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Gaga shocks but forgets to rock

Only Lady Gaga could make an entrance without actually making an entrance. Yep, it could be anybody up on that mechanical horse. But their face is covered, and it looks like they're singing, so, yeah, it's Gaga. Coming out of a castle. Surrounded by a bunch of lads waving flags. Apparently, we're in a Government Owned Alien Territory (G.O.A.T). But that still doesn't explain why Gaga then gives birth to herself through an inflatable body.

No mind. Besides, halfway through this marathon Gaga session (The Born This Way Ball clocks in at 150 minutes) the Lady (26) remembers to just be a pop star. She might have only released two albums, but she's perfectly capable of dealing with a stadium-sized audience. Probably because everything about the New Yorker is so absurdly over-the-top that we aren't just relying on one woman and a microphone to see us through.

But then, sometimes, that's all it takes. Because Gaga doesn't "give a f***". And she and her dancers tell us this several times before the Lady flashes her backside. Could be a dig at Her Madgesty. Either way, the fans lap it up. Some of them throw gifts. Eventually, half a dozen 'little monsters' find themselves dancing on stage and swigging whiskey with their idol.


It's a gigantic production, but it's also a little too busy. If The Monster Ball Tour was Gaga's big hit, then this is an acceptable if slightly overcooked sequel. Musically, it remains in fantastic form -- a sweet combination of late-night, electro pop jams (Paparazzi), pristine vocal stretches (The Edge of Glory) and runaway chart hits (Just Dance). But she doesn't always deliver.

A lengthy part of the show involves Gaga sitting atop a motorcycle/keyboard, talking about legends, freedom, and her mother cutting her hair, before singing Princess Die. And it's incredibly annoying. Quite often, she will ruin it all with her constant need to shock. What's more, the pompous sci-fi theme only distracts from what is otherwise an effective stadium offering. A little less conversation and fewer appearances from 'Mother G.O.A.T', and this could have been special. At best, it's a reasonably entertaining show. And that's just disappointing. hhhii