Show Review + Photos + Setlist: Lady Gaga Burns Down the Scottrade Center, Saturday, July 17, 2010
Anyone who came to Scottrade Center last night as a Lady Gaga enthusiast left a disciple. Boys kissed boys, girls kissed girls, freak flags flew high and there wasn't a single person in the audience who wouldn't have jumped happily into bed with Gaga after the show. Her presence was electrical, magical and fantastical.
Todd Owyoung Lady Gaga last night in St. Louis. View an entire slideshow here.
The Westboro Baptist Church was outside protesting the smutty starlet, but inside the arena, not a single one of the near 15,000 people in attendance felt anything but love and adoration for the Lady. Creed be damned, everyone worshiped at the Gaga altar and loved every minute of it. Despite the protest, she took the stage on time, ate hearts - and after two hours and ten searing minutes, she burned the motherfucking house down.
The show - which was immaculately timed and exquisitely executed - was rehearsed to perfection. From her first pose to the four-minute collective orgasm that was "Bad Romance," the diminutive diva kept the crowd spellbound. Everyone wished for more room to dance, more lung capacity so they could scream louder and longer, stronger arms and legs -- and more freedom and energy to express the cascading devotion that Gaga inspires.
"I created the Monster Ball so my fans would have a place to go," she said at one point. "Tonight, all the freaks are outside, and I locked the fucking doors! Tonight and every night after you can be whoever you want to be."
And again, later: "Some people preach messages of hatred and divisiveness, but here tonight at the Monster Ball, we preach love and unity.
When she spoke about the hate at the door, she looked nearly in tears, telling the crowd to let go of their insecurities and reject anyone holding them back from being the superstars they were all born to be. And indeed, the crowd dressed to impress: They came in six-inch stilettos, postage-stamp dresses, bodysuits and caution tape, torn fishnets and hairbows. Some were exact replicas of the world's most infamous popstar. Drunk boyfriends and husbands ogled the spike-heeled jailbait, and the girls nodded their appreciation of each others interpretations of Gaga fashion.
Three things are necessary to understand the following: The show was better than anything you can imagine, better than anything any journalist can write. The dancers were incredible and the lighting, design and creativity of the whole endeavor was unlike anything you've ever seen. Over the top, grandiose, outrageous, luxe - all of these adjectives apply but none of them fit.
Anticipation was palpable as a gigantic half-moon screen obscured the stage. As a countdown began on the white screen, people began clapping, shrieking and screaming in anticipation. Suddenly, a synth, drum machine and backing vocals vamped the opening of "Dance in the Dark," which was interspersed with a sample of CeCe Peniston's "Finally." Finally, indeed. Finally she appeared, an impossibly thin black shadow lit from behind by purple light, her image projected on the half-moon screen. The screams were deafening as Gaga struck her first pose, looking like a raptor. Though she stood stock still, holding varied poses, you could actually see a slight tremble every time she inhaled; she was actually singing.
The shade went up to reveal a complicated, two-story set with dancers in cages, a bombed-out lime-green car - inside, a dancer was getting a faux blow job - a harpist and a handful of musicians.┬á She wore a greyish-purple leopard bodysuit under a massive purple jacket adorned with a glitter cross. The jacket's shoulders were so big, it looked like she was equipped with a jet pack.