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Concert Review: Lady GaGa 04/09/2009 at Center Stage, Atlanta, GA

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On April 9, 2009, the Fame Ball Tour descended upon "Hotlanta" for its very last stop. The show, which had been sold-out for months, headed into Center Stage on the heels of Lady GaGa's #1 singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face." As a consequence, the crowd's expectations were extraordinarily high. Thankfully, Lady GaGa's opening acts — Cinema Bizarre, Chester French and the White Tie Affair — did not disappoint in preparing (and injecting) the audience with tons of excited, kinetic energy.

At 10:56, the lights dimmed for Lady GaGa's hour-long set and a video introduction set the tone for her Andy Warhol-influenced set. "Haus of GaGa Presents… Who Shot Candy Warhol… in the Heart?" As the video faded, the show kick-started with "Paparazzi."

Clad in a black and silver space suit that would make Jane Jetson jealous, Lady GaGa pulled the crowd into a trance. Hypnotized, the audience sang along word-for-word: "I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me. Paparazzi."

Standing alone, front-and-center, the crowd gave a thunderous applause. And a few seconds later, Lady GaGa was joined by three male dancers, as the beat to "Love Game" thumped through the speakers. Keeping step with her dancers, Lady GaGa engaged in a dazzling dance breakdown — proving herself to have multiple talents.

Slowing down the pace a bit, Lady GaGa took some time to interact with the crowd. She went on to say that "every dollar that [she makes] is spent on [her] show." Even with empty pockets, Lady GaGa assured, "I am still beautiful dirty rich." With these words, a sea of her die-hard fans went wild — reciting the lyrics to "Beautiful Dirty Rich" without error. And like the wind, she was gone.

In the mean time, a second artsy video vignette moved the show along: "…the Brain?"

Lady GaGa reappeared on-stage riding a black, gray and white Vespa. The scooter was pushed along by her three back-up dancers, as she sang "The Fame." Mid-song the dancing quartet went into a psychedelic frenzy.

Reconnecting with the crowd, Lady GaGa stated that she "traveled the world three times" before her music was played on the radio. After performing "Money Honey" and "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)," she turned the concert over to her house DJ, DJ Space Cowboy, who played "Starstruck" and Kid Cudi's "Day ‘n' Nite."

Lady GaGa re-emerged on the right side of the stage — blowing bubbles into the crowd. Her outfit resembled bubbles, too, as it was made out of clear balloons. And as she made her way to the center of the stage, a clear, see-through piano was also filled with clear plastic balls, which stood opposite of a translucent body of a male mannequin. Artistic elements, like these, appeared throughout the show, making Lady GaGa a performer that can only be fully appreciated live and in living color.

The night's biggest surprised followed, as she played a bluesy, burlesque rendition of "Poker Face." Showing off her vocal chops, Lady GaGa went for the kill — kicking her right foot onto the piano to play a few notes of the song.

With the recent ascent of "Poker Face" into the #1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, it was apparent that Lady GaGa was emotional about the crowd's reception. Turning to the crowd, she paused and joked: "What do you need me for? You know the words!" Grinning ear-to-ear, she continued: "I'm just a blonde b***h dressed in bubbles!"

To show her appreciation, Lady GaGa offered the crowd a surprise: a preview of a new track entitled "Future Love." Focusing her love and admiration on the glowing mannequin, she quipped: "If he's the moon, then I'm eclipsed!" Mid-song, Lady GaGa noted that "sometimes [she thinks she has] been in love 100 times" and "sometimes not at all." The crowd readily agreed.

Picking up the pace, Lady GaGa dove into "Just Dance." Several minutes later, she returned, taunting the crowd: "I know you didn't think I was done!"

Donning a beige see-through outfit, Lady GaGa addressed the crowd: "All of this is not about me or my music. It's about you!" Within seconds, the temperature in the intimate venue jolted noticeably, as the sold-out crowd went wild over "Boys, Boys, Boys" and the original version of "Poker Face."

Bidding adieu, Lady GaGa, DJ Space Cowboy and the three background dancers bowed to the crowd and left the stage. As the music faded and the house lights came on, there was an overwhelming sense that the crowd has just witnessed the humble beginning of a remarkable career.

It is rare to see such admiration and enthusiasm for a new, pop artist on their first headlining tour. Now, more than ever, with Lady GaGa's arrival on the music scene, pop performance art will be pushed to superior heights.

You can read my exclusive interview with Lady GaGa – Singer and Songwriter by following the link.

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About Clayton Perry

  • Jordan Richardson

    Nice! I totally need to see her do her thang live. Great new artist.