Strap-on Pianos For Everyone!
Having performed the Monster Ball tour since November 2009 — including two concerts in Houston in July 2010 — Lady Gaga showed no traces of wear and tear as she tore through a two-hour set Friday night at the Toyota Center. Preceded by her hand-picked opening act, the neo-glam rock outfit Semi Precious Weapons, the Fame Monster emerged onstage performing a trio of beloved tracks, "Dance in the Dark," "Just Dance" and "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich."
"I don't know if you've heard, but I've got a pretty huge cock," she declared to the packed arena. "So come on Houston, and whip out your cocks!"
The Houston performance arrived on an auspicious day for the diva. Hours before her appearance at the Toyota Center, Gaga & Co. finalized the design of her latest album, Born This Way. Gaga also announced that she had recently performed her 200th installment of the Monster Ball show, all while celebrating her 25th birthday.
The biggest treat of the evening?
A solid two renditions of the artist's latest single, "Born This Way" — first as a stripped-down ballad that segued into a reveal of a new country-tinged track, "You and I" (performed on an ablaze piano, of course). Her closing highlight of "Paparazzi" was nearly eclipsed by the much-hurrahed primary encore, "Bad Romance." The crowd was sure the show was through, but Gaga made a fierce return for a final, second full-force performance of "Born This Way."
As the curtain dropped around Gaga and her dozen backup dancers, the crowd erupted in unbridled, joyful applause.
Some would assume that the success has gone to Gaga's head, but her candid intermittent addresses to the crowd spoke otherwise. Through tales of a tormented high school career, a "Happy Birthday" address to an audience member and declaration that she never has (and never will) lip synch on stage, the Lady showed her true colors.
"Tonight, in Texas, we're gonna be super free," she screamed. "Tonight, all the freaks are outside, and I locked all the fucking doors!"
The performer whisked through rapid costume changes as elaborate sets changed between an urban junkyard, pseudo subway car and haunted Central Park. Whether decked out in a Crucifix-bedazzled jean jacket vest, a theatrical red curtain during "The Fame" or latex body suit cum nun's habit for "Love Game," Gaga wowed the audience most of all with her stellar vocals.
Did her toxic yellow wig look a little matted by the end of her powerhouse performance? Maybe. Yet her pitch never faltered, and her dance combinations refused to slip.
One may ask from where Lady Gaga conjures this stellar stamina, but the diva herself would simply reply, "Baby, I was born this way."