Known for her weird antics, catchy costumes, and superb vocal abilities, Lady Gaga delighted fans across the globe in 2012. The Born This Way Ball tour had a total of 98-concert dates and was truly a spectacle to behold.
The Born This Way Ball Concert in Paris, France
Originally scheduled for 119 concert dates, the 21 final dates were canceled due to an unexpected hip injury.
This was Gaga's third concert tour and it was in support of her album Born This Way. However, it was the first one to hit every inhabited continent in the world.
The concert raked in a total of $183.9 million in gross earnings. And according to Pollstar, it also became the fifth highest-grossing tour in 2012.
This series of performances were in support of her hit album, "Born This Way", which stayed on the Billboard chart for forty-two weeks.
Enthusiastic fans, also called "little monsters" by the singer, were elated when she announced her concert dates on February 8, 2012.
The first leg of the tour kicked off in Seoul, South Korea. And Montreal was the last tour stop of the concert.
The opening acts that warmed up the show included equally talented artists.
Lady Gaga and the Haus of Gaga (her production team) prepared well for its stage. The show's narration about the "tale of the beginning" revolved around an elaborately made-up castle, called the "Kingdom of Fame" that took up the entire stage.
To complete the act, Gaga represented an alien fugitive originating from a "Government Owned Alien Territory". It was a sort of allegorical mystery play.
The same act was first witnessed in her 2011 Born This Way music video.
The castle with its intricate details took the breath of its audience away as it was maneuvered on the stage. Rotating and moving throughout the show, it added sass and action to the show's electro-metal pop theme.
A runway extended into the audience and the entire show had a Gothic and medieval feel to it.
Her outfits were out of this world too. A total of fourteen different costumes were worn by the singer with the so-called "Gaga swag" that only she can manage to pull off.
Most of these items were designed by the Italian fashion giants Armani, Moschino, and Versace.
The Monster Ball's stage had a modern-day New York setting with lighted marquees and subway cars.
The "Mother Monster", as Gaga is fondly called by her fandom, sustained an injury that was caused by repetitive and strenuous movements while performing (see below for a video of when it happened).
The singer incurred a labral tear on her right hip during one of her concerts.
Her doctors advised her to go through surgery and have ample rest to recuperate.
Consequently, several shows, including those for Chicago, Hamilton, and Detroit, were postponed while the remaining concert dates were cancelled.
Perhaps the one and a half months of taxing rehearsals took a toll on her body. And the hip injury was a way of telling her to take a break.
"Following an incessant 'Gaga' chant, the eccentric pop princess took the stage around 8:30 PM, as a curtain dropped to reveal Gaga emerging from a three-story castle and riding a mechanical stallion while escorted by guards. The evening continued as a sea of theatrics, choreography and quirky outfits, which rotated with nearly every song." (from Billboard's Nicole Pajer)
The press had something to say about her performances during every leg of this tour.
In Korea, Journalist Cho Chung-un was quick to comment that the stage installations were breathtaking and the ideas were innovative. Emma Kalka of The Korea Herald took note of Lady Gaga's outfits and specifically mentioned her "Americano" performance as the highlight of the show.
A representative of The Korea Times Kwaak Je-yup praised her singing ability. He also opined that the performance was thus far Gaga's best.
One MTV writer said that the singer has clearly outshone her previous Monster Ball tour.
This statement was based on Lady Gaga’s numerous costume changes and the great stage visuals. Yahoo! Singapore's Elizabeth Soh described the concert as bizarre and shocking, both of which are very much Lady Gaga. Meanwhile, Brisbane Times delightedly gave the concert a rating of five stars.
They noted that the crowd was totally lost in the whole Lady Gaga experience.
Stuff.co.nz writer Simon Sweetman didn't think twice about considering the concert in Auckland as the best pop performance since the Velvet Rope Tour of Janet Jackson. Nikita Ramkissoon of The Times was in awe of the whole performance as well.
Expressen, a news corporation in Sweden, complimented the singer for her humor, witty political digs, and promotion of love and self-expression.
The Born This Way Ball Tour, Manchester
The eccentric singer also received negative reviews.
Oakland Tribune's Jim Harrington implied that there was too much focus on the production, burying the music completely.
He also said that her monologue is only a restatement of what was already a part of the lyrics of her songs.
Some religious clerics in Jakarta, Indonesia did not want Lady Gaga's scheduled concert to happen.
Islamic hardliners exclaimed that her shows had a 'suggestive nature.'
The organizers eventually had to cancel the concert even though the tickets sold-out.
Manila, Philippines was another city that welcomed the singer with protests, claiming that the singer was not a good example for the youth and that her views were corrupting the values of the younger public.
They wore anti-Lady Gaga shirts while screaming "Stop Lady Gaga Concert".
The Born This Way Ball Concert in Milan, Italy
Every leg of the tour carried Gaga's trademark of promoting youth empowerment, self-love, gay rights and outrageous outfits.
This is why amid controversies, the "little monsters" received their "mother monster" with much adoration during this concert tour and that continues today.
Lady Gaga's unique mix of boldness, style, outspokenness, advocacies, creativity and talent made The Born This Way Ball concert tour an experience and a message like no other.
This set list, from Wikipedia, is representative of the first show in Los Angeles only. It does not represent all dates throughout the tour.
"Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)"
"Born This Way"
"Black Jesus + Amen Fashion"
"Fashion of His Love"
"Heavy Metal Lover"
"Yoü and I"
"The Edge of Glory"
"Marry the Nig