Monday, April 22, 2013

Part 3 - The Concert

I was halfway to my garage when I stopped myself mid-stride and realized, "how in the mother of fuck am I going to get to a Lady Gaga concert, let alone meet the woman?" I was strangely determined to do this, even more so than my usual strange endeavors of the past. I decided to check around with my friends on Facebook and other sites to see if I could get any connections or pull some strings. I was pretty certain as to who my ace in the hole was, but I decided to ask a few others anyway.

Sure enough, those efforts turned up fruitless, so I texted Nichole. She was a friend I had made a few months ago, and a huge fan of Gaga's. More importantly, she was also a nail stylist to the stars. She had met such household names as Paris Hilton, Tyga, Will Smith, and plenty others. It was a wonder she wasn't famous herself. After a bit of catching up, I asked if she had the honor of meeting Mother Monster herself. My luck must have truly shone through when she said she in fact had. She told me about the encounter, how Gaga wanted a strange, intricate, almost fear inducing design on her nails and about how the two conversed, discussing music and fashion. She sent me a picture of the nails, and said they looked like claws, but I thought they looked rather nice. I asked about getting some concert tickets, and as my streak of luck continued, she said she'd not only do that, but procure the exact thing I needed: a backstage pass! She apparently knew one of Gaga's managers and got ahold of it through him.

I eagerly got in my Jeep and drove to her house, not even worrying about how she managed all this. I arrived quickly, and was greeted at the door by her. Her bright pink-and-purple hair fashioned into straight-cut bangs called imagery of Twilight Sparkle to mind. I told her I couldn't stay long, so she quickly handed me both items. She didn't seem at all disappointed that she couldn't use them herself. A bit odd, but she insisted that I deserve this opportunity. I hugged her and gave my immense thanks. She wished me luck as I headed back to the car. I took a closer look at both items. The ticket was a full-size piece of paper showing information such as the event's rules, and my seating. The backstage pass was quite plain; just a long, laminated strip bearing Lady Gaga's visage with "BACKSTAGE PASS - ONE ENTRY ONLY" and a number code on it.

The concert wasn't until tomorrow, but I was brimming with excitement! I went ahead and drove to the venue, making sure I had everything with me, and dozed off in my car. I slipped into a rather trippy dream involving the concert and floating in some sort of abyss. It's really hard to explain, but then again, dreams are tough to remember.

 A few hours passed and I was woken up by some banter I heard from the other side of the parking lot; a group of swaggies arguing over who had the biggest killstreaks in Black Ops. Ugh. I ignored this and checked the time. It was still a good five hours til the concert, so I made a quick run to the donut stop and got a few things to snack on, and some tea. I was still to excited to do much else, so I figured I'd prepare my "natural enhancement". I broke down the buds, and carefully placed the ground herb into a Juicy Jay rolling paper. I don't like to brag, but I was one of the more skilled rollers among people I knew. After a bit of rummaging between the seats, I managed to find a lighter. See, I'm really paranoid about losing these. You have no idea how much of a bitch they are to obtain without an ID. An hour or two later, I lit the stuff up.

At long last, people were filing in to be serenaded by the enigmatic pop princess. I was dressed for the occasion with my bright red Lady Gaga shirt, featuring a caption of her saying "Can I try this on please?" with her holding up a steak. I was also wearing 2 hats for some reason. I was pretty fried and incoherent by this point, but still managed to be one of the first inside. The staff didn't ask me anything, but did give me some strange looks as I was directed to my seat. Continuing my streak of luck, it was one of the front row seats! I let out a dopey giggle as I stumbled to the chair. This must've been some good stuff.

Anyway, the place looked absolutely dazzling. The room itself was a sort of "A" shape, and curiously did not have the prestigious Monster Pit that most of her shows featured. It was kind of like the venue in Dallas from the Fame Ball Tour back in the day. But yeah, the place was positively full of energy. Die-hard fans such as myself lined the stands left and right. Several girls and even some boys showcased their detailed cosplays of Gaga's various well-known outfits. Opening for Gaga was a dubstep DJ playing various remixes of popular songs. The one that caught my attention the most was Sex Bob-Omb's "Garbage Truck". Being a fan of Scott Pilgrim, I appreciated this mix being played. This segment went on for about an hour and a half.

