Summer 2010 Concerts: Mother Monster returns home

July 6, 2010 at Madison Square Garden

As thousands of devoted Lady Gaga fans flooded the halls of Madison Square Garden on July 6 - sporting platinum blonde wigs and soda can hair rollers galore - the arena buzzed with speculation about the first of a three-night engagement in the pop star's hometown.

What these little monsters didn't know, however, is that the Lady would soon surpass all of their wildest expectations and earnest wishes with her magnificent Monster Ball Tour. Gaga opened the show with her song "Dance in the Dark," appearing before her many screaming devotees as a simple silhouette behind a large, wrap-around screen.

The provocative 24-year-old performed hits including "Just Dance" and "Lovegame" from her record-breaking debut album The Fame in a purple leopard print bustier and a nun's habit, presumably acknowledging claims about her sacrilegious lifestyle.

Enveloping a freakish rendition of the classic children's story The Wizard of Oz, the concert showed Gaga and her band of misfits traveling through New York City landmarks on their search for the Monster Ball. Whisking her audience into a world that blurred the boundaries between staged theatrical epic, avant-garde art show and techno dance party, Mother Monster declared that, "[The Monster Ball] is a place where … all the freaks are outside, and we locked the f---ing doors."

From the spooky walkways of nighttime Central Park to the gleaming neon lights of the Lower East Side, the grand stage design allowed Gaga to charm her followers and, in turn, provide them with a safe haven away from rejection and disappointment.

After a brief intermission, Gaga performed songs from her second studio album, The Fame Monster, including "Telephone" and the summer smash "Alejandro." She also revealed a new track titled "You and I" from her upcoming album, which is expected to be released in early 2011.

While playing her song "Speechless," Gaga addressed her inspiration for the track - her formerly estranged father, who was in attendance that night. She joked, "Now Dad, I recognize that I am the reason that you drink … I recognize that as I'm sitting up here in my latex underwear," offering her fans a glimpse into her personal life.

Dressed in an incendiary brassiere and matching panties, Gaga later faced off with a gargantuan, anglerfish-type creature that she called "the fame monster" while belting out her third single off The Fame, "Paparazzi."

When she finally reached the Monster Ball, Gaga wrapped up the show with an astounding encore performance of "Bad Romance" that was welcomed with thunderous cheers and applause from her masses of little monsters. Performing a 19-song set list that featured 13 costume changes, Lady Gaga solidified her reputation as an exceedingly ambitious and gifted performance artist who thrives off of the love of her loyal fan base.