The Tale of the Monster Ball

13 07 2010

Once upon a time, there was a little girl with hair of lavender blonde.  She loved to put on funny costumes.  She loved to sing and dance.  And what she loved most of all was to do all of those things with her friends, her little monsters.  Last night, the lavender blonde and her little monsters came to the kingdom of Toronto, in search of the Monster Ball, a place where all the little monsters could finally be free, together.  The journey was rough.  The car broke down.  The Fame Monster tried to eat our little princess Gaga.  But she finally made it, and all the little monsters danced the night away, with joy and love in their hearts.  The end.

Really itwas only the beginning.  The Monster Ball really did come to Toronto, and my little fairytale is actually a tiny taste of the intricate play that Lady Gaga put on for us all at the ACC.  Alternating between music and theatre, Gaga took us, her little monsters, along with her on her journey to find the Monster Ball. 

A giant shadowy figure hid behind the curtain as the strains of “Dance in the Dark” began to swell.  The curtain rose to reveal the lady of the evening.  Next, Gaga approached her broken down car to pop the hood, revealing a keyboard within where she played us into “Just Dance”.  Gaga and her dancers asked us to put our paws up for “Monster”, with Gaga dropping below the stage as her monster ate her heart, leaving her chest glistening with fresh blood. 

The sets and the costumes became more intricate and exciting – a subway car for “Love Game”, an animatronic angelic gown, complete with wings for “So Happy I could die” with the stage raising Gaga “up in the clouds”.  Despite the theatricality of the production, the focus on true performance never wavered.  A full rock band joined her for performances of  songs like “Telephone” and “Teeth”.  Gaga sang every song, from start to finish, and played a veritable symphony’s worth of instruments as the night wore on, from electric keyboards, to an ornate guitar keyboard combo, even a classical stand up bass (electrified of course).  And of course, Gaga serenaded us on a piano that appeared from nowhere with a new, blues inspired single “You and I” (album to come next year!!!), and of course, brought us all nearly to tears with a soulful performance of “Speechless”.  Running off the stage after a rousing performance of “Paparazzi”, she didn’t leave her exhilarated audience hanging long before running back out for the encore with “Bad Romance” (set list here). 

There is no doubt that Lady Gaga knows how to put on a show, but what got me was the glimpses of the girl behind the glitter.  She’s sarcastic, she’s funny, she swears like a sailor, and most of all, she’s sweet and even a little humble despite her insane success.  The theme of freedom was predominant in her narrative – the freedom to express oneself, physically, sexually, fashionably, and of course musically.  At one point she brought out her famous disco stick (minds out of the gutter now!) which housed a powerful flashlight.  Shining her portable spotlight over the audience, she proclaimed us all to be stars.  Gaga thanked her fans profusely and emotionally for supporting her in her own search for freedom, and she pleaded for everyone to find that own freedom for themselves, if only for that night.

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