On Sunday night, May 4th, Lady Gaga began her ARTPOP artRave Ball in Sunrise, FL at the BB&T Center. The star usually saves the bulk of her US performances for the later half of her tour, but she’s beginning here in light of her many cancellations of the Born This Way Ball last year. After a long and grueling recovery since her hip surgery last February, all the Little Monsters were itching to see what she had in store for them.
As fans of all ages flooded the arena, they not only got a chance to mingle with hundreds of fellow art and Gaga lovers, but time to listen to a funky bass beating EDM set performed by the opening act, Lady Starlight. Starlight performed with Gaga in New York in her pre-fame years. While performing in front of a huge curtain that concealed the stage, Starlight kept the people entertained and pumped until Gaga rose from the stage in a stunning Versace Angel outfit. “Did you miss me?” said Gaga into a crowd of roaring fans. “I missed you all to, and I’m excited to be here.”
Her main stage had futuristic-style buildings, while having a clear light-up cat walk branch off and out into the Monster Pit. Those in General Admission could get a view of the star from all sides throughout the performance, while also dancing under and around the set. Directly in front her ice crystal piano sat the “Absolut ARTPOP Lounge” and a lucky bunch were front and center for the bulk of the show. Fans weren’t the only ones lucky enough to grace the area; Gaga’s parents were also in attendance of their daughters kick-off concert.
She began the concert with hits from her newest album including “ARTPOP”, “G.U.Y.”, “Donatella”, and “Venus” all while dancing about her other worldly-looking cat walk. Gaga also performed past hits from her earlier albums like “Just Dance”, “Paparazzi”, and “Bad Romance”. Towards the middle of the show, she sang a ballad version of “Born This Way” while playing the piano, and had an LGBT flag someone threw up draped across her and the front of the instrument, and talking about how perfect all her Little Monsters are. Along with her most famous instrument of choice, Gaga could be seen playing a guitar as well as seahorse shaped key-tar.
It wouldn’t be a Lady Gaga concert if it didn’t have multiple costume changes. The concert featured her iconic Venus outfit, along with an alien squid, bubbly leotard, and dark ensemble. One of the biggest shocks of the night came when Gaga exclaimed, “I have no fear. Sometimes I like to get a little nasty!” and ripped off her wig while undergoing a complete costume change in front of all into her newest colorful artsy costume.
Since Gaga couldn’t sing through all the set arranging and costumed changes, I enjoyed how the music playing in between sets wasn’t just background pop music, but snippets from possible future tracks including “Partynauseous” and “Ratchet”. It’s rumored that these songs will appear on her up an coming album, ARTPOP Act 2.
The biggest thing that makes Gaga an entertainer, rather than just a typical performer, is that she takes every moment to interact with the crowd. From commenting on the outfits of those around her to sparing no expense at reminding how wonderful and special all her fans are to her. I was most impressed with her acceptance of the various odds and ends people were throwing at her; some threw stuffed animals, posters, drawings, and flags. Someone threw up a painting of her to which Gaga exclaimed “This is why I love my fans!” as she held it up for all to see. Others even threw up a handmade necklace and vest that Gaga put on and performed in for some of “Sexxx Dreams”.
It wasn’t until she ended “Swine” and all the lights went out that all the fans united to call their Mother Monster back out onto the stage for her encore performance. For what seemed like forever, the whole crowd continued to jump up and down, clap, and scream, “GAGA, GAGA, GAGA,” until she emerged back out onto that stage in another stunning Versace out fit to complete her concert by singing “Gypsy” while playing the piano. Out of all the performers out there, Lady Gaga is one of a few who can get everyone up and dancing.
“First it was too much about the fame, then it was too dark and monsterous, then too gay, and now too artsy,” said Gaga. Though she receives alot of oppression and grief from her beliefs and actions, Lady Gaga continues to do what she does best and that is entertaining her fans and giving them someone to idolize. “I want to be remembered for how uncomfortable I made the world.” Mother Monster is back and better than ever and she put on one heck of a show, one that blew all her fans out of the water and left them craving more. Score: 10/10.
Be sure to check out the videos and album below for content from the show.
Emily Goldbach / Opinion Editor