Facing a sea of fans bobbing in fishnet, flourescent wigs and glitter makeup, Lady Gaga kicked off her tour at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Sunday night.
The concert made up for two canceled South Florida shows in March. And, she did not disappoint.
Changing her wigs and outfits for almost every song, the pop star kept the 2-hour show moving along with 19-some songs. The costumes were elaborate, involving everything from feathered wings to inflated octopus tentacles. Her voice was strong, bellowing over the chaos of frantic dancers and her own frenetic image projected above the stage. She first crossed off her recent songs, like “Donatella,” "Venus" and "MANiCURE," before launching into the singles that made her popular, like "Just Dance," "Paparazzi" and "Alejandro."
But the question many had going into this tour was if Gaga still has it. Her latest album, “ARTPOP,” sold in its first week far less than her previous release, “Born This Way” (2011), at 258,000. Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" and Katy Perry's "Prism" both trumped "ARTPOP" in sales. The Atlantic went so far as to ask for Gaga to disappear, pronouncing her popularity "waning," and that she best "retire."
Of course, like so many pop stars ahead of her, Gaga is derivative. Her Japanese-Harajuku-inspired costume for "Bad Romance" was first worn by Gwen Stefani, and most recently, albeit badly, by Avril Lavigne in "Hello Kitty." Her bondage latex suit was reminiscent of Britney Spears, and before that Madonna. The long blond look she's been taking on lately is Cher’s. And her song "Born This Way" is parallel to Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful."
The difference, however, between Gaga and these other blond babes, is she could not care less what people think. That's her charm.
During the show, Gaga said that ever since her career began, people thought she was too much, complaining that she sang too much about fame, darkness and art. But she wanted to be remembered for all these things, and how uncomfortable she made the world.
So comfortable, actually, that one of her costume changes was done onstage. She went down to pasties and a thong, even revealing a skull cap sans wig. Madonna, Cher, Christina and even Britney never went that far. They never revealed what laid underneath.
"All the wigs and my outfits are such a part of who I am," said Gaga, but she concluded that what was important was not the outside but the inside.
And so not surprisingly, the best song of the night came when she sat at the piano in just a leotard, playing "Born This Way."