On the opening night of the Chromatic Ball tour, Lady Gaga took to Instagram to talk about the Chromatica Ball, her first time on a stage for a tour since 2018. She discloses a little sneak peek of the inspiration of the stage design and that it provides a hard look at oneself and what you’ve been through.
The Chromatica Ball celebrates her love of music, art, dancing, poetry, technology, and how they all work together to tell a story, documenting the stages of grief she’s experienced in her life – but allowing the audience to interpret the show for themselves.
Like the album, the Chromatica Ball tells a story of the journey and celebration of self-discovery and self-love.
Although not specifically labeled in an intro video, the start to the ball acted as a prelude to the Chromatica journey/story. Mother Monster herself appeared encased in her grey, statuesque costume, only showing her face, which too was partially covered. Obviously, the crowd erupted as she kicked off the show with OG Gaga. Throughout the 3-song prelude, Lady Gaga was slowly released from her encasing costume during ‘Bad Romance’, conducted the ensemble of dancers below from her platform during ‘Just Dance’ and continued to dance on her revolving platform during ‘Poker Face’. By the end of the prelude, the audience could see Gaga was in all her glory complete with her slicked back hair and double-winged eyeliner.
ENTER CHROMATICA. The stage itself transformed to transport the audience into the virtual world of Chromatica, as Gaga arrived on an elevated slab above the stage – that could be interpreted as a sacrificial alter, almost Frankenstein’s monster style. Belting out ‘Alice’ looking for wonderland, she entered her virtual world of Chromatica. By the end of the number, Gaga had been lowered to stage-level and was then carried across the stage, her blood-spattered latex bodysuit revealed. The first act continued with ‘Replay’ (Chromatica) and ‘Monster’ (The Fame Monster) – continuing the symbolism of the realization and recognition of the monsters and scars on replay, plaguing her mind.
Beginning to face the monsters and scars, this act begins with the Chromatica song ‘911’, who’s meaning is known to be about medication and taking it to have more control over her brain and the thoughts she can’t control. This act continues with ‘Sour Candy’ (Chromatica), ‘Telephone’ (The Fame Monster), and ‘LoveGame’ (The Fame Monster).
This act is truly about taking action. Beginning this act with the Chromatica album finale ‘Bablyon’, Lady Gaga sings out to ‘battle for your life’. Dressed in all gold, Gaga struts across the main stage and into the crowd to a secondary stage in the middle of the stadium singing ‘Free Woman’ (Chromatica)– truly exercising her freedom and liberation to not be defined by her past. To end this act, Lady Gaga sat down at a piano and began a stripped-down version of ‘Born This Way’ (Born This Way), which ultimately led to the classic upbeat anthem.
Emerging back onto the secondary stage in an ensemble representing a Chromatican creature, Lady Gaga sat back down at her piano. The audience erupted as the first few notes of ‘Shallow’ (A Star Is Born) echoed throughout the stadium, passionately singing along.
As Lady Gaga removed her headpiece, she took a moment to pan the entire stadium before beginning to speak to the audience. She began talking about the last couple of years and asked the audience, “Remember that time when the world started to fade and we all came back?” and went on to say, “I wanna celebrate you all tonight in the name of love. We saw a lot of bravery. We saw a lot of courage. We saw a lot of kindness. I feel like the whole world rallied. One big act of love. What are we gonna do? All we have is each other. And some people might wanna really forget the last few years, but I’m not one of those people that just wants to be there for the good times. I wanna celebrate that time in all of our lives. That’s right. I wanna remember us just like this.”
Gaga took a moment to compose herself before singing “Always Remember Us This Way’ (A Star Is Born) – followed by an emotional moment remembering her late friend Sonja and dedicating her acoustic piano version of ‘Edge of Glory’ (Born This Way) to her. The imitate act of reflection continued with ‘Angel Down’ (Joanne) and ‘Fun Tonight’ (Chromatica), which started out on the piano and quickly transitioned to the upbeat studio version. To finish the fourth act, Gaga reminisced on her 16 years of making music, ‘It’s been about 16 years. You still may not know me, but I’ll still be your Enigma if you’ll have me.’, bringing the musical energy back up with ‘Enigma’ (Chromatica).
Back on the main stage with tousled, damp looking hair and now filled in double winged eyeliner, LADY GAGA IS READY FOR A CELELBRATION. ‘Stupid Love’ (Chromatica) starts the beginning of the end with a full-blown dance party. The journey and mission the show began with has come to an end, and Lady Gaga has come out on the other side. In her triumph, she celebrates her journey, where she came from and how far she has come to be who she is. She ends the show with the Chromatica hit, ‘Rain On Me’, continuing with the celebration with big, free-flowing choreography, truly letting her hair down as it flipped back and forth to the beat.
The stage went black at the end of the song, but there was still enough light to see that the band wasn’t going anywhere. The crowd began to chant: “Gaga, Gaga, Gaga…”. Even with the already two plus hour performance we’d already been gifted, Lady Gaga granted us an ENCORE with ‘Hold My Hand’ (Top Gun: Maverick) the moment the stage re-illuminated. For real final performance of the night, Lady Gaga literally and metaphorically held out her hand to invite the audience to take the journey she just did.
The ball officially ended with last words from Lady Gaga: “Goodnight Arlington, Texas.” (Someone give her PR team a raise.) She continued, “Thank you for your love. Thank you for your passion. Thank you for being you. And believe in yourself.” And with those final words, Lady Gaga had her own moment of celebration as she knee slid across the stage and head banged to the beat of the band still playing in the background, thrusting her Chromatican paw up in the air until the stage went dark.
Growing up with Lady Gaga in my high school years and beyond, I knew that woman was going to put on a dang good show. I just couldn’t quite imagine how spectacular of a show without witnessing it for myself. The details of the costumes, lighting, stage set and choreography all played a part of the immaculate story telling of the Chromatica. Not to mention, Lady Gaga’s vocals and ability to sing and dance the way she does is absolutely insane. Hands down, one of the best concerts I’ve ever experienced.