We knew Lady Gaga was likely to pop into a local club over the course of her two-night stand in St. Paul, and thus we had our ear to the ground at local gay clubs, dance venues and the swankiest places in town. We never thought she would show up at a place with Neil Young and Replacements posters on the wall, Hamm's beer decor in the basement, a CVS pharmacy right next door and a Slim Dunlap gig booked next weekend. Gaga did just that last night, though: The Twitter world and local nightlife-related blogs are lighting up with news that the 24-year-old party girl pulled up in an Escalade with her boyfriend and two security guards and hung out at the Turf Club last night after her second sold-out Xcel Energy Center concert.
The various reports say she was a wee bit drunk but surprisingly friendly, even stepping into the photo booth with some locals whose pictures are now being splashed across the internet, in keeping with everything Gaga. Mega-blogger/sleaze-meister Perez Hilton has them up on his site. Two names I never thought I'd see together in the same report: Perez Hilton and Turf Club. Of course, you can't believe half of what you read on the celeb gossip sites and Twitter feeds, but I do believe the Turf Club staffers who confirmed she was there. Apparently, the club was otherwise dead and relatively empty until the news of her arrival around 12:30 a.m. hit Twitter.
"She just walked in the door with this giant guy by her side and bellied up to the bar," said Turf Club music manager Dave Wiegardt, whose favorite moment was "seeing [Gaga] all by herself playing pinball with no one else around her." Weigardt said Gaga was also there with her boyfriend, a friendly, tall, long-haired guy who "sort of looked like a member of L.A. Guns." Apparently, this is the good-looking dude from Nebraska who Gaga referenced in one of the new songs she played at the Xcel Center -- and perhaps he's the one who knew the Turf is a cool place, being from Omaha. Wiegardt said somebody in the entourage came ahead of their arrival to scope it out, and "one of the reasons they might've picked [the Turf] is because it was low-key and pretty quiet." Predictably, Gaga herself wasn't so low-key, though.
"She really came off like a normal person -- or at least a normal person who goes out wearing black hot pants, a sports bra and fishnets," cracked Machen Davis, a promotions/web staffer at First Avenue who was part of the In Crowd that showed up once word spread via Twitter (others include First Ave booker Sonia Grover and Lookbook singer Maggie Morrison). Davis is one of the women who got Gaga to step into the club's photo booth, but when she couldn't get it to take her dollars right away -- hate it when that happens -- Gaga said, "I have to go. I'm on a date." When Davis got her money in a few minutes later, though, Gaga happily returned. Davis' favorite moment was seeing Gaga dance a little bit when the Guided by Voices' classic "Glad Girls" came on the jukebox.
Pinball and Guided by Voices: If it was a normal night out at the Turf Club that Gaga was after, she clearly found it.