“Call me Joanne tonight”, Lady Gaga told the audience at the Amalie Arena on Friday night, bringing her “Joanne” world tour spectacle to town. The crowd of over 15,000 brought their own show of costumes, drag queens, the little monsters (diehard fans), grandmothers, tweens and everybody else. While waiting for the show to start, there were video commercials, one for Gaga’s charity, “Born this Way” that empowers youth and her Netflix documentary, “Five Foot Two”. A 5-minute countdown clock was displayed to start the show. Opening with “Diamond Heart” into “A-Yo”. She told the crowd to get off its ass and stand up, but they had beat her to it!
There was film used in between sets from Gaga driving a hot rod to artistic pieces, which provided time for costume changes. State of the art stage included a walkway that came down from the ceiling, pyrotechnics, fire, neon and little monsters filling the GA floor! Working both ends of the arena to give everyone a chance see her is a great move. She has a top-notch band and group of dancers all workin’ hard!
Big production numbers and Gaga solo on both guitar and piano gave a good balance to the show. Storytelling, she shares that her real middle name is Joanne, named after her father’s sister who died before she was born. Family is very important in her life she explains. She offers encouragement to young artists, telling them to “do it because you love it”. “Edge of Glory” was beautifully played on piano. Hits like “Bad Romance” and “Paparazzi” were great dance numbers high above the crowd on both the walkways and main stage. Costumes were amazing! From ballgowns to leather, part of the show was waiting in anticipation for the costume that was coming next!
Given a letter from a fan talking about the Pulse nightclub, she honored the LGBTQ crew by going down on the floor and shaking hands with the Pulse crowd. In another fan interaction, Tampa artist Cam Parker was in the crowd and gave his muse a copy of the mural he painted of her. The actual mural is displayed at 1700 Franklin Street and has been the talk of the town this week as the tour made its way to Florida. She gave him props, “There is a real artist right there”, she said as she sat at the piano to play her hit “Million Reasons”. It takes one to know one! One of the best tours of the year! Hope she wins the Grammy!
Photo credits- Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation.(archive photos). Mural photo taken by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography