Lady Gaga’s still got it.
The big-hearted pop diva known for her flamboyant showmanship and devoted LGBTQ following treated fans to nearly two hours of song, dance and spectacle Friday at KeyArena.
Fans of all ages filled the venue — including Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, who was celebrating his birthday along with other family members. Seated at the piano, Gaga dedicated an intimate, solo version of “Dope” to him then led the audience in a “Happy Birthday” singalong.
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Except for that and a few semi-acoustic segments, the show was a throbbing, high-decibel blend of pop, rock, R&B and electronic dance music.
The enormous stage sprawled nearly the entire length of the main floor, with ramps, bridges and catwalks connecting various platforms.
Many of her core female fans, in their 20s and 30s, wore outrageous outfits and accessories (pink wigs, purple boas, clamshell bras, tiny skirts, dominatrix gear, etc.), but few could out-Gaga the lady herself. Her costume changes were so frequent that one had to be done right on the stage.
Gaga had been forced to postpone a concert in May because of bronchitis.
“I was so sad when I couldn’t play that night,” she said, adding with a smirk, “I’m one of the few pop stars who doesn’t lip-sync. I couldn’t pretend.”
After she sang “Judas,” fans in the pit tossed clothing, shoes and personal letters. She read a couple of them aloud, revealing painful stories about childhood rejection and abuse.
Lady Gaga sang a heartfelt version of “Born This Way,” her LGBTQ anthem.
Sticking close to the set list she has performed in other cities, the pop star opened with “ArtPop,” “G.U.Y.” and “Donatella.”
For “Venus,” she wore an enormous blond wig that gave her the look of a lioness. Fabric props resembling enormous sea scallops sprouted from pods on the extended stages. During “Do What U Want,” she sat on a throne that looked like an enormous, chrome-plated hand.
Other highlights of the high-energy set included “Just Dance,” “Paparazzi,” “The Edge of Glory,” “Sexx Dreams,” “Alejandro” and “Bad Romance.” After closing with “Swine” (for which she wore a sequined pig mask), Lady Gaga returned for an encore — and a moving solo version of the vagabond-themed “Gypsy.”
Gene Stout: firstname.lastname@example.org