The queen is here, and if you don't already have tickets, good luck finding them.
The Lady Gaga concert at Amalie Arena on Friday has been sold out since it went on sale, a frenzy we can attribute to a couple of possibilities:
A. People want to see the spectacle Gaga has become known for — the elaborate costumes, the interpretive storytelling, the special effects, the sheer theatricality.
B. People have realized, as pop music/culture critic Jay Cridlin argues, that her actual talent surpasses all of the above. In his assessment on Page 16, he calls her "nothing less than the best big-game singer on earth."
I suspect it's a bit of both. But Jay deftly takes on the task of exploring Stefani Germanotta's particular musical talents now that she's stripped away a bit of her shock value. Let's use this space to celebrate her outrageous other side, the wigs, the glitter, the Muppets. Herewith, Lady Gaga's most over-the-top moments.
The Meat Dress
She showed up to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards wearing a dress, hat, purse and shoes made of raw flank steak. A PETA nightmare, the dress went on to preservation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as — what else? — jerky.
Gaga incubated. She told Ryan Seacrest that being carried down the red carpet at the 2011 Grammy Awards in a giant egg, nay, a vessel, was a "creative embryonic incubation. … I was in there for about 72 hours. It was a very creative experience."
The Kermit Shawl
Who can forget the Coat of Many Kermits? On German television, Gaga wore a piece designed by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac as a protest against wearing fur. Kermit apparently didn't mind, because he went as her date to the 2009 VMAs.
The Jo Calderone Phase
Gaga experimented with gender expectations when she performed You and I in character as Jo Calderone, a leather-wearing, cigarette-smoking tough guy from New Jersey. She spent the night at the 2011 VMAs answering questions as Calderone.
The Red Crown
The best part of Gaga accepting her Best New Artist award at the 2009 VMAs was not the red lace Alexander McQueen dress with a crown and mask that covered her whole face. The best part was a very confused Eminem standing nearby.