Lady Gaga shares a love with her fans
Lady Gaga spent a lot of time last night on the TD Garden stage giving thanks to the fans who helped put her there.
The sold-out house of more than 15,000 “little monsters’’ — as Gaga has affectionately dubbed her followers, many of whom attended in Gaga- inspired costumes — returned that love with equal vigor during her spirited, if hit-and-miss, 105-minute performance. (A curfew-busting performance at that, as she was nearly an hour late. The monsters were patient.)
There was certainly no shortage of spectacle to cheer. As she worked her way through her catalog of thumping dance-floor candy hits from “Just Dance’’ to “Bad Romance’’ to the new “Born This Way,’’ the imaginatively arty singer-songwriter packed the show with dazzle. She piled on the visuals — video interludes, neon signs, subway set pieces — and the bodies, a gang of dancers and a big band, and the costumes, including a black leather bikini and an outfit that featured sparklers over her bust. She worked her often-visible butt off and, unlike many of her peers, sang live and sounded great.
What was slightly surprising, given that she has a new album due in two months, was the dearth of new material. The show was nearly identical to the one she gave at the same venue a few months back, including the momentum-killing filler she used.
The messages in her stage banter were always laudable: Bullying is bad, believing in yourself is good, helping others through charitable contributions is nice. But she talked a lot, when sometimes a segue into another song might have kept the vibe going. And several of the video interludes — someone vomits on Gaga! Gaga is bleeding! — were tedious and nonsensical.
Intriguingly, one of the night’s highest peaks came when Gaga was at her most straightforward, simply sitting behind her piano singing her heart out on the new ballad “You and I.’’ Stripped of bloody/sparkly/animatronic artifice, unencumbered by poses or dance moves, the moment felt emotionally accessible and electric as opposed to some nebulous concept of art. That was worth waiting for.
Tailor-made openers the Scissor Sisters riled up the crowd with their giddy, simpatico disco.
Sarah Rodman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org