Lady Gaga: A Talent for All Boroughs
Never one to do things on a small scale, it’s no surprise that Lady Gaga chose the New York Mets’ 42,000-seat venue baseball stadium to stage a pair of shows this summer. Still, only a small fraction of the more than two million callers who flooded the request lines when the shows were announced will be able to attend. That said, Gaga will own that “other” borough on August 28-29 and we here at Brooklyn Roads salute her.
I was fortunate enough to see her in person at Super Bowl LI in February, where her commanding halftime performance helped to boost the telecast into the top five of all time. If you weren’t one of the 111 million who were tuned in to the broadcast, here’s some of what you missed.
Lady Gaga started her night in the heavens, descending to the stage on wires. Then after romping and stomping through a number of her hits, she stood at her piano, alone, which is where she truly shines. The wild outfits and flashy dance routines are compelling, but underneath it all, Ms. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta of Manhattan is an incredible singer with a wounded heart that beats during ballads.
After years of shocking the public into seeing what her latest fashion train wreck might entail, she shifted back to her roots, dueting first with no less a celestial being than Tony Bennett before gliding back into her domineering singer-songwriter persona. Her latest album, Joanne, is, like all her other releases (and her choppy dance moves and public statements), an inclusive event and one that is welcome given the current national climate.
Her Super Bowl performance began with a subtle protest — singing a bit of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” which may have been lost on some (though not on Woody’s granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie nor folk icon Tom Paxton, who both reportedly lauded Gaga’s effort). She then progressed to a stage full of glittery and slightly awkward participants. The message was, “We’re all in this together” — which is always the story with Lady Gaga.
It’s a shame that she’s only going to do two nights in our sister borough come this summer. Here’s hoping that a residency at MCU Park or Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk is in her — and our — future. We’ll be “Dancin’ in Circles” until that happens.