Sunday, November 17, 2013

08 Nov 13 - Bad Romance

SouthSide's caught in a bad romance ...and there was no way out of it either, blogspot readers.

Before continuing, this statement has to be said - SouthSide is not a diehard monster (Lady Gaga) fan however she does respect the artistry and music by this pop star, blogspot readers. Now that's out of the way, this reviewer recently attended the one-night only musical performance of Bad Romance at Bucktown's newest music venue - Concord Music Hall. Held inside the former V nightclub, this spacious 3rd floor venue had the right atmosphere and setting for tonight's concert which featured a full band, dancers and singers - all professional as well as carefully chosen for this live theatrical production of Lady Gaga's music. Here's where the skeptic side to SouthSide kicked in before the start of the show. As stated earlier, she may not be a diehard monster (like her kids) yet she's well-versed with this artist's songs from Fame to Born This Way albums. So, she did have her doubts about this production pulling it off without any flubs and/or missteps, blogspot readers.

There was excitement in the air as fans of all ages waited impatiently for Bad Romance to start. As the digital clock did a countdown and the lights turned low, this crowd was more than ready to be Gaga-fied by this elaborate musical production, blogspot readers, however the music didn't do much to generate more fan excitement already felt. To be honest, the only ones really feeling the excitement of attending a "Lady Gaga" show were the kiddie monsters seated in the balcony area with their parents. Another countdown?! How many does a musical need before the band and singers finally take the stage. FINALLY, the crowd erupts to life with applause and screams as the "Lady Gaga" character takes the stage.

The concept of Bad Romance is quite simple ...though it's loosely based on Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (aka Lady Gaga) and her early days in the music scene before performing her first Monster Ball concert. In this musical, the main character strutting around stage mimicking the mannerisms and vocal style of Mother Monster is named Gia and she tells the story about her early days dancing at the Glitter Club to signing with Disco Heaven Records (aka Interscope Records) and her on-off again relationship with her first love, Alejandro, amidst the full band and backup singers performing Gaga songs. The musical featured hits like Monster, Alejandro, Poker Face, Telephone, Judas, Teeth, LoveGame and of course the musical title - Bad Romance (which you have to wait towards the end to hear) ...all recognizable in an instant, blogspot readers.

As musical production goes at this caliber, it was okay, blogspot readers, despite recreating some of her famous videos and/or dance moves. This reviewer did enjoy the relatively plausible storyline of a singer/songwriter who makes it big in the music industry after defying the "odds" and pressure to give up from her friends and family as well as working hard to make the dream come true. In a way, the same could be said about Lady Gaga. She did prove many critics wrong who thought (after seeing her first Lollapalooza performance back in 2007) she would merely a one-hit wonder thus getting lost and/or disappear amongst the sea other pop stars and wannabes. Well, look at Mother Monster now. She has, in SouthSide's opinion, has changed the face of the music industry with her wild and eccentric fashion sense (which keeps EVERYONE talking about what she wore or did for days) to her social activism  (fighting against bullying and for gay rights), acting, and more (like recently hosting Saturday Night Live). From a music critic standpoint, this reviewer enjoyed hearing the unique take on Lady Gaga's songs as performed by a live band even though there are some things you can't really translate with an electric guitar so well. Yet, kudos to the band on the effort especially when they steamed up Alejandro with a sultry opening as well as electrified Telephone as a hardcore rock song.


On the flipside, the production was a little flat and got tiresome gradually fast especially when the "Lady Gaga" character began straining on her vocals after an hour of gyrating, dancing and singing nonstop on stage, blogspot readers. At the beginning of this musical, she exhibited a lot of energy and excitement that had many little monsters singing along with her. There was a bright moment during Speechless when her vocals did shine popping the heartfelt words to life amidst the piano accompaniment but soon you could tell that she was getting tired when performing Born This Way - this 2012 hit received a lackluster rendition. Her vocals were slightly off key (fading in and out when reaching the high falsetto notes) and there was no emotion or dynamic emphasis anywhere on the lyrics. You would have thought the crowd would be extremely excited when she hyped how Illinois finally passed the Marriage Equality Act ...but sadly no. That hype fell flat as a dull doornail, blogspot readers. One more thing, "Lady Gaga" needs to work on her fake playing an acoustic guitar a little more ...she was off on the "strumming" the strings during You And I. The backup singers, who were totally non-existent throughout the entire musical, weren't any better either when you were able to hear their vocals. They were completely overshadowed by the band each and every time that SouthSide had to strain her earplugs to make sure their mics were on. Their reprise of You And I needed more vocal work since it didn't have the same vocal emphasis like the Gia character had earlier.

Despite needing a little more tweaking especially on the vocals, SouthSide somewhat recommends little monsters checking out the musical Bad Romance when the cast and band performs it again. A good effort in covering the famous hit songs by Lady Gaga that many had fun singing and dancing along inside the Concord Music Hall.

For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your feedback - SouthSide