Austin 101 Magazine

Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour Concert One of the Best of 2017

by Denise Enriquez (photos provided by Getty Images)

We heard great things about this tour but our high expectations were blown away. From her epic Super Bowl halftime show, her “Five Foot Two” documentary to her Born This Way Foundation and wildly successful 2017 Tour -she hasn’t stopped working. Joanne is her middle name and the name of her aunt (who died at age 19 from Lupus) and also the name of her fifth studio album and current tour.  As Lady Gaga (Stefani) explained to her fans during her Austin, Texas performance at the Frank Erwin Center last week – the name Joanne has multiple layers of meanings to her and is one of the most important in her life.

gaga2.jpgThis tour/album is a tribute to her aunt and a healing for her family that has grieved over the devastating loss for so many years, especially her dad. She said she wanted to do something more personal and meaningfulwith this album and that she grew during the emotional times working in the studio and actually becoming Joanne herself. She’s emerged from a rough period of heartbreak (from split with her fiance and several losses) and used her pain to create this uniquely personal show. Later in the show she introduced her mom in the crowd which made it even more special.

The concert had a late start, billed to begin at 7:30pm – the performance didn’t get underway until after 9pm (due to a repair issue).  The crowd didn’t seem to mind, allowing them more time to mingle and admire each other’s colorful outfits and their staple pink wide-brim hats, replicas of the hat Lady Gaga donned on the Joanne album cover.  The production was well worth the wait, arranged into seven acts incorporating old and new material, mixing both fast tempo choreographed dance songs with slow solo ensembles performed at her colorful piano. The set was the biggest we’ve seen this year (with the possible exception of The Weeknd’s Starboy show starship).

gagaVisually, every moment was massively entertaining. Gaga’s multiple elaborate wardrobe changes, the entrancing pyro-technics, the huge floating screens above the crowd that later revealed themselves to be bridges that connected the main stage to a center platform and a back stage left everyone in a state of “what could possibly be next?”.There were epic lights and fans showing digital lighters that added to the stunning visuals of this show. The production was very detailed, well thought out and flowed naturally while Gaga’s physical endurance was in full display as she gracefully knocked out two hours of intense cardio. She looked and sounded impeccable. Flawless.

Although meticulously organized and planned, Mother Monster effortlessly broke away from the show’s script to bond with her Little Monsters.  At one point, Gaga saw a drawing that one of her fans held in the audience portraying her and her late friend Sonja Durham.  She paused to retrieve the art-piece and began reminiscing about her friend that passed away in May after battling breast cancer as she followed with a heart-felt rendition of “Edge of Glory”.

Another break in the show’s schedule came after “Bad Romance” when Gaga picked up and read aloud a note thrown onstage by a fan, a “Monster Gram”.  The fan explained how she suffered from chronic pain which is so isolating and is inspired by Gaga’s determination and strength to overcome her own severe chronic pain condition. Her note ended with her realization that not only Gaga is strong, but “so the f*** am I”. Gaga proceeded to come into the crowd, hug the woman and sign her arm.

Lady Gaga also pledged her love and support for Texas, following this year’s devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the recent tragedy of Sutherland Springs.  “Be brave Texas, you’ve had a hard year and we’re all with you.”  The reciprocated love for Gaga was in abundance in the state’s capital that evening. It was unforgettable and one of our picks for the ‘BEST SHOW OF 2017’.

Set List:

  • ACT I
    • Diamond Heart
    • A-Yo
    • Poker Face
    • Perfect Illusion
  • ACT II
    • John Wayne
    • Scheibe
    • Alejandro
  • ACT III
    • Just Dance
    • Love Game
    • Telephone
  • ACT IV
    • Applause
    • Come To Mama
    • The Edge of Glory
    • Born This Way
  • ACT V
    • Bloody Mary
    • Dancin’ In Circles
    • Paparazzi
  • ACT VI
    • Angel Down
    • Joanne
  • ACT VII
    • Bad Romance
    • The Cure
  • ENCORE
    • Million Reasons
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