Six things about Lady Gaga at the closing the Roseland Ballroom
Lady Gaga performed seven shows as part of the closing of New York City’s iconic Roseland Ballroom. The venue, originally opened in 1917, sat in its current home on West 52nd until it closed its doors for the final time last night.
Gaga was selected to be the final performer for the venue likely because she has been outspoken about her ties to New York since breaking out in 2008. I was lucky enough to attend one of the shows (April 4) where I got to see Gaga pretty up close, especially in comparison to previous times I saw her.
These are six things of note about the shows:
Gaga’s opener was longtime friend Lady Starlight. The two used to perform and collaborate a lot before Gaga’s breakthrough. This time, Starlight was alone on stage DJing a set of rave dance music. She seemed awkwardly shy but very appreciative of the audience engagement and applause.
2. Lady Gaga is larger than life
Maybe it’s her giant wig. Maybe it’s her huge voice. It could even be her massive personality. Either way, Lady Gaga owns the stage. She’s larger than life as she makes her way through songs, whether as lead dancer or pianist. And while she’s the star, she isn’t above sharing the spotlight with her backup.
At one point in the show, Gaga proclaims that New York made her tough as nails, but she added that her fans have made her even tougher. If there’s one thing she associates herself with more than her home city, it’s her fans. After leaving the venue, Gaga ran into a crowd of waiting fans, arms flailing excitedly, as she got in on a bunch of #selfies. Ain’t no snubs here.
4. She’s interactive
Lady Gaga interacts with her fans a lot during her shows. She compliments fans between songs, during songs, sometimes even stopping in the middle of a song to poke fun at a fan’s cellphone case. As practiced as her shows have to be, she isn’t robotic. And she encourages fan participation through singing and demands that they put their f-ing hands up!
While ARTPOP was the most represented album in the set, Gaga included songs from her three previous ones as well, including a few lesser-known album tracks. Black Jesus + Amen Fashion was a surprise, especially considering its status as a Deluxe Edition-only track from Born This Way, while Monster (from The Fame Monster) was another surprise gem. The inclusion of these, however, meant that established hits and favourites like Paparazzi, Telephone and The Edge Of Glory were missed.
6. She’s fantastic with or without the massive stage show
Both of the times I’ve seen Gaga in the past were on her Monster Ball tour. That tour, which is available on DVD, like her other world tours, had huge stage setups that required perfect precision and likely months of preparation to ensure all of the lights and visuals were just right. This show had lights and a custom stage setup but most of the effort was on Gaga and her team to deliver the performance on their own. They did. It was fantastic!
Here’s a SoundCloud stream of the SiriusXM stream of the April 4 show: