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The Blue & Gray Press | November 18, 2017

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When I Say "Lady," You Say "Gaga"

By GINNY FERRELL

Thousands of fans swarmed Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena last Thursday for Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball show, where there were numerous platinum blond wigs, Diet Coke can curlers, and of course, leotards with fishnet stockings.

Unlike a standard sing-and-dance concert, the two-hour-plus Monster Ball tour is wildly theatrical, each song part of a storyline, taking you on a liberating path of fire, monsters, God, music and love.

Gaga and her monster friends start out on their journey to attend the Monster Ball, a place where the freaks come out; however, their car dies in a rotten urban neighborhood. No need to worry because Gaga assured us in the audience that we would make it to the Ball. Gaga goes from a broken-down car to a subway, a twister, a monster-filled Central Park, and eventually the Monster Ball. Her show was a cross between The Wiz, a horror film, and a Broadway show on acid.

On this journey to the Monster Ball, the audience will find acceptance and freedom, even if it’s just for one evening in the fantastical land of Lady Gaga.

The real stars of the Monster Ball, Gaga proclaimed, were her fans, also known as her “little monsters.” No matter how close or far away you were from the stage, you could see Lady Gaga had control over every soul in the audience and let her monsters know that she had locked all the freaks outside so that everyone was free to be whoever they wanted to be.

“The Monster Ball will set you free, Virginia!” She cried for freedom, insisting everyone to forget their judgments and be their authentic selves regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or any other label.

This sounds like deep thought for a pop concert, but Gaga didn’t take herself too seriously. She thought it was funny that she was back in Charlottesville due to how she once dated a guy from the University of Virginia, but it didn’t work out because she lied about her age. Gaga even wore a bedazzled UVA t-shirt that was thrown to her onstage by one of her little monsters.

“I can’t believe I’m wearing a t-shirt,” Lady Gaga stated, “it’s like, against my religion, but it’s perfect.”

Lady Gaga created the Monster Ball so that her fans “would have a place to go.” She told her audience, “I don’t want you to leave here loving me more, I want you to leave here loving yourself more.” Despite her words of inspiration, the audience left the Monster Ball loving her more.