This review ran on Newsok.com today. This review is rated PG-13.
The Lady Gaga concert Tuesday night involved more show than any television could handle.
Hours before Gaga began singing funky disco songs about freedom, love and dancing, hundreds of patrons lined up in front of the Ford Center to get closer to their “mother monster,” a maternal nickname fans reserve for Lady Gaga.
The front doors of the venue were swarmed by what resembled an explosion of Lady Gaga music videos and merchandise booths. Fans pinned Diet Coke cans in their hair, wore telephones as hats and wrapped themselves in yellow caution tape like they were some sort of a dangerous mummy.
Several visitors of the National Association of Free Will Baptists Conference, who congregated inside the Cox Convention Center this week, gawked at the carnival of weird, which begged for a joke along the lines of, “What do you get when you mix religion and Lady Gaga?”
The punch line is, of course, a show and that’s what Gaga brings with her.
Headlines let you know Lady Gaga is good at upsetting Jerry Seinfeld, wearing skimpy outfits to baseball games and doing whatever she wants to do. She’s great at all that, but she’s even better at performing.
Opening act like Semi Precious Weapons had patrons chanting “Gaga” well before her set. It was like watching a huge gang of babies demanding nourishment, and Lady Gaga knew what the crowd wanted.
She began her concert hidden behind a silhouetted screen. Her shadow alone managed to get the crowd roaring by striking a single pose while singing the show’s opening track “Dance in the Dark.” The pop star emerged onto the stage, which was bathed with neon lights in an urban city landscape. She was garbed in an oversized studded purple jacket that was straight out of “Purple Rain.” It could have fit five Prince-sized human beings.
After the song, a series of skits began. The plot involved a journey to the Monster Ball, a magical place that neatly summarized the concert’s theme of being free to do whatever you want and be whoever you want. In one skit, Gaga lifted the hood of a glowing neon car and began playing a keyboard. This move would only have made sense in a “Looney Tunes” episode and a Lady Gaga concert.
Anyone suggesting Gaga isn’t talented should find something else to critique. She can play piano even when it’s on fire, effortlessly change her wardrobe several times and command an audience of 18,000 to make claw-like hand gestures. Backing Gaga was an arsenal of musicians including a harpist, drummer, tambourine player and several more instrumentalists. There could have been more musicians backing Gaga but most of them were usually difficult to see and were hidden behind metal enclosures and various stage settings.
But this was a Lady Gaga show, and she’s the one in the spotlight.
Gaga did attempt to share the love when she called an audience member named Crystal on a cell phone and invited her to get closer to the stage, but the call was interrupted by a sudden urge to contact Beyoncé for a “Telephone” duet.
Lady Gaga spent the first several songs of the evening turning the Ford Center into a dance party, but slowed the show down for two ballads in the middle of her set.
Between the songs “Speechless” and “You and I,” Gaga touched on her relationship with men who drink too much and credited them for the songs she writes. Throughout the concert’s entirety, she would directly address her lesbian and gay fans in serious and joking manners. Perhaps this is why protesters outside the Ford Center carried signs mocking Lady Gaga. However, her message couldn’t be more harmless and poignant, which was to be yourself, don’t let the man get you down and remember to let Lady Gaga show you how to have fun.
Ending the set were Gaga’s most popular tracks “Alejandro,” “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi.” This was the only moment in the night when Gaga’s ego was dwarfed. As she closed the set, the stage transformed from a decaying Central Park scene into a literal “Fame Monster.”
Luckily, the stage-sized squid creature was more interested in tearing Gaga’s clothes off than metaphorically swallowing her. This was a dangerous move for the fish because a majority of her costumes would poke your eye out if they were hanging in departments stores.
Gaga’s encore was a passionate rendition of “Bad Romance” which concluded with Gaga wearing underwear with the ability to belch fire.
If you don’t like the show by now, then it’s probably time to change the channel.
But remember thousands of Oklahomans know exactly who they want to see.
Newson6.com reported Lady Gaga stopped at the Colonial restaurant Sunday to grab a bite to eat.
Check out some photos of the visit here.
Gaga is scheduled to perform Tuesday, July 20 at the Ford Center.
Check out George Lang’s essay about Gaga.
I have no idea how Woody Guthrie or anyone who played WoodyFest can survive the July son in Okemah, but I gave it a shot.
Everyone playing WoodyFest is a character, but one person stood out. His name is Randy Thompson. He takes care of the Crystal Theatre, which is more than 100 years old.
There’s a chance it might close down, so there’s an effort to keep the place going.
Woody Guthrie told us this land is our land.
Okemah is Woody’s territory, from the building-side murals sporting his larger-than-life face to his name etched in sidewalk cement near the 100-year-old Crystal Theatre, where the 13th annual Woody Guthrie Festival kicked off Wednesday.
At the Crystal Theatre, everybody’s a Woody fan. On the 98th anniversary of his birthday, his son, Arlo Guthrie, was the festival headliner, playing folk tunes with his son, Abe Guthrie, and his grandsons Krishna Guthrie and Mo Guthrie.
Ramsay Midwood opened for Arlo and said WoodyFest reminds musicians that their profession isn’t about the fame or the money.
“It kind of brings everyone back to the reason they started making music,” Midwood said.
Clinton native Toby Keith makes country music look easy in his latest video for the song “Trailerhood.”
The song is the title track from Keith’s upcoming album of the same name. Look for it in October.
The magazine’s suggestion for Oklahoma’s updates song shares the same name as our current track, but it was written by Bishop Allen.
The song has some very Okie friendly lyrics.
You’ve got eyes like Oklahoma
Learned to swim in Lake Texoma
Chances are you plan to leave too soon
Oklahoma that’s what Ill call you!“
It doesn’t have corn as high as an elephant’s eye, but it’s really catchy.
Also, Bishop Allen has spent some time in Oklahoma. The band recorded its album “Broken Strings” at Blackwatch Studios in Norman.
This story ran on the front page of The Oklahoman today.
Filming for the motion picture “Bringing Up Bobby” began this week in Oklahoma.
Milla Jovovich, Marcia Cross and Bill Pullman star in the film written and directed by Famke Janssen.
Newcomer Spencer List, 12, plays Bobby.
“Bringing Up Bobby” follows a European con-artist named Olive (Jovovich) and her son, Bobby (List), who find themselves in Oklahoma after an escape effort. Cross plays the role of Bobby’s foster mother.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jovovich wrote about her participation on Twitter, “Hey guys! Been crazy! Came home 4 a day 2 get ready 2 go 2 oklahoma tonite 2 start my new film ‘bringing up bobby’! will keep u updated!”
First-time executive producers are Edmond native David Johndrow, 42, and his wife, Maryann Johndrow, of Johndrow Vineyards in Napa Valley. The couple join several executive producers. David Johndrow said the entire movie will be filmed throughout Oklahoma City and metro areas such as Edmond, Guthrie and Luther.
David Johndrow said the budget for the independent film hasn’t been finalized. He estimated the movie will create roughly 60 jobs for Oklahomans.
“The one thing about bringing a film to Oklahoma is that Oklahomans are so gracious to the arts,” David Johndrow said. “It’s a fun, interesting proposition.”
List’s publicist Kelly-Marie Smith said in an e-mail that Monday is List’s first day on “Bringing Up Bobby.”
The film is the first directing role for Janssen. She is best known for her performances as the psychic mutant Jean Grey in the “X-Men” trilogy.
David Johndrow said filming in Oklahoma is to conclude in late August.
Heads up: The above video is rated PG-13 for a tiny bit of language.
The Whigs visited the Diamond Ballroom last weekend in support of the Hold Steady.
I managed to grab lead singer Parker Gispert after the show and he decided to play “Painbirds” by the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse.
If you enjoy the song then don’t hesitate visiting NPR to listen to “Dark Night of the Soul,” a collaboration between Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse.
The Flaming Lips, The Strokes, Danger Mouse and even David Lynch make cameos.
Weird is good.
Here are some shots from The Whigs’ set.
The Tulsa World reported country pair Brooks & Dunn’s “Last Rodeo” tour starts back up on Friday.
The duo performs on Aug. 20 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.
Tickets go on sale July 17, confirmed an email from the duo’s publicist. Visit the band’s tour page for full ticketing details.
The pair performed in Tulsa earlier this year, which is where Ronnie Dunn lived and made music in his younger days.
Together they’ve scored 23 No. 1 hits. Brooks & Dunn won the Country Music Association’s vocal duo of the year award every year between 1992 and 2006, except for 2000.
Checotah native Carrie Underwood married Mike Fisher Saturday night, according to a report from People.com.
Underwood, 27, and Fisher, 30, wed at a luxury resort in Greensboro, Ga., on Saturday before 250 friends and family in a ceremony featuring classical music and the couple’s favorite Bible readings, according to the website.
Fisher, who plays hockey for the Ottawa Senators, was engaged to Underwood on Dec. 20, after quietly dating for about a year. They planned to keep homes in Nashville and in Peterborough, Ontario, according to People.com.
“We could not feel more blessed to have found each other and to have shared this day with our friends and family that mean so much to us,” according to a statement on People.com.