Two weeks ago, I went to the Lady Gaga concert on a Monday night. Sure, it’s difficult to go to a concert on a Monday but when it’s Gaga, you have to bite the bullet and take the next day off. Especially because we had missed our opportunity to see her when she came to Seattle in 2008 and played in a small venue, mere months before Just Dance took off. The show just sold out too quickly back in ’08 but we were not going to make the same mistake again.
Now, in 2013, 5 years later, Thayer, Braxton, Anna and I were off to the Tacoma Dome to finally see the Mother Monster in person. All four of us had been to a major concert at the Dome before when we saw Britney Spears’ Circus tour in April of 2009. We kept to the same game plan and rented a hotel room at the La Quinta, which is less than a mile from the Dome – totally walkable whilst intoxicated.
Supposedly I was expected to dress up for Lady Gaga. I think I got a text from Thayer and Braxton about a week before asking me what outfit I was going to buy. I obviously don’t like shopping and I obviously didn’t buy myself a new outfit. Instead, I put on my awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tank and asked Anna to do my make-up (I know, weird, with gold eyeshadow and all).
After everyone was ready, we went straight to the Tacoma Dome and into the General Admission section. While waiting for Gaga, we made friends with all the amazing people around us. Everyone was dressed up, happy and ready for a good show.
When the show started, however, the GA crowd started pushing from the back and we were getting shoved around as late-comers were trying to fight their way to the front. I’m a big enough girl to hold a wall in the back. I tried to not move and protect my friends from the crowd pushing from behind.
My “just don’t give any space” tactic seemed to be working but I was incredibly distracted and annoyed. One song ended and a girl behind pointed off to the left and said something. I had no idea what she was saying but just smiled and nodded. Evidently, her and I were not on the same page at all. She grabbed my arm and pulled me over so that she could bark in my ear, “You’re stepping on me.”
I was livid. I snapped back that if I was stepping on her, it’s clearly because she walked under me because I had been in that exact spot for hours. She then shoved me back and to the left.
Oh hell no.
I’ve never been in a fight before but I was this close to stepping back up and getting in her face.
Luckily, Braxton stepped in between us and told me to go in front of him. He made a point to tell both of us that we’d only get kicked out if we continued to yell.
I stood off to her left with Braxton in between us, fuming at her nerve. Then, Lady Gaga started addressing the audience.
Her message was crystal clear: love yourself for exactly who you are and love those around you. All of a sudden, I felt terrible. I was ashamed of my reaction to the crazy girl behind me. I may not like music very much, but I have been to plenty of concerts where you get trampled by people trying to push to the front. The musicians always make a plea and ask people to stop crushing the front situated concert goers against the stage. You have to feel bad for the people who arrived so early, only to be suffocated by the mob. Musicians always try, unsuccessfully, to help these people out.
Except Gaga. At a certain point, people just stopped. All of a sudden, all of the focus was on her. There was no more pushing.
It was great. Never have I seen someone control a crowd as well as Lady Gaga did that night. We were her obedient subjects and she was our Mother Monster. Crowd control can be a scary thing if put in the wrong hands but Gaga handled her power with grace.
She’d tell us to jump and we’d jump. She’d tell us to dance our fucking faces off and we would. She told us to love each other and ourselves and it was impossible not to that night.
If you ever have the chance to see her in person, I highly recommend it. Not only is it an amazing show but it’s a confidence booster as well (not that I need it).