- Associated Press - Saturday, August 7, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) - Lady Gaga has come a long way since her appearance three years ago at the Lollapalooza music festival _ but she hasn’t forgotten some critics’ less-than-stellar reviews of that performance.

The voice behind “Paparazzi” and “Bad Romance” commanded thousands of screaming fans in Chicago on Friday night to forget anyone who ever said they weren’t pretty enough or skinny enough _ or that “your Lollapalooza BMI stage show was a (expletive) trainwreck. You’re a (expletive) superstar. You were born that way!”

The order was met with a roar from the sea of mostly teens and 20-somethings squished in front of the stage, bouncing up and down with their fists in the air.

It was redeeming moment and a far cry from Lady Gaga’s first appearance at the festival in 2007, when she sang and played keyboard in a glittery bra and tiny, black bottoms. Recordings of the daytime performance show a distracted crowd and a sparse stage.

Three years later, a towering image of a scantily clad Lady Gaga flashed on a billowing white curtain. The singer started the show in a black jacket with sky-high shoulder pads. Next, she donned a shiny red cape, later dancing around in a transparent dress.

“My name is Lady Gaga. I thank you for coming to my show. I didn’t used to be brave. In fact I wasn’t very brave at all,” she told her fans. “But you have made me brave, little monsters. So now I’m going to brave for you. Tonight, I want you to free yourself.”

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