Yesterday was Lady Gaga’s 28th birthday, and my designing friend Stacy Lomman and I celebrated by going to the first of seven Gaga concerts at Roseland Ballroom. Gaga’s shows are Roseland’s swan song: The venue, which has been on West 52nd Street since 1958, will be razed and replaced with a residential tower.
Roseland has some elevated VIP/press standing room — from which I saw Hole perform in the 1990s — and limited upstairs seating, but most of the venue is general admission. Stacy and I got there quite early in order to jostle our way as close to the stage as possible. We ended up about ten rows away from the stage. Of course, there was one 6’3″ guy in the room and he was standing immediately in front of us — apparently there’s a rule that a 6’3″ guy must be standing in front of me at every concert I go to. Despite the giant’s best efforts to block my view at all times, I got a few nice shots of Gaga doing her thing.
Behind me were a couple of young girls who were practically exploding from the thrill of seeing Gaga — screaming, crying, expressing disbelief that they were in the presence of a goddess. You can hear them in this video. I was torn between laughing at them and thinking, “Awwww … how cute.” I remember being that way over Duran Duran. It made me all sentimental.
Gaga was in fine form and had a great rapport with the audience. I especially enjoyed her re-arrangement of “Poker Face,” during which she chatted about the song. “I couldn’t believe they let me say ‘Russian roulette'” on the radio, she said.
However, it was one of the shortest concerts I’ve ever been to — maybe an hour. I should have read this New Yorker story ahead of time, so I would have known she was only playing 12 songs.
Everyone was stunned when she stopped. Even the screaming, crying girls were disappointed. I overheard one person asking his friend, “Could it be an intermission?”
Not only was the show short, but Gaga performed “Yoü and I” at a piano in the VIP area, where a couple of dozen people were close enough to touch her and the rest of us (except maybe the tall guy) couldn’t see her at all. That would be pretty bothersome anytime, but especially at this quickie performance. And there wasn’t even any vomit! Damn, Lady Gaga, put some effort into this shit!
At least we got to enjoy a confetti shower …
… and you can’t beat these blinking buttons for a souvenir.
What Wendy Wore
Shearling vest: Stacy Lomman (2012)
T-shirt: Damien Hirst souvenir from the Tate Modern (2012)
Shorts: JC de Castelbajac (2013)
Tights: Pretty Polly (2014)
Shoes: Opening Ceremony (2013)
Rings: My own Gaga tribute design (2010)
Lipstick: Hautecore by MAC
Despite my disappointment about the length of this concert, I will still see Gaga whenever she comes through New York. After all, that’s my only opportunity to wear my Gaga rings.
If you’re going to one of the remaining Gaga shows, have fun, but consider how long you want to wait for a good spot for such an abbreviated performance. General admission is tough, yo! There’s a lot of pushing, it’s as hot as hell, we had no idea when she was going to start (around 9:15 p.m., as it turned out.). I wish I went to line up outside the venue either really early — say, 11 a.m. — to be in the very front row, or that I’d gone later and settled for standing wherever. As it was, I felt so close, but yet so far.