The BB&T Center
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
May 4, 2014
Photos and review by Kailyn Mariot
Enticing, engaging, exciting: Three words that barely capture the array of experiences Lady Gaga’s performance at the BB&T Center in Ft. Lauderdale created. Supported by a sea of little monsters, Gaga’s first show of the artRave tour exceeded any die-hard fan’s high expectations.
Lady Starlight, a close friend of Gaga, served as the opening act for her incredible performance. Starlight primed the audience and set the mood for the vast amounts of fun everyone was about to experience. Simply enjoying herself and dancing around a portion of the stage in which her equipment was stationed, Starlight played striking tech house-like beats, fulfilling the artRave theme of the tour.
Hands down, one of the most impressive aspects of the concert was the brand new stage that was presented. The giant structure’s twists and turns trailed across the ground floor, and ends with the exclusive “artRave lounge” right in front of Gaga’s grand piano. The entire structure resembled an ethereal winter wonderland; glowing glaciers surrounded the stage, giving off an otherworldly impression.
When the long-awaited moment finally arrived, multiple dancers carrying colored orbs came on stage to the tune of “Artpop” and proved their incredible choreographic skills. Finally, Lady Gaga, adorned with giant gold wings, emerged from the center of the stage to the beat.
Transitioning into “G.U.Y.”, Gaga captivated the hundreds of enthusiastic fans by dominating her own dance floor. Every note and step of hers packed a punch, and as an artist, she made sure everyone in the building was aware of that. Catwalking down her new stage and singing “Donatella” as well as “Fashion!”, she greeted her fans and welcomed them to the artRave Ball. As she performed “Venus”, tall inflatable flowers arose from the stage to emphasize the fantasy setting Gaga successfully produced. By cracking jokes and complimenting outfits, Gaga made everyone feel welcome and practically at home.
On top of her friendly demeanor, Lady Gaga acted along with the themes of many of her songs, almost as if the entire performance were some sort of enthralling play that simultaneously makes you want to dance for hours. Taking on the character of a ditzy alien, Gaga burst right into “Manicure”. As she revisited many of her earlier hits, Gaga strut along stage in an impressive (yet strange – as expected) pastel blue and pink dress with multiple tentacles. Throughout performing songs like “Just Dance” and “Paparazzi”, she progressively removed an article of clothing, ultimately ending up in a one-piece seated on her piano. Waving and setting a rainbow flag beside her, Gaga began to speak directly to those in the artRave lounge and then went on to thank everyone for their support, crediting the entire stage and show to all of her fans. Creating the perfect sense of community amongst everyone at the show during her short speech while playing “Born This Way”, Gaga stated, “I want to be remembered for how uncomfortable I made the world”.
Iconic for her outrageous outfits, Gaga flaunted various garments at the show. Green hair, latex, a seashell bra, towering heels, and fishnets were just a taste of the variety of apparel she performed in. At one point, she even changed onstage into a vibrant raver outfit, complete with fuzzy green leg warmers and gloves. After coming back out for her encore to close the show with Gypsy, Gaga sported a stunning lengthy white dress complimented by a wig that followed suit.
Overall, the kick-off of the artRave tour set an incredibly high standard for anyone planning to attend shows after Lady Gaga’s. Every aspect of the performance, setting, and environment was absolutely dream-like.