Talbott Street Plays Host to the Lady Gaga After Party

Talbott Street Plays Host to the Official Lady Gaga After PartyThe more I come here, the more I like this place. I have seen a handful of shows here, including live performances from Paul van Dyk, Above & Beyond, and DJ Irene. But when I heard that Semi Precious Weapons would be putting on a DJ set after the Lady Gaga concert, I had to come. I have been listening to Semi Precious Weapons for a long time but have not had the chance to see them live.

When Lady Gaga headed out on the road this tour, she grabbed some fairly unknown names to go with her. I’m not sure whom she should take really; her sound is just so unique. But after taking just one listen to Semi Precious Weapons, you’ll understand why she picked them. If I was the one choosing whom she toured with, I would pick Adam Lambert, but that’s just me. I would love to see the two of them on the same bill. And speaking of Adam Lambert, he is actually coming to town soon. He will be in Indianapolis on Tuesday, August 31st. He will be performing at Clowes Memorial Hall on the Butler University campus. This tour is said to be his most intimate and will include a lot of new material as well as some of his hits from his first studio album, For Your Entertainment. But if you don’t already have your ticket, that’s too bad. The show is sold out.

Let’s get back to Lady Gaga for a second. She has been making waves lately, having become the most watched artist on YouTube. Not long ago she hit a billion views on the popular video sharing site. She also has been collecting followers on Twitter and has appeared on nearly every talk show you can think of. She has turned her music into a brand that is selling out arenas all across the country. It seems like every song she releases is a hit.

When she got into town on Thursday morning, Dave Smiley from WZPL grabbed her for an interview. She was not in the studio; she had just landed from another show, but took a few minutes with Dave and company on the phone. He asked her about traveling, performing for thousands of screaming fans every night, and her plans for an after party after the show.

That is where I stated to get excited. You see Lady Gaga was given a budget for each show. That budget has to cover the travel, food, and accommodations for everyone on the tour. However, she likes to spend money. She has consistently been spending more than she was given on nearly every show. When asked about it, she said that all she was doing was guaranteeing her fans have a great night, and an unforgettable experience. But that money she is spending, well, they have to make up for it somewhere. So to combat that, every city she plays in she does an after party. They charge $10-$15 to get in, a few acts spin records all night, and she comes out and does an entire set for these small crowds.

One of the bars having an after party was The Pub. Granted, it’s the closest bar to Conseco Fieldhouse, where the concert took place, but is not very big and just doesn’t seem like a place she would hang out. Of course, this particular after party was titled Show Me Your Teeth, which I am sure packed a few crazies in. Another downtown bar, Blu, was having an after party as well. Blu is a somewhat fitting scene for her to appear, but it’s almost too obvious. It’s nice, but when a bar charges $6 for a PBR, they can lose business fast. At least my business.

There was an after party going on at Metro Nightclub, a gay bar located downtown. There was one going on at Ten Bar, another downtown gay bar. Metro Nightclub is more known for appealing to men while Ten Bar is more known for appealing to women.  But with all the rumors floating around, Sheryl and I decided to go to the only official after party, being held at Talbott Street. Talbott is actually known as one of the best clubs in Indianapolis (my favorite dance club for sure) and has the capacity to hold an after party like this.

Tickets to this event were $15, the highest of any after party being advertised. Plus, all of the acts opening for Lady Gaga were appearing for a DJ set. And after a little digging on Google and Twitter, it made sense that she would be there. As a matter of fact, one of the opening acts, Lady Starlight, tweeted the night before, from Cleveland, about them being together at the after party. So we figured, if nothing else, we’d get to see a handful of solid entertainment.

On the morning of the show, and after Dave Smiley made mention to Talbott Street more than once during their interview, Facebook and Twitter began to light up with questions about the after party. However, tickets had to be purchased through the Talbott Street box office, and doors didn’t open until 8:00 PM that night. So in an effort to miss the crowd, we got to Talbott around 8:15. We missed the crowd, that’s for sure. When we walked in, there were only a handful of people sitting down. There were more bartenders than there were people! Through the night the crowd picked up, but I am not sure it was ever sold out. The one good thing about getting somewhere like this early is you get prime seating!

