As part of my ongoing challenge for the MTV TJ competition, I decided I would report on all things Lady Gaga, including her massively successful Monster Ball tour.
She’s in a different city every night, so its hard to track her down. I asked my Twitter followers to send me any info they could about her, and I would gladly post it or retweet it on my Twitter account.
Luckily, Ohio monster and JohnThrasher.net reader Kacey Auletto stepped up to the plate with a really interesting review of Gaga’s Monster Ball stop in Cleveland, Ohio on July 14th. If you can’t make it to the Monster Ball (it’s looking more and more grim for me too) then you can at least live vicariously through other dedicated monsters from all over the country. Check out Kacey’s review of the concert below!
Lady Gaga put on the most amazing concert I have ever seen. The best part of the concert was that it was an experience. As most people have heard, the concert is truly like a musical. Lady Gaga tells the story of how she and her friends are trying to get to the Monster Ball, a magical place where everyone is free to be who they want to be. But their car breaks down, and they get lost on their way to the Monster Ball. The other amazing part of the concert was the fans. So many people were dressed in Gaga-like outfits, wigs, and makeup, all proud to be Little Monsters. The energy and enthusiasm and love for Gaga made the concert magical.
The actual show began with “Dance in the Dark”, with Gaga at first singing from behind the curtain and giant video screen (which featured videos of Gaga and various camera effects throughout the set changes during the show. Then the screen and curtain rose showing her standing in shadow and she began to pose and finally face the audience. When she first spoke and removed her sunglasses, the crowd went crazy. The story of getting to the Monster Ball was played out in a broken down car, a subway car, a walk down the Glitter Way, and the deepest part of Central Park. The story had a parallel to The Wizard of Oz, when they followed the Glitter Way and got caught by a twister. The show is divided into four acts: City, Subway, Forest, and Monster Ball. She had fifteen costume changes, about ten dancers/backup singers, instrumentalists, multiple set changes, and a hydraulic lift, just to name a few things that made this show more that a concert, but an experience.
As for musical highlights, Gaga only proved to the audience more how truly amazing her talent is. She played a keyboard inside the broken down car, a double bass, a keytar, and a piano that was on fire. Her vocals were incredible, and it is hard to pick a standout favorite. When she sat down at the piano for “Speechless” and “You and I”, it was clear that all the theatrics were enjoyable, but not needed. Hearing “You and I” live further reinforced my love for this song. It’s so different from what she is known for but so catchy and so musically beautiful, and her true love for rock and roll comes out when she performs this song. She sang with such passion and power throughout both of these songs. Other notably powerful vocals were found in “Teeth” and “Paparazzi”.
The most notable staging was, in my opinion, done in “Alejandro”. Although the song doesn’t seem to be about religion on first listen, Gaga makes a point to discuss how she hates the discrimination of religion, how Jesus loves everyone, and how she loves all of her gay fans. From watching the action on stage while hearing the song, the audience can get a new insight on this song. My other favorite dance numbers were the classics: “Bad Romance” (which closed the show), “Poker Face”, “Monster”, and “Telephone”. Actually, there really wasn’t a song I could say was not my favorite. Gaga kept up the energy and the strength in her voice and dancing for the entire two and a half hours.
My favorite part of this concert was the Lady herself. The songs were amazing and the stage was awesome, but her personality and dialogue with the fans was so much fun to be a part of. She was so personable and open with what she said and seemed so relaxed and at ease on the stage. She dedicated “Speechless”, which was the most gorgeous rendition I have heard, to a young fan she had met that day, and she frequently communicated with the fans, saying that it was “hot was horsefuck” in the arena and accepting a bra that said Gaga on it saying “This is fabulous”. The best moment of the show was when she announced that, instead of accepting a private tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she would write a song that would one day get her in it. She announced that she had written a song in Cleveland that she believed will be a number one hit. The audience went crazy and it was a thrilling moment to realize we were a part of music history. Lady Gaga owned the stage in a way I’ve never seen and truly made it seem like this stop on the Monster Ball Tour was the only one, with the amount of energy and passion she put into her music. Truly, Lady Gaga is the only pop star of today I know of that has such talent, passion, and creativity, as well as an overwhelming love for her fans.