Fewer stars have had such a polarising effect on the music scene in recent years as Lady Gaga. She is the proverbial marmite of music. But last night at Nottingham’s TrentFM Arena: there was not a hater to be seen as her Ladyship took to the stage for her sell out show.
Using an elaborate stage set up which included as it went along a car with a built in organ, a full size New York subway carriage, and a giant sea monster, this was as much a piece of musical theatre as a concert, as Gaga and her dancers try and make their way from their New York suburb homes to the “Greatest Party on Earth” – The Monster Ball.
Beginning with fan favourite Dancing in the Dark, a silhouette of Gaga is projected through a huge curtain covering the stage, dropping half way through the song and sending us into almost 2hours of intense dancing. To put it simply, the whole night is utter brilliance. Broken up by a curtain with weird and wonderful videos which could only be Gaga productions so that the roadies can change the set every few songs, the night is seamless.
Changing costumes more times than I could count, she completely lives up to the hype, and the backing dancers are certainly earning their money tonight – they are spectacular.
The night is at its best though when plain old Stefani Germanotta from New York City shines through the Gaga exterior.
Sitting alone on stage at her piano, she tells the crowd that her grandfather is very sick in hospital and, almost crying, she announces that Speechless, her slow melodic rock ballad is dedicated to him tonight rather than her father who she wrote the song for. Pillars of flame erupt around the piano, and the whole crowd sings their hearts out as they see their idol breaking down under the strain.
Recovering quickly, she thanks her “Little Monsters” and tells them that no pop star will ever love them as much as she does right at that moment.
The curtain falls, and rises to reveal a massive tentacled sea monster on the stage, controlled by the dancers, and Gaga tells the crowd that only taking pictures of it can defeat it. The opening beats of Paparazzi ring through the arena, and the whole building is filled with the flashing of cameras from just about every fan.
The curtain falls a final time, and this time rises to reveal Gaga surrounded by every dancer she has used all night, in a dazzling silver costume with a spinning gyroscope around her. “We have finally made it” she announces. “We made it to The Monster Ball”. Bad Romance thunders through the arena, and – perhaps not surprisingly garners the biggest singalong of the night, and the whole arena is bouncing up and down.
Like her or loathe her, last night was simply amazing, and Lady Gaga is a force to be reckoned with. She will be around for a long time to come.