Under a beautiful bright pink moon in San Francisco last night, Lady Gaga gave us a show few of us will ever forget. On a stage set that resembled a post-war-era brutalist canvas of abandoned buildings, she ran through an impressive setlist that was split into four acts of some of her most iconic songs.
And she looked amazing. Switching between a series of gorgeous outfits that were art pieces in their own right, the petite platinum blonde with the giant personality never missed a beat. From the opening act that hit the hardest with “Bad Romance”, “Just Dance”, and “Poker Face”, she performed each with all her might alongside an impressive group of backup dancers and live musicians whose enthusiasm radiated throughout the stadium.
And the fans. Oh, the fans. I’ve never seen such a colorful assortment of people. Some dressed like Gaga herself (including an actual Lady Gaga impersonator that was sitting next to me), and others whose mission was simply to look fabulous at a concert they’d been waiting years for. The night was filled with sparkles, spandex, and lots and lots of neon.
Each of the individual acts performed this evening included its own set design, outfits, and high-res video displays. Kudos to the videographers on this one. Each sequence was immaculate, leaving no detail behind, with compelling footage the whole way through.
But it was in Act III that we really got to see the vulnerable side of this Avant-guard artist. Gaga ended up propped up behind a piano fit for a Game of Thrones character, surrounded by a sea of screaming fans, and started her metamorphosis into a quieter much more vulnerable self. Suddenly, the show became much more intimate.
It also gave her the opportunity to address the crowd for the first time of the night, and to profess her love for San Francisco but most notably the LGBTQ+ community. A group that had shown up in droves and has supported the artist all the way from her humble beginnings of performing in local bars (yes, it’s true, Gaga has performed at the Stud here in the city), until today.
She broke out her Academy Award-winning duet with Bradley Cooper “Shallow”, but also an unforgettable acoustic version of “Born This Way” that she dedicated to anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t belong.
And here lies the magic of this creator. Gaga’s words are sincere. Her singing comes from the heart. There’s nothing plastic, canned, or inauthentic about her. And this is why devoted fans of all shapes and sizes gravitate toward her so much. There’s something about what she does that makes you feel like she’s directly connecting with you. Speaking with you. Singing to you. And that, my friends, is the appeal of Lady Gaga.
Act III (Performed on A-Stage to B-Stage)
The Birth of Freedom
Born This Way
Act IV (Performed on B-Stage)
Always Remember Us This Way
The Edge of Glory
Rain on Me
Hold My Hand