Rosemont Theatre – Chicago, IL
Editor’s note: Pictures of Lady GaGa are from her appearence at Monster Cable Booth at the Consumer Electronic show in Las Vegas 1/7/2010 except for the first picture.
I LOVE Lady Gaga. A lot. So much, in fact, my friends get worried about me when I go on a Gaga tangent. I can go on and on about why I think she’s going to be bigger than Madonna one day and why she is the savior of today’s pop music. Gaga’s only 23 and look what she’s done in a little over a year! Amazing!
I saw The Lady back in March 2009. It was a fabulous spectacle and I was impatiently waiting to see her live again. Ending up at the Rosemont Theatre show (that I will eventually tell you about below) was an emotional ordeal! It kinda went like this:
September 2009: Fame Kills Tour announced!
Me: YAY! I hate Kanye, but can’t miss my Gaga…bought a ticket.
October 1, 2009: Fame Kills cancelled!
Me: WHAT?!?!? I almost had a heart attack; I can’t believe they cancelled the tour the same day I bought a ticket.
October 15, 2009: Monster Ball Tour announced! Three nights in Chicago at the Chicago Theatre!!
Me: WOOOO! I wanted to see Gaga solo anyways and the Chicago Theatre isn’t far from my place! I bought a ticket to the Sunday 1/10/10 show, the other two nights sold out in 5 minutes.
December 28, 2009: Monster Ball show at Chicago Theatre has been CANCELLED! More info to come…
Me: WTF??!?!?! I was devastated.
December 28, 2009: The show has been moved to the Rosemont Theatre. There will be special pre-sale 12/29/09 for previous ticket holders only, instructions to come…
Me: I had a doctor’s appointment during the presale and had to bribe my sister buy a new ticket for me. My doctor sure thought it was weird that I wouldn’t remove my cell from my hand during my exam. I explained to her I needed to be available for a life or death emergency situation…getting a ticket to Lady Gaga’s show! I’m a dedicated fan, what can I say!?!
Luckily, I scored a ticket. WHEW, thanks sis! However, this ordeal left many, many Chicago fans upset. Many purchased tickets through EBay, StubHub and brokers. The original purchasers of these tickets were unaware they had to buy new tickets for a new venue. This left so many without tickets and wondering if they’d get their money back. Even the lucky ones that got new tickets, like me, were disappointed. There were only balcony tickets available through the presale, no floor tickets. Well, I can’t lie; my ticket was majorly upgraded in this process. I went from corner obstructed view to balcony 6th row center. I am an exception to the rule in this case.
Finally, Sunday January 10th came! I met with my friends which included two Lady Gagas and a Disco Phantom. We piled too many people in a car and off we went. I did not dress up like my friends, it was a Sunday! I was lazy in a tee shirt and jeans, but I really should’ve dressed up. You’ll find out why shortly…
Once we walked into the Rosemont Theatre lobby it was like we were transported to GagaLand. Okay, maybe it was more like a Gaga Carnival? There were disco sticks everywhere, hair bows, wigs of all colors, bubble outfits, razor blade sunglasses and a SERIOUS lack of pants (despite the freezing temperatures). Gaga’s little monsters went all out to honor The Lady! My favorite was a stunning gentleman dressed as VMA Gaga with blood dripping down his body. Fierce! P.S. To that dude in those tiny pink bottoms: Honey, you were a cutie, but you really could’ve shaved/waxed your ass, ya know?
I arrived at 7:00 and the show was scheduled to begin at 7:30pm. After checking with some of the staff I found out Gaga didn’t go on until 9:30! I had two hours to kill, sorry openers, I just wasn’t feeling ya. I decided to head back to the lobby and check out more costumes. By this time two lines had formed and I had to know what the lines were for. Is Gaga on the other end? Is she giving autographs? Sadly, no. But this was even better…
At the end of one line you could take photos in a replica Orbit! Pretty cool. At the end of the second line was the reason I wished I had worn a costume: a professional photographer was taking Gaga inspired pictures for FREE! Thanks to Virgin Mobile, tour sponsors. I’ve never seen anything like that at a show before. It was a really awesome, interactive thing to do. I busted out a fierce face and Bad Romance claw hands. It was definitely fun! I would love to see more artists do that in the future!
