Last night, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, performed a sold out show for her hometown fans at the legendary Madison Square Garden arena in New York City. Dubbed ARTrave: The ARTPOP Ball Tour, the setlist was heavily focused on songs from her new album ARTPOP as well as her debut album, The Fame, and 2009 release, The Fame Monster.
There were multiple costume changes throughout the night, from club kid, to octopus, to a silver shell bikini. With each new costume came a new identity that helped give every song a sense of character. The backing band, along with a DJ, provided the backbone for the songs that allowed Gaga to strut the oddly shaped stage and show off her choreographed dancing skills. She demonstrated her musical virtuosity by sitting at a custom-made piano to play a ballad version of "Born This Way" as well as strapping on a VERY cool looking sea horse shaped keytar for a song. The only guest appearance of the night was rapper T.I., who joined Gaga for an entertaining version of "Jewels N' Drugs."
During the halfway point of the concert, Gaga spent considerable time thanking her "little monsters" and close friends that she had known since the age of 19. Visibly emotional as she talked, she took time out to read fan letters that were heartfelt and inspirational. Gifts, such as a plush unicorn and leather jacket (which she wore for a song) were also thrown on stage. Multiple signs were seen throughout the crowd, and after she acknowledged them, they were invited to go backstage after the show.
This concert wasn't about music and fashion as much as it was about positive awareness. Growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, she has always been driven with purpose and motivation. When others said her dreams weren't realistic, it served to push her harder. Performing early in her career in little dive clubs around the city sharpened her skills to get where she is now. Developing a positive sense of self was the building block she needed to further her dream, and tonight, she passionately pleaded to her fans to be comfortable in your own skin and not to let others' negative comments make you feel insecure.
Remember, you were born this way!
Lady Gaga's new album, ARTPOP, is currently available through iTunes and Amazon. She will be continuing her worldwide tour in the United States before heading to Japan and Australia in August. Check out her Zumic artist page for tour information, music, and news. Below are a few fan sourced YouTube clips followed by pictures and setlist from the night.