The entire arena went pitch-black as the DJ exited the stage and the curtains fell, only to be illuminated by flashing strobe lights that made me hope no one here was epileptic. The curtains opened again, an all-too-familiar beat pulsed through the room, and rising from a platform hidden within the stage was Lady Gaga, in the flesh.

One of the best things about her shows was seeing what elaborate, garish outfit she would be sporting this time. I was pretty excited for this part of the show myself. This outfit sure was...something. It was primarily black and green, and it lit up brightly. The top part looked like armor of some sort, with spikes on it, and it was asymmetrical. The bottom part looked like wings pointing toward the ground. The design and color scheme reminded me of Cell from Dragon Ball Z. It separated near her hips, allowing full view of her voluptuous legs. Her hair was styled in one of her more common looks, mid-length, bright blonde, and straight with bangs(If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the music videos for "Edge of Glory" and "Paparazzi"), with a plastic bow that also lit up green. Matching eye shadow of a verdant tone brought out her stunning gaze, and her lipstick was a bright rose hue.

The aforementioned familiar beat was the intro to what I consider her signature song, and the song that made me a fan, "Poker Face". Maybe it was the high, but I felt somewhat hypnotized by this opening performance. All the cheering around me was suddenly absent as she energetically sang and even showcased some dance moves, flanked by six female backup dancers. They seemed to be phasing in and out of existence, but I figured it was just the stage effects. I stood up and began doing some dancing of my own. She finished that song and began another one of my favorites, "Edge of Glory". After that song, the beat faded and she greeted the crowd with excitement. After a bit of talking about the concert, she looked directly at me and said what I made out as, "Haha! I like your shirt! I know you're wasted!" I couldn't see it, but I think I blushed as red as that shirt. My eyes must've given away my current condition. This got me even more hyped.

She went back to speaking and began to talk about her early life and her struggle to get recognized as a musician, as well as her getting into heavy drug usage, and her battle with anorexia that went on for several years. She had quite the colorful past, and getting this much insight on it was admittedly interesting! She then talked about her strive for equality and her activism in the LGBT community, hoping that her music sent a positive message in that regard. She concluded this by saying she hoped everyone loved the concert, and segued into "Yoü and I". From here she did several songs from each of her albums. "Telephone", "Born This Way", "Eh, Eh,", "Bad Romance", "Just Dance", "Alejandro", "Americano", "LoveGame", "Bloody Mary", "Cake", and several more, each with spectacular lightshows and stage performance. Several parts of the stage actually transformed between songs, and the live versions sounded orgasmic compared to the studio versions I was used to.

Finally, that beat that seemed to twist every which way began to fill the venue. It was time for her to perform "Paparazzi". Again, that hypnotic vibe exuded from the stage, but this part was pretty fucking awesome. This was easily her best single in my opinion, and the live version was even more enthralling. Seconds after the song ended, she grinned deviously at the audience, and proclaimed, " the last song. And the last to die." I laughed to myself a bit, as she had unintentionally quoted Legacy of Kain. The lights all turned to red and orange hues as "Marry the Night" cued up. The whole performance was full of pyrotechnics. Fireworks sparked everywhere and it looked like the stage itself was burning away. At one point, the whole stage looked as if it were engulfed in explosions and flames, but Gaga and her entourage emerged unscathed. Her walking away from the explosion reminded me of some action movie.

As the last song faded, she thanked everyone for being an energetic audience, and various instrumentals began playing as she danced. Several others had already clambered their way onstage and began doing the same, so I saw no harm in joining them. I was having so much fun that I didn't even realize that the concert had lasted a solid 4 and a half hours. It was almost midnight. Soon, she departed, and I surmised that this would be as good a time as any to brandish my backstage pass. I strolled up to the stage doors like I owned the place, and invited myself in. I showed the pass to the security, who said they were expecting me. They probably figured at least one person had a pass. I headed on through.

My heart pounded as I was met with her piercing gaze.