So, Lady Gaga? You may have heard of her. She played some songs at the Oracle last night. It was pretty chill.
PSYCH! It was fucking bananas. We're talking at least eight costume changes; fire, sparklers, smoke, and countless other pyrotechnics (literal and figurative); a small army of muscular, appropriately freaky-looking backup dancers — and an audience of 15,000 or so little monsters hanging on to every moment. It was, in other words, more or less exactly what you'd expect from a Gaga show.
The whole show was entirely, unabashedly, choreographed, down to the stage banter (she must've uttered the phrase "born this way," also conveniently the name of her newest single, at least 15 times). But in this context, that speaks less to laziness or unoriginality than to professionalism and good planning: at this scale, a more spontaneous show could feel sloppy. This, however, was nothing less than a supremely well-organized spectacle of the Gaga-patented variety: totally fucking weird, yet simultaneously, as adherent as anyone to the pop-concert formula. If there's anything Gaga knows, it's how to give her fans exactly what they want, and she hit every mark last night.
After all that, of course there was going to be an encore. Two, in fact, all awash in lights and effects and glitter and grease, ten thousand-plus people screaming and crying along. Welcome to the monster ball.