What does it really mean when Lady Gaga yawns?

Lady Gaga performed at the Rosemont Theater on Friday, January 8, 2010.

As expected, the Chicago Tribune (CT) and Chicago Sun-Times (CST) both sent music critics to check it out. Greg Kot, a longtime reviewer for the Trib (since 1990) and co-host of NPR’s Sound Opinions, and the Sun-Times’ Mark Guarino both checked out the same show.

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Mark (CST) wrote little about the actual show or songs itself, but wrote about how sexual she acts and how maybe she’s not the altruistic pop star she claims to be, but is really a capitalist showbot like everyone else.

Greg (CT) centered his review mostly on the quality of song and dance and showiness. Her costumes “embodied a raven and a fang-baring wolf, rarely playing to sex-nymph clichés that plague most pop concerts.”

Both writers touched on the fact that she yawned as part of an unambiguous message to the audience. But what did it mean? Here’s each critics take:

Mark said the yawn represented that she was bored with concertgoers “who were forced to re-purchase tickets.”

Greg saw a connection between the yawn and her high-concept show: “It was just one of many little sarcastic asides in a show that played like one long critique of celebrity…” He continued with, “…overall this was a visual spectacle heavy on ideas rather than self-aggrandizing glamor…”

Which critique do you think is right?

I don’t think I can comment honestly about the situation after reading the viewpoints of both writers. I love nearly all of Lady Gaga’s songs and I think anything I say would be too easily construed as biased support for the artist. I really appreciate it when musicians show their cards (haha) and guts. And you can’t deny Lady Gaga’s music talent: She plays the piano, sings acapella, and studied music for a bit at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Madonna, another favorite musician, studied ballet at the University of Michigan. Madonna is often commended for dancing in her shows, and in the past 10 years has shown she’s very flexible at an “older” age (and quite muscular, too). These two musicians work hard and it shows.


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