October 17th, 2011
08:05 AM ET
Threatening a “Marilyn Monroe” moment, but delivering much more, Lady Gaga rocked the Hollywood Bowl Saturday night as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of former President Bill Clinton’s foundation.
The sixth act to take the stage, Gaga started with a sparse, stripped-down version of “Born This Way.” Dressed in a beige cutout “jumpsuit” with a huge hat made of a stiff, thick mesh, Gaga’s tree house-like perch offered her a bird’s eye view of an audience that was ready for a sing-a-long.
Gaga didn’t disappoint, turning the ballad-like beginning into a full dance number guaranteed to thrill all her little monsters in addition to Hollywood’s well-heeled who had turned out for a night of philanthropy, politics and fun.
After working up a sweat, and panting heavily, Gaga then shifted a heavy lock of blond hair out of her face, paused for dramatic effect and tossed out the possibility of having “a Marilyn Monroe moment."
Given that President Clinton was belatedly celebrating his 65th birthday during the same weekend, many people were waiting for a breathy rendition of Happy Birthday Mr. President, but Gaga had weaved a few birthday wishes into “Born This Way.” She followed it with “The Edge of Glory,” another heavy dance number.
Her next presidential homage came in the form of a “Bad Romance." During the song, Gaga strutted out on the catwalk-like stage that separated the really expensive seats from the marginally expensive Bowl seats.
“I want your love and I want your revenge, you and me could write a bad romance,” Gaga crooned to President Clinton, who was ringed on one side by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the other by daughter Chelsea. It was a fabulously brilliant and simultaneously awkward moment, Gaga and the President. They all laughed. She responded, “I love you and your hot wife.”
But Lady Gaga wasn’t finished with the former president yet. She climbed back into her tree house, sat down at her piano and insinuated she might get naked for the next number. Gaga instead opted for a short, parchment gray jacket with full length sleeves and nipples clearly printed on the chest. Who needs nudity with clothes that deliver the same impression?
From her tree house, Gaga flipped the President a bird saying, "If someone had told me so many years ago that I'd be doing that right in front of you I just would not believe. I would have given a good American 'f-– you.'"
She’d rewritten some of the lyrics to “You and I” to pay an effusive tribute to the former first family.
"It's been 12 years since you came around. It's been a long time but you're back in town. This time I'm not leaving without you. So Hillary and Bill, sit back down where you belong in the oval office with those high heels on, sit back down on the couch where we watched you charm the whole world and the country," she crooned.
"Somewhere, something about this place, somewhere about American eyes when a Clinton makes us all feel safe. Somewhere something about a cool, Arkansas guy, yes, something about - Hilary, Billary, that's your new celebrity name - to the Clintons, you and I."
A bad romance, fake nipples, an f-bomb and a little squirming in the seats - all in a night’s work for a provocateur.
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