Lady Gaga, Born Superstar

Rewriting the pop record at Jingle Ball

Despite the hiccups, the excitement did peak more often than it didn't, with the crowd screaming along with her lyrics chronicling both self-reliance and self-loathing and obliging her by raising their "paws" (Gagaspeak for "hands") when asked. At one point, prone on a motorcycle, Gaga engaged in the most outrageously festive behavior of the night: She humped the air while singing the verse she tacked onto "White Christmas." Yes, she added a verse to Irving Berlin's Christmas classic for the simple reason that she felt it wasn't long enough for her liking. Put together with her grinding, the makeover was a doubly masturbatory act that should have made any pop-star-in-wait quiver in their boots at what might be—and that cemented her status as the pop world's biggest name, no matter what the numbers might say.

No matter: Lady Gaga in concert
Paul Flynn
No matter: Lady Gaga in concert

mjohnston@villagevoice.com

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