Gaga finally took the stage around 9:30. She began with "Dance in the Dark," performing behind a light display that made it appear as though the stage was caged in. For the next song, "Just Dance," Gaga emerged playing a keyboard slung over her shoulder standing on top of a giant transparent cube while the backdrop screens projected a ton of bright colors. The next group of songs came from Gaga's The Fame Monster: "Alejandro," "Monster," and the inspired-by-vampires "let's go to church" Southern stylings of "Teeth" ("Take a bite of my bad girl meat... Show me your teeth!").
Taking a break from the choreography, Gaga sat at the piano and sang a few bars of "Cell Block Tango" from the musical Chicago before singing the emotional "Speechless," at one point stopping to let the audience sing the lyrics. Remaining at the piano Gaga then playfully sang some of her hit "Poker Face," injecting the dance song with some undeniably powerful notes and soul. Returning to her dance songs, Gaga performed a big chunk of cuts from The Fame, including "LoveGame," "The Fame," "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich," "Paper Gangsta," "Boys Boys Boys" and "Paparazzi." "So Happy I Could Die" (from The Fame Monster) was also performed, but I can't remember which part it was in the set list. For "Paparazzi" two of her dancers held up a beam that was attached to Gaga's hair by two large hooks. She also performed the popular "Poker Face," this time with her dancers instead of the piano. She closed the show out with "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" followed by the hit "Bad Romance."
Gaga changed costumes several times throughout the concert but didn't make the audience wait too long for her reappearance. She also talked to the audience quite a bit between songs, remembering how when she performed at Lollapalooza a couple years ago she had just been dropped by a major record label. Gaga often emphasized how much she appreciates her fans (Little Monsters, she calls us); she said that she doesn't exist until she steps on stage to perform. She also brought attention to the RE*Generation campaign to raise awareness and money for youth homelessness. Fans that volunteered through the FREE.I.P program received free tickets to her tour, and Gaga pledged to match each $1 donation at ladyvirgin.com, up to $25,000.
During the entire concert Gaga continued singing live as she performed choreography for each song with her back-up dancers. She has a powerful voice and is a crazy-creative performer, and the high-energy of both Lady Gaga and her fans was constant throughout the concert. I felt the music vibrating on my arms, had a blast dancing the whole night, and really felt like I was a part of an extraordinary experience with all the other Little Monsters (insert monster claw hand here).
All photos by Danielle