Fans ‘Gaga’ over Lady’s Monster Ball Tour
After tragically losing a King, the Little Monsters of Cleveland, Ohio welcomed a new Queen with open claws. Reigning pop royalty Lady Gaga rocked the Quiken Loans Arena July 14th on the second leg of The Monster Ball tour, which will be touching down in Philadelphia on September 14th and 15th and circling back through Atlantic City and New York City February 2011.
The Lady drew from her highly decorated platinum albums “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster,” assembling a performance more like an exorbitant Broadway musical than a top 40 concert. This is in no way an insult; Gaga doesn’t hold back when it comes to her fans, the affectionately named Little Monsters.
Gaga doesn’t rely solely on her flawless live vocals to woo the crowd, instead she incorporates elaborate theatrics: fire topped pianos, tentacled monsters, blood fountains, and sparking unmentionables just to name a few.
Such outlandish fashions were also sported by the droves of fans filling the arena; girls in 5 inch sparkly platform heels with platinum blonde wigs and boys in boxer briefs with bedazzled football pads. One Cleveland cop seemed bemused and confused while using a metal detector wand to check a lanky boy with strategically placed caution tape on the lower half of his body. As Gaga said once the concert began, “Now all the freaks are on the outside and I’ve locked the doors!”
The show follows Gaga and her friends as they journey through New York City in search of the ultimate party where equality reigns supreme. The show opened with a trippy performance art video and Gaga posing in silhouette to “Dance in the Dark.” The white curtain rose to reveal fire escapes, neon signs, low lighting, and Gaga in a purple cheetah print leotard screaming “Take my picture Cleveland!” Just your average Brooklyn street corner.
The story begins with Gaga trying to “fix” a broken down automobile on stage which has a keyboard in place of an engine. From there the Lady and her crew catch the subway in hopes of getting to the Monster Ball while performing favourites “Just Dance” and “Beautiful and Dirty Rich.” During this set Gaga wore a nude body suit with creative white duck tape, all covered in an almost skeletal clear plastic dress. The whole ensemble was topped with an old fashioned nun wimple.
Clad in this tight garment, she poked fun at the internet rumour that she is a hermaphrodite before breaking into the hit “Love Game.” Carrying a giant “disco stick,” an oversized crystal flashlight, Gaga took a long musical break to interact with the audience; even trying on a bra that one fan had specially made for the star.
The show and storyline slowed, and the backup dancers took a breather for Gaga to show off her classically trained piano skills. Expressing her love of diversity, Gaga gave a mini-motivational speech, encouraging fans to be themselves and inspire others to do the same. She performed “Speechless” and “You and I,” a song she wrote for Elton John’s birthday party on June 24th.
Immediately before the song, Lady Gaga explained that earlier that day she passed up the opportunity to visit the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, instead writing a new record which she guaranteed the fans is a number one. Her next album is scheduled for release sometime in 2011.
The rest of the show took place in a dark replication of Central Park, complete with an Angel shaped fountain that spurted blood. Immediately before the Central Park set change Gaga donned one of her more impressive costumes, a white feathered gown with moving wings that put Bjork’s swan dress to shame. Gaga finished off her regular set with “So Happy I Could Die,” “Monster,” “Alejandro,” and an unbelievable gospel belting version of “Teeth.”
The Lady saved her biggest hits and most dramatic set pieces for a three-song finale of “Poker Face,” “Paparazzi,” and “Bad Romance.” The scene opened with Gaga and friends running from a giant tentacled monster that dominated the stage, “The Fame Monster.” The creature disrobed her as she begged the fans to “Take its picture!” to save her. After escaping, Gaga made it to the Monster Ball and got to show off her spark-shooting bra and underwear.
Gaga performs with a passion completely unique to her; it’s as if she’s never played a show before in her life and this show is simultaneously her farewell performance. She gives the fans exactly what they want without giving them exactly what they expected, famously unpredictable. Surely by the time the Monster Ball arrives in the northeast in 2011 it will have new costumes and set facelifts, having already undergone a renovation for this North American leg. However, undoubtedly, this unlikely queen will still be top of pop.
Meghan Dixon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.