AUSTIN, Texas — Lady Gaga gave everyone a heads up when she tweeted on Thursday that she doesn’t like to play by the “nuns rules” — she makes her own. And that was clear during her performance at the South by Southwest music festival later that day.
The pop star turned the Stubb’s Doritos #BoldStage into her own “Haus of Swine,” complete with a pig roast, rodeo and enough barbecue to feed the entire audience, which she did, as she threw meat into the crowd and showered her fans with beer. The small, intimate crowd couldn’t put their paws down, and since Gaga had instructed them, “Don’t take my picture,” but rather “get lost in the music,” that’s exactly what we did.
There were too many to detail but check out some of the moments that left us shocked, inspired and yearning for more.
It’s Swine Time
Gaga began her hour-long set, decked out in a black bra, thong, fishnet tights and long white dreadlocks, strapped to a rotisserie spit as she spun on a roasting pole while singing “Aura.”
Being the polite host that she is, Gaga asked the crowd if they were “f–king hungry” and proceeded to throw sausage links into the crowd. She proceeded to wash the meat down with a can of beer, which she then poured all over herself and the first couple rows of fans.
Gagging (Literally) For Gaga
Warning fans that things were about to get messy, Gaga put on an apron and invited her friend Millie from London up onstage. Thinking that Millie might take the mic, we were a bit perplexed as she instead began chugging what looked like a liter of soda. Meanwhile, Gaga started banging the drums for a performance of “Swine.”
Shortly after, though, we found out why Millie was chugging, as she stuck her fingers down her throat and threw up green liquid all over … and into the mouth of Lady Gaga. Yes, you read that right: She vomited all over her.
But Gaga and Millie weren’t done yet. Stepping away from the drums, the pair climbed aboard a mechanical pig, complete with keyboard, and bucked around onstage as Millie continued to throw up — this time black liquid — onto the pop star. Throughout all of this, Gaga managed to flawlessly sing the track, and it didn’t leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth … except maybe Gaga’s.
Gaga Goes Country
Still decorated in black liquid vomit, Gaga decided to throw some country twang into the mix. She invited Austin fiddling star Ruby Jane to the stage, who helped her to put a country spin on the crowd favorite “Bad Romance,” which was also the only song Gaga performed that wasn’t featured on her latest album, ARTPOP.
No New Friends … Except One Chi-Town Rapper
Making a surprise appearance during the show was Chicago rapper Twista, who hit the stage to lay down his verse for their collabo, “Jewels ’N Drugs,” which also features T.I. and Too $hort.
But the night was all about Gaga’s New York City hometown crew. She invited the “original kids from the Lower East Side” to the stage: Semi Precious Weapons, the Dirty Pearls and Lady Starlight joined her in a group hug after she gave a rousing performance of her hit “Applause.”
Inspiring Her Monsters
As many moments that were meant to titillate the audience throughout the show, there were just as many that simply inspired. Gaga took to the mic several times during the set, most notably before the performance of “Dope,” and encouraged everyone to be themselves and reach for their dreams.
“It’s so much easier to be yourself than it is to be somebody else,” she told the crowd as she played the piano. “Because then you have to pretend to be someone else and like things that you don’t like and do stuff that you don’t want to do.”
Gaga Hearts SXSW
Taking the stage nearly 24 hours after the tragic drunk driving accident that killed two at SXSW, Gaga dedicated the final song, “Gypsy,” to all those affected by the accident, leaving the crowd with a heartfelt message.
“When you leave the earth, no one is going to care that you tweeted or how famous I am,” she said. “They’re going to care how you touched people. Fight for your dreams every day. Don’t think they can’t happen. It’s happening right now for me.”