can tell she put her heart and soul into it. In fact, at many points during her performance, she seemed to be unravelling, having mini-breakdowns, acting bizarrely, pausing unplanned, muttering non-sequitur gibberish, and the like. She seemed to me more a strung-out rock star than a pop act.
The show was replete with nudity, expletives, and even simulated sex acts. You could sense the discomfort of many parents who brought their very young offspring to the show. In fact, Delle sat next to a very young girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old? Hehehe, I’d like to hear how the mom explained it. I guess people expected to see a very Disney-ish, dance diva show in the same vein as Britney and Christina, but instead they met a head-on collision with a temperamental typhoon of a temptress!
But it was also such an unconventional show. I was wondering what she’d do for an encore since she already sang all her hits. As we always see in concerts, the artists usually save their biggest hit as the encore, to ensure that the crowd will clamor for more. But in her case, she sang her biggest hit, Pokerface, then bowed with her band and dancers, then left. We all screamed for more, but the lights just went up and that was that. It’s the ONLY concert I ever watched that didn’t have an encore. Very odd, very much like Lady Gaga.
As a whole, it was a very satisfying experience, both as a concert and as a pop-cultural event. Everything was flooded by Lady Gaga fever, from Twitter, to Facebook, to Multiply, etc. It was one of those “You had to be there” moments. And boy, were we glad we did.
Earlier that day, I tweeted @ladygaga that just in case she wanted to sing something in Tagalog, she could sing, “Pu-pu-pu-pusoy dos, pu-pu-pusoy dos…” I was wounded that she didn’t take my suggestion to heart. I tell you, it would’ve been a hit.
I wouldn’t say that it’s one of the best concerts I’ve seen, as compared say, to the intense emotional impact of Vertical Horizon or Maroon 5, or maybe the sheer talent of John Legend, but definitely it was one of the must-sees as far as I’m concerned. Some parts displayed potential genius, while others betrayed an emotonal train wreck. Either way, I’m glad we were there to witness it.