If there is such a thing as a typical spectacle, that’s what Lady Gaga delivered at the Sprint Center on Wednesday night.
For two hours before a crowd of nearly 16,000, the pop superstar unleashed nearly two dozen songs, accompanied by plenty of spectacular visuals: flashpots; elaborate laser and LED displays; high-flying and gymnastic choreography from her large dance troupe; a dynamic five-piece band; an array of videos and other graphics; and a four-piece stage connected by a series of bridges that transported Gaga from one end of the arena to the other.
The mood of the show, however, wasn’t all glitz and euphoria. The Joanne World Tour is named after her aunt, who died in her late teens, before Gaga was born.
She was honored late in the show, when Gaga performed “Joanne,” the title track to her latest album, solo on acoustic guitar on one of the satellite stages — one of a few down-tempo moments in an otherwise lavish and manic performance.
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Several times, Gaga gave some love and gratitude to Kansas City native BloodPop (Michael Tucker), one of several “Joanne” producers.
The show comprised seven acts and an encore and included as many wardrobe changes, some that included some uber-fashionable cowboy hats. All night, she showed off her vocal prowess and her mastery of several instruments, including the guitar, piano and, during “Alejandro,” the keytar.
The set list tapped into all five albums, a catalog that goes back nearly 10 years. It included hits like “Just Dance,” “LoveGame,” “Bad Romance,” “Telephone” and “Alejandro,” all of which set off some uproarious sing-alongs throughout the arena.
If anything was missing from this show, her third headlining concert at the Sprint Center, it was some weirdness, some phantasmagorical narrative that tied together the various segments of the show.
Instead, this show had a more serious or humane theme, one she expressed explicitly before “Come to Mama,” when she called out to all her LGBT fans, as she waved the gay pride flag, and all her other fans, championing equality and acceptance and love.
She closed with “Million Reasons,” a “Joanne” track that expresses some of the tribulations Gaga has dealt with over the past few years: deaths, illness and the notion that her career is somehow on the wane.
“I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away,” she sang. “But, baby, I just need one good one to stay.”
Wednesday night, she heard about 16,000 reasons why.
Diamond Heart; A-Yo; Poker Face; Perfect Illusion; John Wayne; Scheibe; Alejandro; Just Dance; Love Game; Telephone; Applause; Come to Mama; The Edge of Glory; Born This Way; Bloody Mary; Dancin’ in Circles; Paparazzi; Angel Down; Joanne; Bad Romance; The Cure; Million Reasons.