Title: Pinoys Go Gaga over Gaga
Written by Jamie Ortega
Lady Gaga is just like us. Sure, we aren’t crazily famous; nor do we have outlandish costumes or gazillions of dollars at our disposal. So, how are we like the Grammy Award-winning Popstar? Because just like the rest of the human race even international singing superstars possess feelings and emotions that can easily be hurt. The controversial performer showed just how human she is at the Born This Way Ball concert last May 21 & 22, 2012 as she shed tears while uttering the words, “I am not a creature of your government, Manila,” amid protests to have her concert banned in Manila.
However, more than the controversy surrounding Gaga’s two day show in the country at the newly-opened SM Mall Of Asia Arena, fans flocked in droves to her concert last May 22, 2012 to see Gaga do what she does best-perform her heart out for all her Little Monsters. And perform she did, against the backdrop of a gorgeous medieval castle dubbed as the Kingdom Of Fame complete with long-winding staircases and eerie secret compartments.
After front act German DJ Zedd warmed up the night with his rousing medley of party tunes including Party Rock anthem and I Love To Move It Move it, the Gaga extravaganza was finally kicked off with the Popstar straddling a faux horse. After that undeniably grand entrance Gaga, wearing a flesh-colored Filipiniana costume, together with the rest of her dancers, rode another contraption, this one looking strangely like a vagina.
Leave it up to Gaga to inject controversy and drama into every part of the show, to say that there was “no dull moment” was definitely an understatement! There were moments when the Popstar was straddling a motorcycle, wearing a dress covered in meat, pretending to be chewed up into ground meat in a grinder, etc. Gaga took on a multitude of roles as well, to match each outlandish act. The Popstar played the roles of fashionista, warrior princess, biker chic, sex symbol etc.
During costume changes a floating head hologram would descend from the heavens. Judging by her speeches the hologram was Lady Gaga’s nemesis determined to make life difficult for her. But Gaga, being the fierce performer that she is, is determined to bring out on an amazing performance for her Pinoy Little Monsters. This mini battle played out the entire night.
As for the selection of songs, most of the tunes came from Gaga’s earlier albums The Fame and The Fame Monster which, this writer believes was a good choice, since majority of her hits came from her previous compilations. Although the up tempo tune Born This Way was indeed a very good opening number because of its’ fun melody and very optimistic lyrics which set the tone for the entire evening. Songs Black Jesus + Amen Fashion, Bloody Mary, Bad Romance and the very controversial Judas quickly followed suit.
The concert was chopped into three parts, Act II was made up of Fashion Of His Love, Just Dance, Love Game, Telephone, while Act III consisted of Heavy Metal Lover, Bad Kids, Hair, You And I and Electric Chapel. Act IV, on the other hand, was made up of Americano, Poker Face, and Alejandro. Act V consisted of Paparazzi, Scheure, and the night’s encore was two of Lady Gaga’s most recent hits The Edge Of Glory and Marry The Night.
With its’ eye-popping costumes, breathtaking props, and amazing song and dance numbers, the Born This Way Ball Manila leg was indeed rife with highlights. But the most striking moment was when the Pop Superstar fought back against her critics while donning fishnet stockings and black sexy tights. “All the things that I sing about and the way that I am, my lifestyle, is just part of this one big giant life performance-sized statement of liberation,” she pronounced.
She added, “So many people have been protesting, and it really doesn’t bother me, truly, because I know there has to be change. For all those kids all over the world who take their lives when they’re so young because they feel bullied, or they’re afraid because they’re gay and they don’t want to tell anybody – don’t you think that some of us should f*cking stand up and speak the g*ddamn truth?” That last statement was followed with, "It's not about the music, but about being yourself!" Yes, Lady Gaga is just like us, with her own set of demons that she struggles with everyday. But this writer is sure that, if all those protestors and moral crusaders could see the Born This Way Ball for themselves they would understand that the show is merely about a woman expressing herself the best way she knows how-by writing and performing amazing music.
Celebrities spotted at the event: Cristine Reyes, Rayver Cruz, Giselle Toengi, Grace Lee (minus PNoy), Divine Lee, Victor Basa, fashion designer Rajo Laurel, etc.