Live Review: Lady Gaga - Allphones Arena

23 June 2012 | 8:00 pm | Katie Benson

The Born This Way Ball feels a little like an avant-garde take on Rocky Horror.

More Lady Gaga More Lady Gaga

Before even reaching the doors of Allphones Arena, the theatre had begun. All the Little Monsters, teetering precariously in the highest of heels, created a sea of wild costumes, bright make-up and tremendous hair. This night was for the outrageous and for the misfits – and didn't the Lady know it.

Opening the night was New York DJ and performance artist Lady Starlight. Sitting at a distance and with no visuals on the big screen, this act came off more confusing than entertaining. At one stage Lady Starlight rotated on a disc, dressed as a mummy, with a glam rock track pulsing behind her. I'm sure there were plenty of layers going on here, but stadiums weren't built for intricacy.

When the curtains draw on the main event, a four-storey castle bathed in purple light appears and through the castle gates comes Lady Gaga masked and atop a human horse, opening with Highway Unicorn. Evident immediately, this night rests on two things – the strength of her voice and the over-the-top dramatics.

With an alien visitor storyline, sexually provocative choreography and camp costuming, The Born This Way Ball feels a little like an avant-garde take on Rocky Horror, with a similar message of accepting the weird and wonderful. Pumping through a vibrant first half, supported vocally by backing tracks, Gaga strutted, gyrated and sassed through hits Bad Romance, Just Dance and LoveGame before slutty-biker Gaga emerged and the sermon began in earnest.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

After a close interaction with the VIP monsters in front, Gaga moved to a motorcycle/piano hybrid where she strung out the intro to Hair in order to deliver her thoughts on acceptance, love and a little politics. Though this bracket slowed the night's momentum, this image of openness and intimacy stirred the strong devotion she receives from her fans and as such was a canny inclusion.

Lifting again for the last half hour, Gaga donned some meat attire and burst through the Spanish-flavoured Americano and Alejandro before reaching a concert highlight in early hit, Poker Face. Sadly, in order to accommodate another costume change she threw away Paparazzi, leaving it to the animatronic “motherbot” to deliver from a neon diamond up high.

Saving the strongest of her recent releases, The Edge Of Glory, for the encore, Gaga whipped the crowd into a frenzy before grabbing a rather delirious fan from the crowd and leading her around the catwalk to closer, Marry The Night.

It was a night celebrating pop, glitter and difference, a concert that makes the nipple-exposing antics of Mads look old hat. Love her or hate her, the Lady left it all on stage.