Review: Gaga shows her sentimental side

SINGAPORE - I fear that my hearing may have been permanently damaged. Even as I write this, the ringing in my ear continues to persist.

Furthermore, my nose may have been affected as well. I can still smell the faint vestiges of body odor of the man who had been standing in front of me last night.

Yet it was all worth it.

I had the fortune to attend last night's Lady Gaga concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and it blew my mind.

Above all else, Lady Gaga is not simply a singer; she is an entertainer.

Lasting just over two hours with an absolutely spectacular encore performance, she had the audience at her fingertips.

One of the things that struck me the most was the diversity of her fans. Unlike say, a Justin Bieber concert, where one would expect only teen girls, no one demographic dominated the crowd. The woman next to me looked to be about fifty. The two Caucasian kids behind me who managed to oscillate continously for two hours looked to be no more than fifteen. Young, old, male, female, all were in attendance.

Her stage was extravagant. It was built to look like a castle, which would open and expand into different settings depending on the song playing. Furthermore, Gaga would periodically appear at different 'levels' of the four-floored stage.

In fact, her final encore rendition of Edge of Glory took place on the very top of the castle whilst her legs were wrapped around one of her dancers.

Incredibly, Gaga managed to combine both showmanship and sentimentality. In between her fast-paced songs, she gave a heartwarming speech about her youth. As a teenager she wanted to be popular, but she was thrown into a trash can instead. She felt like a loser back then.

Oh, and throughout all this, she played a slow rendition of her song Hair on a piano made to look like a motorcycle.

Addressing the audience directly, she reminded us all that no one there was a 'loser' and that everyone was special in their own way.

Her speech was so touching that I could plainly see some members of the audience tearing.

Towards the end of the concert, Gaga sat down with some of her dance crew, and thanked them for sticking with her since Just Dance was released four years ago.

Of course, it wouldn't have been a Gaga concert without her signature outrageous dance moves and outfits. She alternated between a futuristic soldier (complete with a rifle and pyrotechnics) and a skimpy, strategically cut outfit. Her infamous 'meat dress' even made an appearance.

Strangely enough, her newer songs, such as Heavy Metal Lover, elicited a rather subdued response from the crowd. However, the arena absolutely erupted when she started belting out classics like Telephone or Alejandro. I personally screamed the lyrics till my throat was raw.

Gaga ended the concert on a beautiful, stirring note. "I wake up every morning and I pinch myself. I can't believe I'm a star." Finally, she thanked her fans, otherwise known as 'Little Monsters', for supporting her and making her dream possible.

Lady Gaga truly is one of the greatest entertainers of our generation.

Every cent I paid and every moment I spent queuing was worth it.

Now I have to go see a doctor about this ringing in my ear.

cyap@sph.com.sg

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