Crowds at concerts can be tricky. You never really know what you’re going to get. I’ve worked at a number of concerts in my life and have attended many others. I’ve seen angry mosh pits, had my ass grabbed, been felt up while working as a ticket taker, danced in the stands and the pits, I’ve been blinded by the lights and deafened by ringing in my ears for days after a show. Each experience creates a crisp memory that sticks with me as I move along in life.
Sometimes I leave a concert feeling bad about the world after watching how people behave and treat one another. At others, I feel a sense of camaraderie with the other attendees. I went to the Lady Gaga concert in KC this week and have never had a greater experience at a show. This concert stood out in my mind not only because of the spectacle of the show and Gaga’s performance, but because of the people I encountered there. I have never gone to a concert with a friendlier crowd or as many amazing people.
Concerts seem to do funny things to people (with or without the alcohol). There are no longer rules for how to dress or act. People get to be themselves. And, of course, no one encourages this more than Lady Gaga herself. I don’t think there is a better place in the world to people watch than at a Lady Gaga concert. Sometimes people can take it too far. But the people at this concert just wanted to be able to express themselves and be accepted. They find solace with one another. It’s a great environment and gives me great hope for equality in the future.
I love seeing the different ways people express themselves, dress up and celebrate. There was a guy in the mosh pit (Monster Pit) dressed up as a unicorn and when the house lights went out, he lit up with stringed lights. There were mounds of glitter and tons of sequins, yards of tulle, impossibly high heels that made me cringe just thinking about wearing them for 5 minutes, and strobe light headbands. All genders, all ages, all orientations and ethnicities were represented at this show. And everyone got along great.
It’s a spectacular sight to see people feel so free in a world where they are heavily encouraged (pressured) to conform and fit in. And I love seeing a community of people developing that celebrates and encourages each individual to be themselves. Strangers stood together taking pictures simply because they appreciated each others’ costumes. They struck up conversations with everyone and anyone. I loved every minute of it.
One young guy sitting behind us proudly showed me his Lady Gaga tattoos. He has Little Monsters written on his ankle and a unicorn on his foot. His love and excitement were palpable. It’s amazing to see how much Lady Gaga influences people from marginalized communities and backgrounds. She gives them so much hope and strength to overcome the adversities they face on a daily basis.
And really, that’s what Lady Gaga is all about, being yourself and loving every minute of it. The makeup, the crazy outfits, the spectacle of the show, they all exist to share Gaga’s message of individuality and the celebration of one’s own uniqueness.
As we were walking into the show, we saw Fred Phelps protestors outside the Sprint Center. They were protesting this freedom and message of acceptance that she promotes. No one I saw even glanced at them on the way inside. They were wasting their time. And by the time we left, they were gone.
There are lots of people out there who will tell you it’s not okay to be who you are. And frankly, as far as I’m concerned, if it makes you happy and as long as it doesn’t cause harm to you or another person, I say go for it. I am different from the masses in my own right. But even though I’m not the type to dress up in wild outfits or a member of the LGBT community, I appreciate and respect the people who choose to do so and are. I will always stand beside them and do what I can so that we can all be free to be ourselves.
The Lady Gaga concert was so much more than an experience of music and a showcase of her songs and talents. It was an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate individuality and equality, art and expression, and it was an opportunity to see how much goodness and acceptance there actually is in the world.