The Fame Ball Tour is the debut worldwide concert tour by American recording artist Lady Gaga. It was Gaga's first concert tour which helped promote her debut studio album The Fame. North American shows began in October, followed by dates in Oceania and a solo trek through Europe. Dates in Asia soon followed, as well as two performances at England's V Festival and two shows in North America that had been postponed from April. Gaga described the tour as a traveling museum show incorporating artist Andy Warhol's pop-performance art concept. Tickets were distributed for charity also. Alternate versions of the show with minimal variations were planned by Gaga to accommodate different venues. The show consisted of four segments, with each segment being followed by a video interlude to the next segment, and it ended with an encore. The set list consisted of songs from her debut album only. Gaga appeared on the stage in new costumes including an innovative dress made entirely of bubbles and premiered an unreleased song called "Future Love". An alternate set list with minor changes were performed for European dates. The show has received positive critical appreciation with critics complimenting her vocal clarity and fashion sense as well as her ability to pull off theatrics like a professional artist.
This Tour: The Fame Ball (2008-2009)
Next Tour: Monster Ball (2009-2011)
The tour was officially announced on October 20, 2008 through Gaga's official MySpace page. It was her first headlining tour; she has previously served as opening act for New Kids on the Block's New Kids on the Block: Live tour, as well as the Pussycat Doll's World Domination Tour. Gaga stated, "I consider what I do to be more of an Andy Warhol concept: pop performance art, multimedia, fashion, technology, video, film. And it's all coming together, and it's going to be traveling museum show." Gaga started planning for the show while on the tour with Pussycat Dolls. In an interview with MTV News, she described the tour as, "It's not really a tour, it's more of a traveling party. I want it to be an entire experience from [the] minute you walk in [the] front door to [the] minute I begin to sing. And when it's all over, everyone's going to press rewind and relive it again. [...] It's going to be as if you're walking into New York circa 1974: There's an art installation in the lobby, a DJ spinning your favorite records in the main room, and then the most haunting performance that you've ever seen on the stage. [...] I'm on the phone every minute of every day, talking to people, being creative, planning this Ball, and my tour manager is constantly saying, 'Come on, we have to go, we've got to go right now,' [...] But to me, the Ball is so important. I want so much to make every depression dollar that everyone spends on my show worth it. And, yeah, I'm paying a lot for it — out of my own pocket. But that's OK. I just don't care about money."
Live perfrorming Edit
Gaga prepared three versions of her show to cater to different sizes of the venues she played. In an interview with Billboard she said, "I am so mental and sleepless and excited for this tour, [...] This is so different than anything you've seen from me in the past year. What's fantastic about [the show] was I was able to plan it while I was on another tour that was on a much smaller scale, opening for the Dolls. This is going to be, like, the ultimate creative orgasm for me 'cause I'm ready to move on. I'm not restricted to a certain structure for my show anymore. No limitations. I'm free. [...] I want to have a clear schedule of the dimensions for each venue so that we can properly execute all the technology and visuals. I need to mentally prepare days in advance if things are going to be taken out; otherwise, I won't have a good show...Every show's gonna be an A show by the time I'm done screaming at everyone – 'Hang it! Hang everything! Find a place to hang it!' That's gonna be my motto." The set list consisted of songs from her debut album mainly, but some new songs like "Fashion" from the Confessions of a Shopaholic soundtrack were also considered. In May, during an interview with Edmonton Sun Gaga announced that the tour would continue through European festivals in summer. She also declared plans for a bigger North American tour including Canada. Gaga explained that the show is supposed to be much bigger than the previous version. She said, "Oh, you have no idea, [...] The tour that we're about to announce is such a dream that I have to pinch myself almost every day to remind myself that it's happening." Concert synopsis
Crazy Perfrorming Edit
Gaga riding a vespa on the show, during the performance of "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)". The show is mainly divided into four parts with the last part being the encore. The main show began with a video introduction called "The Heart" where Gaga appeared as alter-ego Candy Warhol. She was shown dressing up and displayed the symbol of a pink heart on her t-shirt and said "My name is Lady Gaga, and this is my Haus". The video was projected on a giant screen in front of the stage. As the video approached towards the end, a countdown from ten to one happened, Gaga's face was shown wearing the video sunglasses, and flames engulfed the screen as it dropped. Gaga appeared in the middle of the stage being surrounded by her dancers holding glass encrusted plates which camouflage them. She wore a futuristic black dress in geometric patterns with a triangular piece on her right breast and peplum. DJ Space Cowboy was present at a corner, playing the backing music. Gaga came out in the center as the plates rolled around and started singing "Paparazzi". The performance ends with continuous clicking of the camera. Gaga comes to the top of the pillar and sings a combination of "Starstruck" and "LoveGame" as she is joined by her dancers in tracks and jackets and hands Gaga her trademark disco stick. She said that she "travelled the whole world, and when I come home, I can still smell the stench of greed," and sang "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich". This leads to the end of the first part wherein a video introduction called "The Brain" starts with Gaga appearing again as Candy Warhol and brushing her hair. After the video ends, Gaga appears on the stage in a black and white leotard with high-pointed "puff" shoulders and lightning shaped symbols, while riding on a similarly colored vespa. She then starts singing "Money Honey". This is followed by the performance of "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" and "The Fame", both accompanied by hand-waiving and Gaga wore a hat made of toppled dominoes.
