Gaga’s Joanne World Tour Mesmerizes the Little Monsters
Lady Gaga continued the Joanne tour with two sold out nights at Citi Field in Queens, New York on August 28 and 29th. Gaga definitely had the home field advantage playing at the home of the world champion NY Mets. For Gaga these performances were deeply personal as she spent her formative years as an artist in New York City. Gaga showed many moments of pure emotion and vulnerability as she explained her whole family was at the show and that her baby sister made one of her costumes. And to complicate matters both nights had its own share of technical issues. On the first night, Gaga took the stage over two hours late. And on the second night, the audience learned that part of the elaborate stage broke and mother nature was not going to cooperate as it rained down heavily on Gaga’s “Little Monsters.” In fact event organizers were suggesting Gaga cancel for her own safety. As Gaga told the audience on the second night, canceling was not an option. She was gonna to throw down raw- New York Style. And of course the crowd went crazy with applause.
The Rain Goddess
For over two hours, Gaga performed nearly every track from her latest album, “Joanne” with the precision and vocal prowess one would expect from a Lady Gaga show. As the steady rain landed on Citi Field, Gaga actually embraced and almost relished performing in the pouring rain. She called it “free production.” She recounted a story of her first time performing on the Today Show and how she prayed the night before that it would rain. Gaga said she so wanted to have a legendary moment like the Diana Ross free concert in Central Park that rained out. And as it turns out it did rain for her Today Show performance. Clearly Gaga sees rain as good luck for her.
Of course Gaga performed her big hits “Just Dance”, “Poker Face”, “Born This Way”, “Bad Romance” and “Applause”. No surprises here. The production was very reminiscent of the music videos. However it was the intimate moments that Mother Monster had with her Little Monsters that resonated. Gaga took time to explain her song “Joanne.” Many know Joanne as Gaga’s middle name but it was also the name of her aunt who died on Lupus at age 15. She talked about how understanding the pain her father and the rest of the family endured in the many year’s and decades after Joanne’s death helped Gaga with her own addictions and insecurities. And now she can own her name Joanne and move forward. As Gaga played a guitar ( the name “Joanne” emblazoned on the neck) and performed the country tinged “Joanne”, her Little Monsters understood and were challenged to figure out what or who is the “Joanne” in their lives. And like a true artist, Gaga said that it’s not always about making hits; sometimes its about making music that heals.
The Edge of Glory
But the moments no one at Citi Field will forget happened when Gaga took to the piano to play the unplugged version of “The Edge of Glory”. Anyone who heard the Howard Stern Radio Show performance of “The Edge of Glory” in 2011, remembers how that performance garnered her the acclaim, respect and applause she deserved. Somehow Gaga managed to blow that performance away at Citi Field. Gaga stopped the performance many times to gives words of inspiration like “if you are an artist, you cannot give up. You can’t stop.”
She even shared a text message she received before the show from her boyfriend. In the text he said, “Ok so I’m going to be in that area of the runway just in case you fall. It’s really wet out there.” Gaga clearly touched told the audience that all you can ask for is love with someone who is willing to be there to catch you if you fall. Maybe it was the open air stadium, but Gaga’s vocals soared. She hit notes in the song that pierced the rain clouds. Gaga proved she could set aside meat dresses and controversy and deliver unbelievable vocals.
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The end of the show offered some slower tempo songs and a hometown reunion. One notable standout performance for the show was “The Cure”. Gaga released the R&B groove back in April 2017. This clearly was an audience favorite. And Gaga’s live performance seemed even more soulful than the studio recording. Based on the audience reaction, one has to wonder if Gaga will seek to do more R&B collaborations.
And Gaga staying true to herself and her love of New York City, brought on stage three of her hometown friends to sing to. The three friends followed Gaga to the piano and leaned against it while Gaga sang “A Million Reasons.” Gaga said this moment with her friends reminded her of the old days sitting in a local bar around a piano with her friends. It felt intimate like sitting in a bar and eavesdropping on the conversation next to you. And in a final message to the Little Monsters Gaga paused the song to say, “the trick is you have to play a stadium like a bar and you play a bar like a stadium.”