If you’re a self-proclaimed Lady Gaga hater and proud of that fact, I’d advise to never go to a Lady Gaga concert because you will be converted. She will bring you into the fold with her insane, dazzling performances. Her screams, her middle fingers up, her unflinching honesty made the Born This Way Ball on February 6, 2013 in St. Paul, Minnesota a cataclysmic event that could only be matched by a hydrogen bomb going off in a metropolis.
I’ve been a Lady Gaga fan for a very long time, since I was 18, when I heard “Just Dance” for the first time at Phi Kappa Psi. I’ve been through a lot as her fan, I’ve been disappointed, I’ve been angry, and I’ve even considered being done with her. Last night’s show put all my doubts and fears about her to rest.
The Monster Ball in 2011 doesn’t even come close to the Born This Way Ball. Back then, she was a woman uncertain of her future. Today she’s a woman with a strong message for anyone who feels disenfranchised. Throughout the arena, you could feel how that message resonated with the crowd.
Lady Starlight and boy wonder Madeon opened the show, both incredibly odd and awkward (Starlight) and absolutely phenomenal (Madeon). Being in the Monster Pit, in the estimated second row, is probably the best way to watch a concert of that magnitude.
When “Highway Unicorn” began, the screams in the crowd were deafening and when she appeared on stage, that tightening feeling in my chest spread throughout my body. Adrenaline coursed through me as everyone around me began to jump up and down. The smooth transition into “Government Hooker” only heightens the experience. I will say that the overall theme, with Gaga being a fugitive trying to create a new race, gets lost in translation. The Monster Ball had a more successful, coherent theme but that is its only advantage over the BTW Ball.
The two times I got really emotional during the Ball was when she performed “Born This Way” (I don’t even like the song anymore so I’m not sure why I turned into a blubbering idiot) and when she broke down during “The Edge of Glory,” speaking about her late grandfather. It’s really hard to see her cry, but at the same time I appreciate how real she is with us. It doesn’t matter if there are 3 or 30,000 people in the room; she always remains true to herself.
I just spent 30 minutes trying to figure out which performance was the weakest and it doesn’t apply to this situation. I will say the absolute best performance was “Scheiße.” The choreography was very reminiscent of the dance style “steppin’” and the way she growled the pro-feminist lyrics gave me the shivers. I have always been a fan of Gaga’s girl power message because it’s so much more real and potent than a generic “I am woman. Hear me roar.” Her message, “If you’re a strong female, you don’t need permission,” is timeless and can apply to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
The show was a jaw-dropping spectacle that left me wanting more. I have never experienced that kind of high before. I think I was drunker when I left then when I arrived. Lady Gaga is 140-proof tequila, liquor you can only take to the face.