Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Lady Gaga, Virgin Mobile and me

Lady Gaga fans practicing their poses outside the Virgin booth
Thanks to a full time job and children who don't understand the allure of sleeping in after Mommy's had a late night, I don't go to as many concerts as you might expect of the wife of a rock critic.

But hell would freeze over before I'd turn down the opportunity to see Lady Gaga live. You can get Josh's professional opinion of the show from his Time Out Chicago review, but suffice it to say she delivered exactly the spectacle I expected. In fact, she went way beyond mere spectacle: she's not just outrageous costumes, hot gay dancers and glitter. The Lady seemed so down-to-earth—so committed forging a meaningful connection with her Chicago fans and making all her "little monsters" feel loved and free to fly their freak flag high.

And I think I deserve an honorary freak flag for being one of the only concert-goers still wearing the same outfit I'd worn to work. Only the cute Boden dress, bright purple tights and green mary janes that had garnered so many compliments back at the office looked positively tame lame next to the costumes surrounding me. Men and women paraded around the concourse dressed like every possible incarnation of the Lady, as 1980s flashbacks (think early Madonna), and as a cavalcade of Pride Parade and burlesque dancers.

Since I never quite take off my marketing hat, I have to salute the sponsor, Virgin Mobile, for its savvy on-site activation of their tour sponsorship. From a photo booth in the lobby to a mid-show call to a fan in the stands from Lady Gaga to the posting of text messages on the jumbotrons to a donation to the performer's favorite charity (LGBT homeless youth), they managed to be ubiquitous without being distracting.