Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga performed at the PPG arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 20, 2017. Gaga didn’t have an opening act, so her entire event was based around her show, which gave her the opportunity to stretch her set out to make it bigger and better than ever before. Spoiler alert: she definitely didn’t disappoint. Gaga started with two of her newer songs: “Diamond Hearts” and “A-Yo” as she performed these two selections, she remained on the portion of the stage that slowly lifted from the floor that served as her grand entrance. As her set continued, Gaga provided a strong balance of new to older songs that were all popular works for her. With that being said, she provided outstanding stage presence for each song that only enhanced the quality of the work and performance. To further, for each song on the concert, Gaga had an elaborate choreographed dance number or choreographed staging setup for each song, and each “number” was completely different from one another. There were times that the stage would shift into three different parts, and when they did so, they would rise from the ground level and either stay parallel to the ground, or they would slant to add visual appeals for the audience. Additionally, Gaga had three other stages placed throughout the arena, and she would travel to those from platforms that would slowly descend from the ceiling that then formed a zig-zagged catwalk. This was strong for the artist because she gave her audience variety, and she gave everyone in the audience a “better” view of her performance at some point during the set.
When looking at staging, another strong aspect that Gaga presented were her costume changes. Gaga would rise from the stage or fall through the floor or she would slow remove her clothing (in a PG fashion, this is a kids show after all). Also, as her performance continued, each of her costumes got more elaborate in the theme of the song or songs she performed while wearing said costume. This helped to heighten the overall vibe of her concert. Adding to that, Gaga utilized the normal lights, fire, smoke (oh my), as well as sounding explosions that caught the audience off guard, but it was okay, for those moments happened in the higher moments of her most popular selections. When Gaga would stall for a costume change, she had her band play musical interludes to keep the audience engaged. This is notable, for the band toyed with different musical genres when they had their free moments to play what they wanted, which provided a bit of variety to the overall musical background of the concert.
Touching on the more sentimental time of the concert, it isn’t unknown that Gaga is an advocate for equality in society; thus, it didn’t come as a shock when she brought up the LGBT+ community and the topic of equality, yet when she did so it was brief, and she stressed how she accepted everyone, and that she was thankful that we could all come together to celebrate her music if nothing else. Another touching moment of the night was when Gaga informed the audience that a lot of her family members were present, and she then kept making references to her family and how happy they make her, which helped to tie in the meaning of her album title “Joanne”. One of the most touching moments, in terms of her family, is when she performed “The Edge of Glory” accompanied by piano, and the audience could hear her vocals shake with emotion as she sang this song that she dedicated to one of her deceased family members: this moment was more than emotional. Towards the end of the concert, a member of the audience threw about thirty letters up on stage to try to get Gaga to notice him, once she obtained one, she read it aloud. It turns out that Gaga saved his life through her music, and the fan’s mom is battling cancer currently, so he wrote in the letter how they would listen to her song “The Cure” almost every day to try to envision that everything is going to be okay. From this sentiment, Gaga got very emotion, again, the audience could hear the break in her voice as she spoke, and she hopped off the stage to give that fan a hug and share a small moment with him before beginning her run of the song, “The Cure”. The last, major, sentimental moment that Gaga presented to the audience was at the end during her performance of “Million Reasons”. In this song, she brought an audience member up to sit on her piano bench, who was a younger boy who was living with a rare form of autism. Throughout this last performance, until she returned the fan to his mom, Gaga kept singing to him telling him that people loved him, and that everyone in the arena loved him, and the audience could just see how honored Gaga was to be able to give this kid an experience he’ll never forget. Overall, I would give this concert a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This was the perfect concert for a throwback evening with your friends, and it was extremely thought out and well executed. If you ever have the chance to see Lady Gaga in person, even if her music isn’t your “thing”, I highly recommend it. I’m honored I was able to knock this off my concert bucket list, and I hope you guys are able to do the same!