Gaga puts in a ‘Monster’ effort at the Garden

A review of Lady Gaga at the TD Garden on March 8, 2011

, Managing Editor

An hour wait, multiple costume changes, a high-maintenance set, and plenty of theatrics would normally sound like the show of a real diva. Yet, “diva” is a very descriptive term for a performer and when it comes to Lady Gaga, finding one word to describe her is quite the difficult task. Despite all the fashion, adoration, and conversation, there’s one very definitive element to Lady Gaga that keeps her from being a so-called “diva”, and that’s her very real appreciation for her fans.

Lady Gaga refers to her fans as “Little Monsters” and they in return look to her as their “Mother Monster”. Although she’s only 24-years old, the maternal title used by her adoring fans is easy to understand by the way she addresses her legion of eccentrically-dressed diehards. Showing her motherly love, Gaga referred to the themes present in her latest hit “Born This Way” throughout the evening, telling fans “Throw away your insecurities, because you’re a damn superstar… and you were born this way”. The Little Monsters returned the adoration during the break preceding “Telephone” as fans tossed flowers, love notes, stuffed animals, and even a rubber chicken on stage for the star to collect.

Plenty of artists say loving things to their fans as Gaga frequently does, but it’s hard to tell how sincere they really are. In Gaga’s case, she wears her passion on her sleeve… or whatever scantily clad outfit she has on at the time. Speaking in short, frenetic breaths, the passion in her voice is so clear. She carries this same passion through each of her performances, with the greatest example coming in the form of “You and I”, an upcoming single off Born This Way, where her soaring voice and heavy breathing added a dramatic element to the ballad.

The pop princess calls her current tour “The Monster Ball”, which is a perfect name for this outlandish affair of music, dance, and fashion that is Gaga’s show. Starting with the latter, Gaga was at her barest when she stripped down to leather lingerie, and at her freakiest in a red gown and headpiece and later in a spikey silver outfit, both which made her look like some sort of Power Rangers villain.

The dancing started slow, with Gaga perched upon a staircase for show opener “Dance in the Dark”, but almost every song from there featured the star in some sort of choreography. The dances for “Bad Romance” and “Born This Way” were repeated, the former from the acclaimed music video and the latter from her recent performance at the Grammys (minus the egg). Coming in a close third to the previous for biggest dancefest was “LoveGame”, featuring the backups sporting “A Clockwork Orange”-esque codpieces and plenty of risqué moves.

Finally, that leaves us to the music. Gaga’s vocals were powerful and exceptionally clear considering her continuous movement and dance throughout each performance. Yet, don’t even think about the lipsynching possibility as, again, her breathing was surely perceptible, plus the fact that she proudly announced, “I never lipsynch, and you will never pay money to hear some bitch lipsynch her way through a show!”

After dropping teasers throughout the show with her little asides with the monsters, Gaga returned for an encore to close her set with the #1 song in the world right now, “Born This Way”. The crowd’s reaction was the most energetic of the night and a true testament to the young star’s hard work and continued success. When you can close out a show with your most recent song and get that kind of reaction, you’re certainly doing something right. Say what you want about Lady Gaga, but she’s “on the right track, baby”. She’s no diva, just devoted.

Setlist

Dance in the Dark
Glitter & Grease
Just Dance
Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
The Fame
LoveGame
Boys Boys Boys
Money Honey
Telephone
You and I
Monster
Teeth
Alejandro
Poker Face
Paparazzi
Bad Romance
Born This Way

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