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This past Sunday, or yesterday, Monsters around the world were geeking out to the max about Lady GaGa‘s performance at the iTunes festival. Mainly because on GaGa’s own Facebook page she talked about singing 7 new songs from her highly anticipated album “ARTPOP”, I was intrigued, but I didn’t run to my computer as soon as it started. I just happened to see a link for the full performance hours later and thought, why not, and checked it out.

I’m not the biggest fan of GaGa’s current single “Applause” (though it is growing on me), and I wasn’t all that blown away by her VMA performance of the song last week. I will admit though that I’m still really excited for new music from her. Not to stroke her ego further, but she is a unique and distinctive personality in the industry, and I definitely dig her talents.Lady Gaga Opens iTunes Festival

Around the 20 minute mark of her iTunes performance,  I decided it might be smart to jot down some initial reactions of the songs and performances. Here’s how the show ran for me

Aura – Great introduction. Half of the time she’s in this flying cage, the other half she’s making her dancers sweat to a very uptempo but mildly cluttered song. At times “Aura” harkens back to “Judas” with the stutter hook “aura-a-a”. And at times she unleashes a real R&B bridge “do you wanna see me naked baby”. Good song overall, but I still need to hear the final version.

Manicure – The only thing I can say about this song is that it’s very Ke$ha-licious. Actually it’s more along the lines of Billy Idol meets Ke$ha meets a very 1950’s Rock and Roll vocal delivery on the verses. At this point I just enjoy the fact that GaGa SINGS. The song isn’t all that great, and my mind drifted off to Ke$ha and Katy and Britney and others in the pop realm that don’t really SING (like say, holding notes or really being creative with their voice in a melodic way) as opposed to putting words together in a slight melodic fashion . So that kept me going for this song.

179308714ARTPOP – Very nice song, though GaGa looks like a reject member of the cast of “Hair” alone with her nearly nude get up and massive wig. The song lush like a moody Electronica instrumental. And even though the verses TOTALLY remind me of the verses from Selena Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song” (which I only know because of “Drag Race” alum Willam’s parody “Love You Like a Big Schlong“), it’s still a great piece of work and it feels really full.

Jewels and Drugs – GaGa’s attempt at a Ratchet Hip Hop song, but unfortunately it feels like a desperate attempt. The verses, the way she sings them, are weird and feel unnatural. With T.I. Too $hort and Twista providing verses, she’s kind of the after thought when the song and performance is over. Kinda boring song and boring performance, though I did love that little keyboard breakdown towards the end.

The elongated drum break gave me major LIFE. And this is the drawback to being an Indie music fan because I spent most of the break wondering who might have been the inspiration behind the sound. For a second I thought Millionyoung because of the dreamy vibe, but also Teams came up with the staccato drum patterns. I still think it sounds closer to another artist I’m totally forgetting now.

Now is a good time to talk about the costume changes for every song. Look, I’m trying to get an indication of what her tour might be like with this performance, and if it’s this whole STYLE thing like she did at the VMA’s than I’m already yawning. I think she has good charisma and I didn’t mind the changing on stage, I just think there should be better execution. I imagine some voice over narration of what the next look will be, like a Miranda Priestley type voice detailing things in a Vogue fashion.

Sex Dreams – “Making Love in my Sex Dreams”?? Well, DUH!! What else would you be doing in a sex dream? Nice uptempo song though,  it has a very 90’s Pop/Dance feel on the verses but the hook reminds me of something she might have done before. I can imagine this fitting into to the early 90’s club scene actually.

“The Human Underneath the Wigs”, Lady Gaga monologues yet again about why she built the “Lady GaGa” personality in the first place. Three people surround her, one holding mic for her while she gets dressed down, exposing her natural hair, while two other people on either side hold hair accessories. I kinda dig that in an ARTPOP way, but her monologues could use a little bit of something to make them less preachy. Just saying. 1September2013-Lady-Gaga-iTunes-Festival

Swine – This song is MADE for the elliptical. Weird how she had this long spiel about how she channeled all of her self-hate into the song, and than it turns out to be this club stomping anthem. I also should say that if she’s trying to escape the Madonna comparisons, this song may not help because it definitely gave me some 1998 Victor Calderone/Madonna T’s. “Sex Dreams” also gave me some Madonna vibes in the beginning. I swear, I’m truly not one of those people who LIKE to point out silly comparisons like that, but I’m just objective (as I trashed “MDNA” last year). Let’s just say though that “Swine” is pretty amazing.

Now at this point, as she talks about the upcoming song, I’m so incredibly over her long monologues in between songs. Just sing please.

I Wanna Be With You -Pretty boring. GaGa undeniably has some great pipes on her that’s for sure, but I’ve never really been all that into “GaGa on a Piano”.

Applause – “Applause” is “Applause”. We all know the song by now, and this Top Hat performance of the song didn’t make me love it any more or any less.

Overall the iTunes Festival performance was just Okay, not great but not bad, actually kind of typical for her. The were little gags and costumes and things I liked, but on the whole it seemed kind of like a “test-run” show for her… getting timing and staging mapped out and all of that. I was happy to hear the new music, which like the performance, isn’t all that drastically different from her previous work. There are a handful of songs I could really see myself getting into later though, so the performance did at least help with the anticipation for the “ARTPOP” album. And seriously, I already want swine on my Cardio playlist for the gym.