EDMONTON — Lady Gaga, the current monster pop star, let the crowd in on her real purpose shortly after her performance began at Rexall Place Thursday night.

“Tell me what the Monster Ball is really all about,” asked one of her dancers, a six-foot-tall man in a skimpy body suit and thigh high black leather boots. “Well,” said Gaga from beneath a mountain of blond hair, then screamed “the Monster Ball will set you free! In Canada we are going to be super free little monsters! Tonight you can be whoever you want to be little monsters.”

Lady Gaga’s fan base, her little monsters, has been described by the L.A. Times as being made up of “gay men, bohemian kids and young women attracted by Gaga’s style and singable melodies.

On Thursday, the packed house looked to be somewhat short on gay men and bereft of bohemian kids but definitely heavy on the young women, many of them in skin tight dresses and with Ace Frehley-like lightning bolts on their faces.

The show was opened up by a cheeky, foul-mouthed, glam-punk act, Semi Precious Weapons.

Lead singer Justin Tranter, who swears like he’s a South Park character and looks onstage like a tall, slender blond woman, announced to the crowd his band has been opening up for Gaga since 2006, when they played for 12 people in a bar in New York.

The Semi Precious Weapons played a rousing set of decent punk songs, but Tranter got his biggest cheer each time he intoned the name of Lady Gaga, which he did between almost every song.

The high point came when he led the crowd in the chant where he yelled Lady and the crowd yelled back Gaga.

The crowd was greeted with a massive white sheet half as big as a hockey rink draped across the stage of Rexall Place to start the Gaga show. Images of Gaga dancing and mugging for the camera were projected onto the sheet as Gaga crooned “I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!”

The set looked like it was prepared for a stage play, the story set in a grimy city neighbourhood, with a broken down wreck of a car, rundown apartments and storefronts covered in neon signs that said things like “drugs,” “good food” and “implants, sedation and dentistry.”

Gaga came out in studded black boots, a revealing body suit and a jacket with shoulder pads so big they would drawf a middle linebacker.

Gaga’s Monster Ball has the look and feel of a Broadway spectacular gone raunchy, with dialogue between the songs and a large troupe of dancers.

The show heated up three songs in when Gaga sang her first big hit of the night, Just Dance. She and her dancers skipped around the stage and out onto a catwalk, thrilling the crowd with her inventive moves and costumes.

Gaga is a master of the music video where her choreography and creativity are unmatched right now. Her challenge is to translate that to the stage. She certainly came close Thursday night.

In the second segment of the show, she appeared in a tutu and a white nun’s habit, writhing around with her male dancers in a street car.

She launched into another hit, LoveGame, and the Gaga gang danced up a storm. But the real value added from Gaga live, however, would have to be her empowerment speeches, which peppered the show.

Before the song, Boys, Boys, Boys, which featured athletic male dancers prancing about in nothing but tight, white underwear, Gaga shouted a gay pride message.

She also had constant messages for all the girls in their tight dresses, the main part of her audience, that they should free themselves of anything and anyone who makes them feel insecure.

“Tonight,” she said, “I don’t want you to leave loving me more. I want you to leave loving you more.”

Source: Edmonton Journal


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