Last night I had the chance to see Lady Gaga perform live in Austin, TX and now I understand why everyone goes goo goo for Gaga. When a performer has Michael Jackson’s Greatest Hits thumpin’ through the speakers before they take the stage, you know you are in for a spectacular show. Gaga’s fans (Little Monsters) descended upon the Frank Irwin Center with costumes on, voices and paws raised.

Now when I say costumes, I’m talking really well thought out and executed looks. Better than Halloween. There were Gaga in the egg costumes. Pepsi can hair-rollers a la “Telephone” video Gaga. There was dominatrix Gaga. Every outlandish look of hers you have ever seen was represented. It was the kind of event where the extreme was the norm and the norm did not exist. Men, women, teens and toddlers with dramatic face paint, monster masks, whips, chains, leashes, huge hair bows… made of hair. Men in corsets and pink tutus atop pleather knee-high stiletto boots were a dime a dozen. It was a spectacle beyond belief. A show within the show and I loved every second of it.

Not to be outdone by her Little Monsters, Gaga and her dancers were beyond over the top. They pulled up on stage in a neon green, glow-in-the-dark, old school Chevy with a piano under the hood. But when they hopped out, I was sure that we were all about to be abducted by aliens. Lady G and her beautiful, androgynous entourage enthralled the crowd with all of the hits. Little Monsters screamed along as Gaga danced and sang “Just Dance”, “Bad Romance”, “Paparazzi”, “Alejandro” and “Poker Face” with no lip singing the entire show. She even performed album cuts like “Teeth” and did a new song called “You and I” produced by someone she said ‘your parents will be happy to hear produced it.’ Between you and me, the song had Sir Elton John’s finger prints all over it. Throughout the show, Gaga insisted on calling her guitarist Jesus Christ and occasionally Jesus Cristo. What is shocking and offensive to some, is quite alright in Gaga’s world and that’s why her fans love her.

Lady Gaga loves her fans back and it is obvious in her performance. The brief breaks she took during her 2 hour set were spent reading fan mail that was thrown on stage. At one point a Little Monster tossed a homemade, puff paint t-shirt at her that she grabbed while dancing and immediately put on. Gaga made a point to make everyone in the building feel special. She even called a fan in the audience on their cell phone during the show and invited her to ‘come kick it and have drinks’ after the show.

Gaga’s acoustic performance of “Born This Way” was a definite highlight. The slowed down, stripped down version of her current hit gave everyone a chance to really hear the message of love and acceptance of ALL people. There was a young girl, maybe 15-years-old sitting next to me who was in a Minnie Mouse costume. The big bow, polka dots, poof skirt, white gloves, the whole look. When Gaga finished “Born This Way” and continued by encouraging ‘any who have ever been bullied for being different’, Minnie Mouse took of her glasses and broke down in tears. It was clear that Gaga’s message of empowerment touched her and so many others in attendance who for one night felt free to just be. No judgment. No criticism.

Lady Gaga has instilled in her Little Monsters all over the globe that it is OK to be yourself or whatever character you decide to create. Flaws and all. And for that, I am a fan. It is a message that megastars rarely share these days, especially not with the intensity that Gaga does. So for that, I applaud her and feel confident in saying that last night I witnessed what I thought was a concert, but was actually a movement.

Here are a few videos from the show.