For nearly two and a half hours on Monday night, the only thing that mattered to the Little Monsters was that they'd scored a ticket to the party. And Lady Gaga delivered her end, giving her U.S. fans the first taste of the epic Born This Way Ball, which touched down at the Tacoma Dome trailing the newest addition to the Gagaverse: the Born Brave Bus.
A review posted on Seattle's Guerrilla Candy blog said the concert, with "enough costume changes to make Cher proud," was exactly the kind of outrageous spectacle you want and need from Gaga. "The Born This Way Ball's visual ranged from jaw-dropping to head-scratching, with sights such as Gaga going through a meat grinder while wearing her infamous meat dress and the superstar giving birth to herself onstage through a pair of giant inflatable legs and womb," read the report. "It was a wild and outlandish concert that could have only been delivered by a pop icon as imaginative as Lady Gaga."
Gaga kicked off the extravaganza with "Highway Unicorn," taking the stage riding a mechanical black mythical beast surrounded by dancers dressed as evil knights, later morphing into a human motorcycle for "Heavy Metal Lover" and emerging from the giant egg she hid in at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
"The concert was amazing," Savy Hem told MTV News after the show in an email. "I had so [much] fun. The best 2½ hr. show I ever went to."
The writer of the GC review was confused by the themes of the Ball, which appeared to include everything from government control to self-expression and empowerment, thought the narrative was hard to follow. With 14 costume changes, Gaga modeled everything from the meat dress to a horned, white face mask and an origami-style dress during "Fashion of His Love."
The night was especially epic for @Mitchellwiggs, who not only attended the show, but got to meet Mother Monster, which blew his mind. Sporting a Play-Doh yellow dye job that matched Gaga's wig, Wiggs got some high praise from his favorite singer. "She told me my outfit kicked ass, and she loved my hair," he wrote. "I told her I was a singer/songwriter also, and asked for her advice. She told me to never ignore the voice in my head, and to follow every crazy idea that comes to me ... to work hard and to fight for what I believe in. She's an absolute sweetheart and couldn't have been nicer!"
Before she even took the stage, Gaga has already stirred up controversy, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. As fans gathered around the bus — which is a resource for Little Monsters who need help with mental health services and bullying — hours before the show, they heard the singer tell them, "The change begins with you!"
But some representatives of the Florida Family Association paid nearly $2,000 to send those gathered outside the Dome a very different message, "NOT BORN THIS WAY," read a banner flown overhead by an airplane before the gig. On its website, the conservative group asked, "How would you feel if your child or grandchild went to a concert where unbeknownst to you they were convinced to embrace a homosexual or transgender lifestyle for a lifetime?"
Gaga's followers had no time for the divisive message, though. "It's not just about gay rights, it's about loving your fellow humans," Kaitlyn Kaneshiro, 19, told the paper. "Get to know me, then you can judge me."
Born This Way Ball set list:
"Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)"
"Born This Way"
"Fashion Of His Love"
"Heavy Metal Lover"
"Yoü and I"
"Born This Way (reprise)"
"The Edge of Glory"
"Marry the Night"