One of the reasons why Sheryl and I like going to places like Talbott Street is because they always have drink specials. Sure, the club is not located in the heart of the city, within walking distance of Conseco, but that makes it even better. Places off the beaten path, places with a solid reputation for great dance music, they just make more sense. Where else can you get a $5 Ketel One or a $3.50 domestic beer on a Thursday night?

As the dance floor was starting to get full, the DJ started spinning a ton of Lady Gaga songs and that got me thinking. The fact there were tons of staff walking around, and a few cops parked outside made it even more clear to me Gaga might be coming. By the time it got to be around 11:00 more folks started pouring in. Of course, SPW did not even start until 12:30 or so. But again, this is the official after party. Why wouldn’t she come to the official after party? If she wasn’t coming here, she wasn’t going anywhere.

Around 11:00, Lady Starlight took the stage. At first, I was excited to see her perform. But one 80’s song turned to another and they never stopped. After a handful of tracks I felt I was at the Vogue Theater on a Wednesday night for Retro Rewind. It was maybe the worst set I have ever seen. It almost felt like they were filling space and killing time. If this is the set she played opening for Gaga, I hope she was booed off the stage.

By the time Semi Precious Weapons came on, I was almost ready to go. I was so bored with Lady Starlight I could cry. And Isha Drake, a friend of ours who joined us later in the evening, thought she might! But I was ready for SPW.

I have been a fan of theirs for a long time. They are what I like to call, “over the top”. They are loud, extremely flamboyant, and just a hoot to watch perform. They truly are a great fit for Gaga. But as bad as Lady Starlight was (note that I have never seen her work) there was no way it could be any worse. And while they weren’t worse, they started off with rap. Their first track was a hit from Jay Z. It just didn’t make sense. I get it they are a rock band, but their original music is so much better than covers. They did end up playing a couple of their original tracks, but it was mainly cover songs. They were more popular tracks than what Lady Starlight played, but still. I wanted to hear their original music.

After hearing them spin for an hour or so, we were ready to go. I headed to the bar to close my tab. And when I closed my tab I was happy to see that all the drinks I ordered were on special. I had ordered a couple bottles of Blue Moon and a few Coors Light and the tab was under $20. As a matter of fact, it was $20 after tip. That would be only a couple of drinks at any of the other spots that had a Gaga after party.

I guess my biggest issue with the event is it was not what I had expected. It is not what Sheryl expected either. I don’t blame Talbott Street; I just wish I had known it was just going to be treated like any other night. I figured an “official” after party would be a little more organized. Also, there is no moving air in this place. It gets very hot in there. It’s a good thing the people-watching was enough to keep us entertained. Half shirts and feathered vests, that’s all I’ll say.

It was around 2:30 when we took off. I had already closed my tab, and we were sweating our butts off. That, and there was no sign of Lady Gaga anywhere. She claims that every city she visits has one. And she even claims to perform at one in nearly every city she visits. And sure, we were at an after party. The official after party at that. Yet we saw no Gaga. All night, we checked Twitter to see where she was, and nothing. Of course, we have to remember that this is Indiana. We are not New York or LA. Lady Gaga has played three times here in the last year, but still. As good as Sheryl and I are about always finding random celebrities, even when we plan it, still nothing.

But again, this has nothing to do with Talbott Street what so ever. I love the club, I go there two or three times a month, and have always been impressed with their service and their sound system. I will go back, no question there. I will just treat this as a lesson not to plan meeting celebrities. If you have not seen a show here, I suggest coming in sometime soon. If not for the live music, you can catch the drag show with the Ladies of Legends. They are a real treat and with names like Rubi Santana and Asia La Bouche you know you are in for a treat. As they say, Talbott Street is where culture and diversity meet.