Lady Gaga  at the X

Star Tribune photo by Brendan Sullivan


Fashionistas would have had a field day describing Lady Gaga’s outfits for her Monster Ball Tour, which I didn’t have space to discuss in my review..
I’ll just mention a few ensembles from Monday’s show at Xcel Center, which will be repeated Tuesday in St. Paul (maybe she’ll mention Minneapolis just once during the second show).
*One outfit looked like she was wearing a lampshade made of shag carpeting and a matching top. She looked sorta like a post-modern Cousin It from the Addams Family.
* A red cape/gown with curtain rods for shoulder pads.
*The ultimate was Glinda the Wicked Witch as snowflake angel with spikes of icicles that suggested the design of architect Santiago Calatrava.
*Speaking of architects, how bout the Frank Gehry-like purple headress? And the Gehry-like shapes on a keytar instrument. And what did you think of that special concoction of an upright bass with a keyboard on one side and a computer on the other?
* A translucent nun’s habit. As one critic once said, she out-sacrileges Madonna.
* A full-length patent leather (at least that’s what it looked like) trench coat.
*The purple leather jacket on the opening number had shoulder pads twice the size of any Viking linebacker's.
*Of course, there was the leotard with fireworks spewing from Gaga’s breasts and crotch. Yes, like Alice Cooper, Prince and Madonna, she’s a provocateur.
Oh, I could go on and cover all dozen or so outfits.
During the first half of this spectacle, I yearned for the low-budget Lady Gaga whom I saw at the Fine Line in March 2009. She was more human then. On Monday, she much too frozen-face fembot.
At the Monster Ball Tour, she finally showed her humanity and vulnerability when she sat at the grand piano for Speechless. Suddenly she turned into Taylor Swift. She was all smiles and Kumbaya.
At the piano, Gaga also did Living on the Radio, an unrecorded song that she said she’d never performed live before; it’s an autobiographical tune about being friendless and dreaming about hearing her songs on the radio.
The piano segment was Gaga as pop songwriter, an aspect of her fabulosity that is often overlooked. She can write a melody and a hook. And as she preached to her Little Monsters (she did a lot of I’m OK, you’re OK preaching): “At the Monster Ball, pop music will never be low brow.”
Here is Gaga’s set list from Monday:
Act 1 (City) Dance in the Dark/ Glitter and Grease/ Just Dance/ Beautiful, Dirty, Rich/ Vanity/ The Fame
Act 2 (subway) Lovegame/ Boys Boys Boys/ Money Honey/ Telephone/ Speechless/ Living on the Radio/ You and I (tornado) So Happy I Could Die
Act 3 (forest) Monster/ Teeth/ Alejandro Poker Face
Act 4 (Monster Ball) Paparazzi/ Bad Romance