Even though the setlist, costumes, stage design and portions of the between-song patter were almost identical to the show she played at the same venue last August, Lady Gaga’s concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last Friday still felt like a fresh experience. Maybe it was that the pop singer-songwriter has a new album (Born This Way) due to be released in May (although she only played two songs from it). Or maybe it was that in the merely seven months since her last Vegas show, Gaga has become an exponentially bigger superstar, with fans dedicated to her music and message more fervently than ever. Last time around, I had to work to spot the concertgoers dressed in Gaga-themed costumes; this time, it was like stumbling into a Halloween party at a cabaret.
- Lady Gaga
- March 25, MGM Grand Garden Arena
The music was pretty good, too, although Gaga’s Monster Ball tour is getting a little long in the tooth, and could use an infusion of new songs. As was the case last time, the show’s vague storyline was a little tedious, and the outrageous costumes often hindered Gaga as a performer as much as they enhanced the spectacle. The middle portion of the show, with the singer seated at a piano and showcasing her underappreciated vocal prowess, was again the highlight, although it also presented one of the night’s biggest frustrations: Gaga belted out a stripped-down, bluesy version of new single “Born This Way,” only to close the show later with the familiar full-production version of the same song. An artist this bold and confident doesn’t need to be repeating herself within the same show, and the tacked-on finale seemed indicative of the need for an extensive overhaul. As much fun as the Gaga fans were having, those last moments pointed to a more exciting future.