Lady Gaga takes over Hollywood Boulevard, peacefully
Less than 24 hours before Lady Gaga was set to take the stage on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Thursday evening, the tourist-heavy strip of Hollywood Boulevard in front of where the late-night talk show is taped had a completely different tone.
After popular DJ Kaskade encouraged fans to crash the Hollywood premiere of the Electric Daisy Carnival film for an impromptu performance, things turned into a near riot when thousands of uninvited fans descended upon the street. Naturally this prompted concern for Gaga’s already scheduled mini-concert on Kimmel’s outdoor stage, located behind the El Capitan Theater -- mere steps from the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, where all of Wednesday’s drama took place.
The much-hyped block party had all the trappings of a repeat: 2,000 fans scheduled to attend, double the normal occupancy; street closures were in place and then there was a host of other high-profile Hollywood events happening simultaneously: the red carpet premiere of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” across the street, Cirque du Soleil's 'Iris' next door at the Kodak Theatre and a scheduled show at the Hollywood Bowl.
Dozens of police officers were in place just in case anyone dared replicate the turmoil of the night before. A great deal of her Little Monsters begin lining up as early as 4 a.m., and cops and the show staff were adamant on keeping the crowd contained before they were allowed to enter the lot where the stage was.
“This won’t be a repeat of last night,” one fan reassured her group of equally anxious fans.
And it wasn’t. Surprising considering the numerous delays in the start time, which was originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. As the day turned to night, her fans grew impatient but never offered boos, even as someone from the show apologized for the delay. The only explanation: the singer wanted it to be dark before she came onstage.
It was well after 9 p.m. before Gaga arrived, the time that the show was scheduled to be over. And the endurance proved to be too much for some: one girl had a seizure and was helped by bystanders and a few others left before the show started with the aide of friends. Show staff often checked in on audiences who appeared in distress.
“I love you so much, thanks for waiting all day,” Gaga said before performing new single “You and I” and “Edge of Glory,” which got a redo thanks to a technical error with the playback of the song. Her fans didn’t seem to mind, and neither did she.
“… happens, and then you die. So let's … die together,” she joked.
The pop diva also performed a piano-driven version of album cut, “Hair,” which will air on a different episode of “Kimmel” at a later date.
Before the cameras were done rolling, Gaga, changed into a studded black leather jacket, knee-high boots, a bra and sheer leggings for bonus performances of “Born This Way” and “Judas.”
“This isn’t for TV,” Gaga told the crowd. “I just really haven’t performed in a few days and I’ve missed you.”
She thanked Kimmel for letting her return to the stage where she had her first late-night TV performance back in 2008 and toasted the host for “letting the really weird girl … sing.”
Rick Leipharat, who was working crowd control for the studio, said the police and staffers “didn’t expect any trouble at all” from the Little Monsters who came to the show, and although a good chunk of the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk remained closed because of the film premiere there wasn’t any unrest following the concert.
“This is a good crowd. Well behaved,” Leipharat said. “These are well behaved Angelenos, a different crowd from last night.”
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Times staff writer Ashlie Rodriguez contributed to this report.