After my photo shoot I headed back to my seat to wait. I quickly reviewed my notes, which included a set list from Friday night’s show. I couldn’t sit still, I was so excited. I decided to roam around the aisles and visit with my friends. Suddenly the video screens lit up and played a video of Gaga. In the video she told us about The Re*Generation, an organization that helps homeless youth (ages 12 to 24). Those few minutes of Gaga sent the crowd into a frenzy! Once the video ended they went back to playing music and suddenly most of the crowd was dancing. In the aisles, seats, stairs. There were dance battles, cute gay boys grinding, break dancing and even the Rosemont Theatre staff was getting into the vibe. The staff encouraged us to get out of our seats and have a blast. The show hadn’t even started yet at this point, I was starting to imagine what it would be like once Gaga finally took the stage…
The lights dimmed, techno music blared (including a few lines from Cece Peniston’s “Finally”), a huge screen in front of the stage lit up with crazy graphic designs and then we heard, “I’m a free bitch”. That was it – the crowd erupted. I could barely hear the music, the cheers were deafening. The graphics on the screen faded into what looked like holographic graph paper as the first few notes of “Dance in the Dark” played. Then behind the hologram a lit up figure emerged from the back of the completely dark stage. I didn’t think the crowd could get any louder, but they did. The Lady started singing and danced in the dark for us!
Gaga quickly disappeared once the song was over and the entire stage lit up. The stage was surrounded by video screens, on both sides and at the back of the stage. It looked like she was in a box. The images and videos we were treated to between songs were absolutely stunning. Sometimes odd, but stunning nonetheless. After a few minutes a huge box appeared in the middle of the stage, the first few beats to “Just Dance” started to play and Gaga rose out of the box…with her keytar in hand. Finally, we got to lay our eyes on her!
With each song the crowd grew louder and louder. I didn’t think it was possible! Everyone was on their feet and didn’t want to miss a minute of anything. Gaga joked that since it was her third night in Chicago we’d get to have sex with her that night. Sigh, the good ol’ three date rule. The girl has a sense of humor too, gotta love it. The see through hologram screen that she performed behind was then retracted.
The Lady continued through her set, for each new song there was a new outfit and new video background. Between some songs there were videos similar to her last tour; they were very Warhol-esque. My favorite being one that showed Gaga looking lovely in white with another girl standing next to her. Seconds later green projectile vomit came out of the girls mouth and landed on Gaga. I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff, it’s crazy, but I like it.
As her set progressed, the screens on the stage were pulled up to reveal a hidden band. We got to see them for a couple songs, but the screens were lowered through most of the show. I’m going to use this phrase again and again, but it was so visually stunning. I’ve never seen anything like The Monster Ball set, that is for sure. Although, I do have a bit of a complaint. The downtown between each song was a bit long. Lady Gaga is known for fashion, she changed outfits for almost every song, but it really compromised the flow of the show. During her last tour she made outfit changes while we watched a video, that’s cool. This time around sometimes we were left with only a remix to listen to while she changed. Um, a remix of the song she was about to perform! I had high expectations for you, Gaga, to have an action packed show. You brought your B+ game, I know you can bring your A game. Next time, yes?
My favorite part of the show was the acoustic songs. Not only do I love “Speechless” to no end, but seeing The Lady sitting at her piano… It just shows what an amazing talent she is and I loved it. She started “Speechless” sitting, by the end of the song she was standing on the piano bench and she never missed a note. During the acoustic version of “Poker Face” she stopped to let us know, “If you don’t like the show you can fucking leave!” She wasn’t kidding, she pulled out a prop machine gun and shot at the audience. When she ran out of ammo she went right back to playing “Poker Face”. I’d love to see more theatrics like this in her next tour.
After being treated to more songs from “The Fame”, weird images and videos – our night with Gaga was coming to an end. She started the encore with “Eh, Eh”. Seriously? I mean, it’s a good song, I really like it. But as an encore? Okay. Gaga briefly disappeared and then reemerged in the Orbit to finish the show with “Bad Romance”, which was amazing. She gave us a bow and it was over. Or so we thought, we were treated to one last video. It was Gaga getting “Dad” tattooed on her shoulder, which was quite sweet.
Before exiting the theatre I made my final notes and reviewed the set list I brought with me. I was one upset little monster, TWO SONGS WERE CUT FROM SUNDAY’S PERFORMANCE. Gaga!?!? How dare you! After all the drama with cancellations and everything else – you gypped those of us that attended the Chicago Sunday night show. Not only that, she cut “So Happy I Could Die” and “Paper Gangsta”, which are only two of her best songs…ever. I was so pumped for this concert, I told ya’ll I love Gaga, but I was SO mad that songs got cut. For someone who cares very much about her fans and is vocal about it, that’s not behavior I’d expect. You owe me two songs, I will not forget!
Despite that hiccup and the lagging time between songs – this was definitely one of the most amazing pop shows ever. It was not quite the electro pop opera I had hoped, but I definitely did not leave disappointed. Well, except for those cut songs. Unlike many of her peers – Gaga sang live the whole time, even while dancing. That is one of my favorite qualities about her. This ain’t no Britney show where you get to listen to a CD with thousands of other people. Gaga and her show are the real deal!
If you get a chance to go to a Lady Gaga show, which is hard as her tickets are in high demand, you MUST go. You will be treated to something spectacular. That’s all you need to know.