Never have I been so happy to be so far from the stage as I was at Lady Gaga's show at Stubb's BBQ on Thursday night at SXSW.
Thankfully, I was far enough back to not only not get sausage tossed on me from the stage, but also not to notice that while Gaga and her friend Millie from London were straddling each other atop a bucking mechanical pig during "Swine," Millie was puking black and green liquid all over the beloved Mother Monster. How's that for a parlor trick?
Gaga maintained the Texas BBQ theme with a neon sign advertising 'Lady Gaga's Haus of Swine,' and by, naturally, making her stage entrance while strapped to a BBQ rotisserie. She also performed "Bad Romance" with a country-flavored intro, joined by Austin fiddle phenom Ruby Jane.
Like the Jay-Z and Kanye West show the night before, which shilled for Samsung and Chevy, the Gaga show was a corporate sponsored event, in this cheesy case for Doritos.
Getting into to the show involved jumping through ridiculous social media hoops, requiring the posting of something silly and the use of the #Bold hashtag. After considering being a sourpuss about it, but then inspiration struck and in the name of journalism, I put on a mask that I got while waiting in line for the SXSW showing Michael Fassbender-starring movie Frank and danced around like a fool for 15 seconds. It's on my Instagram feed @delucadan, if you're dying to see it, dear reader.
The Gaga show was short and the line to get in moved quickly - blessedly under an hour so. Unlike Kanye and Jay Z, Gaga has the graciousness to allow people who felt the need to see her the luxury of actually also seeing some other young deserving bands on the night of her showcase, like you're supposed to be doing at SXSW.
And her show wasn't completely grotesque. She also sat at the piano and crooned with her wholly impressive pipes, and got emotional with her fans. During "Dope" - as in "I love you more than Dope" - she told the Little Monsters: "It's much easier to be yourself than to be somebody else."
Gaga, who has been seen out and about seeing bands and DJs all week, also dedicated her encore "Gypsy" to the victims of the fatal car crash just down Red River street the night before. "Life is so short," she said, telling people to "put your phones down."
"When you leave the earth, nobody is going to give a ... about what you tweeted or how famous I am." (Easy for her to say, after requiring that people post on social media to get in, and advertise her show.) "They're going to care about how you touched people. Fight for your dreams everyday. Don't think they can't happen. It's happening right now for me."