MONTREAL — They wore leather and lace, stiletto heels, studded jackets, crowns and Diet Coke-can curlers. Two of them even got engaged.
Yes, [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga's[/artist] little monsters were out in full force on Monday night at the Bell Centre, for the kickoff of the latest North American leg of her Monster Ball Tour. And in a show of dedication that's practically unparalleled in pop music today, they got there early, waited in lines that stretched all the way down the Avenue Des Canadiens-de-Montreal and around the Rue de la Montagne (trust us, that's far), braved brutal winds and some genuinely ominous thunderclaps ... all in the name of Gaga.
And after the show was over — after two-plus hours, not to mention all the time they had spent waiting just to get inside the Bell Centre, was it all worth it?
"Absolutely. It was the most emotional night of my life," said Melissa Sassone, wearing a pair of signature Gaga shades. "When she was speaking to the crowd, she touched us all. We know her, we feel her, we know what she's been through, we've all been through it. So when she's speaking to the crowd, we all feel it. It was beautiful, inspirational. My life began tonight."
"I love her, and she does everything that I want to do. My favorite moment was 'Alejandro,' " Gaga fan Michael Perry added. "The costume changes were great. The whole show was so great. It was like the 'The Wizard of Oz,' Judy Garland all over again. It was the best thing I've ever been to."
And while some monsters loved the fashion, the attitude and the songs (set-closer "Bad Romance" was a particular fave), most said the best parts of Gaga's performance were the moments when she simply spoke to the crowd.
"She was just so beautiful ... and she said things that were so touching. She said it doesn't matter who you are, just be yourself," Catherine Dupressoir said. "She makes me feel free. I feel like I could do anything I want to."
"It made me cry the whole time," Dupressoir's friend, Olivia Bellemara added. "She's so inspirational. She's my idol. If I could meet her, I would cry in her arms."
Of course, for others — like 11-year-old Gabriella Bagnoli, who got tickets to the concert as a conformation gift from her godmother (who also accompanied her to the show) — the reasons for loving Gaga's performance were a bit simpler.
"Yeah, it was amazing. Lady Gaga was so extraordinary. I like when she the turns and dances," Bagnoli beamed. "I like her fashion styles and the way she sings. She has a good voice and attitude, too. She inspires me."
Bagnoli's 7-year-old sister, Olivia, liked "the big ball" Gaga donned for "Bad Romance."
And speaking of romance, it was alive and well at the Bell Centre, thanks mostly to David Hopps, who raised the bar for Gaga fans everywhere when he proposed to his girlfriend, Jenny Smith, during the show.
"I had no idea!" Smith said afterward, showing off her brand-new engagement ring. "I was really obsessed with her, and he had no choice but to be obsessed with her too. He bought me these tickets as a pre-birthday present, and then he proposed to me during 'Love Game.' "
"I was pretty nervous," Hopps laughed. "I really, honestly thought she'd say no, because she's way too pretty for me."
Do you plan on seeing Lady Gaga during this leg of the Monster Ball Tour? What are you going to wear? Talk about it in the comments.