This past weekend, Lady Gaga kicked off the North American leg of her Born This Way Ball tour with two shows at Rogers Arena. Gaga herself described the Born This Way Ball as “An Electro-Metal Pop-Opera; the tale of the Beginning, the genesis of the Kingdom of Fame. How we were birthed and how we will die celebrating.” To call the show a “spectacle” is a bit of an understatement – it was 2 hours of campy, excessive, over-the-top fun.
I went into the show with pretty modest expectations (I’ve never been a huge Gaga fan). I probably wouldn’t have even gone to the show if it weren’t for the $35.00 floor tickets I scored off StubHub (quick side note – this was my first time using StubHub (and I was very skeptical about it) but they delivered my tickets overnight, at $70 below face value, and they worked like a charm. Will definitely be purchasing tickets from them again in the future. And no, I’m not on their payroll.) Rest assured, no matter which tickets you purchase, there are no bad seats in the house (although, let’s be clear – if you want to the best seats in the house, you’ll need to shell out $275 for the Monster Pit).
Gaga performed a total of 25 songs (including 2 encores), playing all of her radio hits, and several songs I’ve never heard. I’ve seen a handful of female pop singers over the past couple of years (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears), and I gotta give props to Gaga for singing every single song live, and never once lip-syncing. Another big thing for me at concerts is having the performer actually address and acknowledge the audience. I’ve been to shows where the performer walks on stage, gives a “What’s up, Vancouver!”, goes into auto-pilot mode for 90 minutes, and tops it off with a “Good night, Vancouver!” Gaga frequently stopped and talked to the audience, telling personal stories, commenting on all of the pot smoking in the arena, and even calling an unsuspecting fan in the audience.
All in all, The Born This Way Ball made for a great 2 hours of pure campy escapism. There’s no denying that she’s one of the few great entertainers on the Top 40 chart, and is well worth paying to see live. The rest of North America is in for a real treat!