L.A. Goes Gaga At Lady’s Monster Ball

It’s almost impossible to fathom that just one year ago, Lady Gaga was opening for New Kids On The Block and Natasha Bedingfield at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. This week she returned to the scene, but as the headliner of a super-sold-out three-night Nokia stint…and really, NKOTB and Natasha would be lucky to open for her now.

Gaga’s extremely accelerated evolution from blonde pop novelty to queen of all media throughout 2009 has been a wondrous phenomenon: It took Madonna, Gaga’s obvious and logical predecessor, years to reach the level of creative sophistication that the Lady of ’09 exhibited during her Los Angeles Nokia residency this week. The disco-stick-wielding artist formerly known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta has technically only released one-and-half-albums and is still a very new artist…but at an early career stage when the twentysomething Madonna was still shocking onlookers by merely rolling on the floor with her wedding dress over her head, Gaga stunned during her L.A. Monster Ball revue by hanging by her geisha-girl hair from S&M meathooks; appearing in creepy filmed vignettes vomiting neon green paint and posing provocatively in Mickey Mouse gimp masks and spiked Hellraiser headdresses; lumbering about in a mirror-faceted humpback prosthesis; and announcing to the very receptive Hollywood audience that she has a “tremendous dick.”

The Lady has a lot of balls, that’s for sure…

The woman also commanded the normally blasé L.A. crowd like a particularly charismatic cult leader, threatening suicide if concertgoers didn’t cheer loud enough (“I’m kind of like Tinkerbell. You know how she dies if you don’t clap for her? DO YOU WANT ME TO DIE???”); phoning a random audience member to invite him for an aftershow nightcap (I had my mobile in hand, waiting for her call, but sadly she never rang); convincing spectators to clasp hands with strange strangers during her gob-smacking piano number “Speechless”; and even pelting the audience with sparkly faux gunfire during her acoustic “Poker Face.”

So, you know, just a typical L.A. evening for Miss Gaga…

Only at a spectacle like this could Angelenos like myself be decked out in spandex unitards, fake fur coats, and glitter eyelashes and still feel underdressed and upstaged. This was THE L.A. show of the year, and it will be exciting to see how the Lady ups her own ante when she returns to the West Coast in 2010.