Review: Lady Gaga at Tacoma Dome
Written by joe on August 7, 2017
With it only being her third stop on the tour, and first show in the United States, little was known what Lady Gaga had planned for the Joanne World Tour at Washington’s Tacoma Dome. For those seeing any upcoming Gaga shows and want to keep it all a surprise, do not read the rest of this review, but know that it does the performance no justice.
Lady Gaga’s show blows away any artist and tour that I personally have been to. Every moment was highly captivating, and extremely beautiful. Each moment seamlessly transitioned to the next, without skipping a beat and keeping the audience mesmerized. Even the transitions and the videos played in-between costume changes hypnotized the audience, and held a high quality and level of production. Before the show began, a large LED countdown clock descended onto the stage. It illuminated the crowd and dome with the soft glowing numbers displayed, until it hit zero and revealed a solo Lady Gaga. She stood at the top of her intricate moving stage to open her show with “Diamond Heart”, the first track on her latest release Joanne. The stage setup was, in short, impressive: consisting of four stages, large pods suspended from the ceiling containing more lights, images from Lady Gaga’s music videos projected to the surface, and large catwalks that descended from the ceiling to connect the four stages together.
As theatrical as the show was, as mesmerizing all the lights and various stages were, as impressive as the dancers, pyrotechnics, outfit changes, and as fun as her massive pop hits are, the most powerful moments of the show were when Lady Gaga took on the show and the crowd solo. She spoke about her support for LGBT rights, and her sorrow and the love she witnessed between her late friend Sonja and Sonja’s husband Andre. She explained the meaning of the name of her album Joanne to a crowd she even admitted probably already knew the meaning. She discussed what she called “generational grief” and how it influences not only her album but her daily life. Lady Gaga performed a stripped back piano version of “Edge of Glory”, and she played the more personal and highly emotional songs off Joanne like “Angel Down”, “Joanne”, and of course “Million Reasons.” These are examples of the raw moments in Lady Gaga’s show that truly touched and resonated with the audience. This is an artist that doesn’t need or rely on the theatrics of the show; her music, message, and art all stand alone and truly speaks for itself.
With each release brings a new and different era and sound of Lady Gaga, from The Fame/The Fame Monster, Born This Way, ARTPOP, and now Joanne it’s difficult to know what direction Gaga will take with her music. Her latest single “The Cure” is a nod to her former work and the mainstream pop genre, but shouldn’t be taken as an indication to the direction of her next project. Lady Gaga has proven in the past, and with Joanne, that she will surprise us and will take her music, fashion, and art wherever she pleases. Lady Gaga is at her best when she is unapologetically herself, and that’s who she has always been. This is a characteristic, a quality, and an artist that cannot be replicated, and one of the many reasons she is the most influential and successful artist to ever be in the music industry.