Last night was UPROXX’s very first SXSW showcase. It was a blast: Flavr Blue kicked things off at the Woven House with a lot of synth, followed by the Melker Project (AKA “Ballin’ Oates” and the “Red Hot Trilli Peppers”) mashing up everyone from the Ramones to Ludacris, Rebirth Brass Band bringing the sound and flavor of New Orleans to Austin, Hunter Hunted making the girls swoon, DJ Skee respecting the west by spinning Kendrick Lamar, and lastly, Snoop Dogg and friends (including Wiz Khalifa) doing their actual #RespectTheWest thing. Oh yeah, and Lady Gaga dropped by and I saw firsthand why no one should ever want to be a celebrity.
To set the scene: the VIP section was to the left of the stage where the artists performed. That’s where I hung out for a decent portion of the night, mostly because the last time I was considered “very” anything was when I was a kid, and I was going to be VERY sorry for “sticking that up my nose.” I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortably isolated up there, even while surrounded by VIP-ers (though, to be fair, they bring the drinks to YOU, which is why I stayed). There’s something naturally polarizing about being in a different section than the rest of the crowd, though that feeling didn’t last long, because I was booted the second Gaga, wearing a Slayer shirt, arrived in a tornado of camera-clicks, bodyguards, and fame seekers.
It was suffocating. One second the crowd’s focus is on the DJ; the next, everyone’s looking your way because Gaga is five feet behind you (near an UPROXX sign!), surrounded by a team of security who look like they’d chuck a baby if it crawled too close to Mother Monster, and you have to play it cooooolllll.
(My version of cooooolllll is taking an awful photo.)
Approximately two seconds after this picture was taken, most everyone in the VIP section was escorted back into the main crowd. It was Gaga’s room now, but she seemed uninterested in what was going on all around here. She’s probably as used to massive attention as us normal people are to be ignored, and while phone after phone took pics with the flash on, she relaxed with her crew and sat on top of a couch (SO CASUAL).
Then she was gone. She came, she sat down for 15 minutes, she left. Maybe this celebrity thing isn’t so bad. Though rocking out to Ballin’ Oates with a Lone Star in hand isn’t too bad, either.