By Leon Velasco
Born This Way Ball @ San Jose HP Pavillion
My Sister Felicia Cerda and I arrived in San Jose about 3:00 pm Thursday and passed by the HP Pavilion to get to our motel and saw the craziness of hard core Gaga fans that surrounded the Pavilion and going to each booth set up by local radio stations. There were people dressed in GAGA-ized fashion as well as some people who chose to show their own creative style in costume choice; and yes there were Unicorn outfits too.
We got to the Pavilion about 7:15 pm and at the entrance we found 2 men who were protesting the concert. Although I would like to have taken pictures of their wasted efforts to boycott the show, (one guy was holding a sign saying “GAGA is SIN” and the other guy spewing religious propaganda through a bullhorn) but no one paid any attention.
Before finding our seats we took a mini tour of the lobby, the booths set up for souvenir pictures and browsed through the booths selling T-Shirts. There was a contest we entered for a chance to win a personal phone call from Lady Gaga during mid show; with a chance for a surprise from Gaga herself (details further down in my review). We encountered people of every ethnicity and age group imaginable and we loved it.
To open the concert was a male DJ who played for about an hour and during his set had people dancing and grooving. To start her concert was no less than spectacular. She entered riding a mechanical horse, (being operated by two individuals inside because a real one would have caused chaos from the loud noises of the crowd), and the costume she opened with was very alien-like and futuristic. I was blown away. Her opening performance was sensational. There were a couple of songs that she did a short version of, but it was all good just the same.
Lady Gaga made a statement to help encourage self empowerment. She made a little speech and the most memorable yet powerful statement she made was, “You will NEVER take my make-up, you will NEVER take my fish-nets, you will NEVER take my wigs… I was BORN THIS WAY!”
About mid show Tracy from Phoenix Arizona won the surprise call from Lady Gaga. A 42 year old mother of 2 got a personal call from The Diva Gaga and spoke about 10 minutes. Gaga sang a special slow version of Born this Way for Tracy’s 2 teens back home. After the song Gaga announced that Tracy also gets to choose a homeless shelter in San Jose, which assists the LGBT community, to donate $5,000.00 from Gaga’s Foundation. In addition to the phone call and charitable contribution Tracy was also given the special privilege to go back stage with a friend to meet up with Lady Gaga and “Share a couple of shots of whiskey!”, apparently the favorite drink of choice of Lady Gaga because she made several references during concert to Whiskey.
She made another very empowering speech about not taking to mind or heart what others say or think about you. “No matter what people think or say about you… (Shouts) DON’T GIVE A F*@#!!!! Because once you get to that point, YOU can surpass ANY thing!”
The concert was over before we knew it and everyone wanted more. Her performance was outstanding and her presence was powerful; but the show was DYNAMIC!