It’s August 1 and Gaga’s devoted army of Little Monsters is glammed up to the nines and counting down the moments. Then the Lady herself roars into Vancouver’s Rogers Arena to kick off her 60-date Joanne World Tour and the atmosphere explodes.
Opening with Diamond Heart, she set the dazzling tone for the evening. Staging was ingenious—phenomenal, even—with lighting pods that doubled as video screens, then descended to become runways and multiple platforms among the crowd. Choreography was seamless. Then there were the many, increasingly spectacular costume changes. Naturally, every change had hundreds of Monsters reaching for their phones, with a hat by Gladys Tamez Millinary, a Vex Latex fringe top, bodysuit by Michael Velasquez, Lanotta Studio jacket, Michael Schmidt coat and Zaldy bomber jacket among the highlight Swarovski-crystallized pieces. Even her dancers wore crystal-studded denim by Haus of Gaga—not forgetting the keytar’s crystalline makeover, which came courtesy of NYC’s Marla Weinhoff Studio. In fact, the dazzle was such that it comes as no surprise to learn that the outfits, make-up looks (by Emmy award-winning Sarah Tanno) and props had been blitzed with nearly 550,000 Swarovski crystals. To quote the Lady herself: “Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, cuz we were born this way!”