OK – so it may not have been the most memorable halftime performance – but can we all please admit – this is an artist with TALENT. She’s a composer, a singer, an instrumentalist / musician and a dancer, yes I said it a dancer. Now I consider myself a musician and I harken back to the influential musical giants of my adolescence and I can attest to the fact that none of them danced. However, in today’s modern world it seems to be nearly a requirement that you entertain or dance from a visual perspective – seldom, the music alone is no longer enough.
We have singers who don’t write music, we have singers who, both in the recording studio and in concert rely (sometimes heavily) on auto-tune. Some of our pop icons attempt to lip synch, but most of us can detect this. There are terms of microphone volume levels in live performance such as a ‘closed (off) mic,’ or a ‘partially open’ mic. This technique allows the singer to inject some comments or adjectives making it appear to be more realistic that the singer is actually singing. But last night Lady Gaga’s mic was completely ‘open.’ If you have any doubt listen to her inhale as big a possible breath to offset and compensate for the rigorous dance moves she put herself through.
Now don’t misunderstand me – I don’t have any of her music in my collection nor in my playlists, but if one can write and perform at that level – all the while undergoing nearly consecutive dance routines, then you gain my respect.
When she first broke on the scene, the outlandish costumes and make-up nearly overshadowed her talent. It wasn’t until I saw a DVD of a backstage, pre-show warm up with her background singers that I realized just how remarkably talented and schooled this artist is.
At a time in our country when inclusiveness and pride for our country could potentially use a shot in the arm, she opened with a very appropriate patriotic medley. The 13 uninterrupted minutes of Lady Gaga’s performance demonstrated to any artist or musician who subscribes to the 10,000-hour rule – that she may have put in ten times that amount. The conditioning and physical stamina alone – would be challenging for most dancers – but to sing and play, dance and entertain the world to this degree of precision is nothing short of astounding.
If she has the unequivocal endorsement of Tony Bennett then I think we should all re-assess our initial opinion of one Lady Gaga.