Friday Apr 19

emellis1 Lady Gaga – The Monster Ball “In the Monster Ball all the freaks are outside, and we lock the doors.”

On Feb. 26, when I pulled up to The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, I had no idea what I was in for. Little did I know that I was about to be attacked by “Little Monsters.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is someone who lives and breathes Lady Gaga. I was intrigued by the amount of people wrapped around the arena dying to get in, literally dying, because it was freezing outside and many of them were scantily clad in their best Lady Gaga costumes. The following that Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta has acquired is unheard of. Her following is a worldwide phenomenon. And for one night only, the over-the-top Monster Ball (or as a non-Little Monster would say, “The Lady Gaga World Tour”) made its way to Pittsburgh.

As an outsider to this craze, I, as an aspiring sound engineer, was much more interested in the technical aspects of such a huge production than in becoming a “Little Monster.” I was kind of bummed when entering the arena because I realized how far our seats were from the stage. But I shouldn’t have been too upset. We were seated second level, directly behind monitor world. What more could I have wished for? I then started counting, and counting, and counting, speaker after speaker, light after light. The final count was something like 64 line arrays, 18 subs, 18 Mac 3000 movers, plus so much more. This was by far the biggest production I had ever seen. It was also the first time I had such prime seating. I could see all of back stage and monitor world. Everything I want to be a part of some day was right before my eyes.

The Monster Ball was astounding. The production was flawless. At one point, my friend, a Little Monster herself said, “You look bored.” I then responded with, “No way, I’m amazed.”  Gaga has described this tour as “the first-ever pop electro opera.” It is a two hour show with more than 15 costume changes, a burning grand piano, and a 40 foot mechanical monster. Gaga and her team created something unimaginable, so modern and strange that even if you’re not interested in this, you would have lost your mind. Although I was focused mainly on the technical aspects of the show, I was overwhelmed by the insanity and infatuation of what Lady Gaga has created.
I left speechless. Although I was not changed, nor did I become a newfound Little Monster that night, I was stupefied. I can only hope that I will someday be picked up by a tour that will produce shows to that degree. I want to make people feel the way I felt that night. I guess for now I can only dream.