Background 2 Edit
Gaga speaking to the audience while wearing a dress made of plastic bubbles. Gaga then leaves the stage only to appear shortly after in a dress completely made of plastic bubbles. She sits in front of a glass piano and starts singing a new song called "Future Love" whose the lyrics referenced far-off galaxies, mechanical hearts and constellations. She was surrounded by a glowing mannequin while singing the song. During the European shows, "Future Love" was replaced by "Brown Eyes" from The Fame. "Future Love" was followed by a piano version of "Poker Face". She sometimes placed her leg on the piano and even played it with her stilettos. The stage had a blue setting amidst mechanical cloudings. Gaga left for a costume change as the third video interlude titled The Face starts. After the video ended, she then came on the stage wearing a tutu shaped dress with pointed shoulder pads and peplum. Her dancers were clad in Louis Vuitton Steven Sprouse printed trousers which matched Gaga's shoes. The backdrop changed to show blinking disco lights and Gaga stood in the center wearing her video sunglasses which display the line "Pop Music Will Never Be Low Brow". A remix of the intro for "Just Dance" started and Gaga was joined by her dancers on stage. The encore of the tour consisted of "Boys, Boys, Boys" and the original version of "Poker Face". Gaga was dressed in a khaki leotard embellished with crystals. She wore an admiral's cap and gloves on her hands, both were decorated with the word Gaga on them. Reception
Perfroming Poker Face, Just Dance, Love Game, Paparazzi Edit
Whitney Pastorek from Entertainment Weekly gave a mixed review of the concert saying, "Her onstage banter was at times a bit silly ("I travel the whole world, and when I come home, I can still smell the stench of greed") and the visuals occasionally lacking in coherent theme, but her voice was strong and refreshingly free of overbearing tracking vocals. For all her cocky bluster, perhaps the most undeniable aspect of GaGa's talent is this: The girl can, and does, sing." The show was described to be a "sartorial experimentation that it made Rocky Horror look like cotillion. One presumed the Lady approved – and somewhere, to be sure, Andy Warhol stirred in his grave." Sheri Linden from Yahoo! gave a positive review of the concert saying "Gaga's first theater tour is a hot ticket – and the Lady did not disappoint. Borrowing from Madonna, Grace Jones, David Bowie and Daryl Hannah's "Blade Runner" replicant, Gaga put on a compelling show revolving around her mysterious persona, a trio of leather-jacketed dancers, multiple costume changes and props and a lone DJ providing musical accompaniment." Christopher Muther from The Boston Globe reviewed the concert in House of Blues and said "The combination of song and spectacle was crowd-pleasing and exhilarating. Her club-ready songs were delivered by a woman who is clearly studied, intelligent, and talented." Lynn Saxberg from Ottawa Citizen gave a positive review of the concert at Bronson Centre in Ottawa and said, "Accompanied by a DJ who also played a funky electric guitar, the curvy dynamo (Gaga and Space Cowboy) fronted one of wildest spectacles ever mounted at Bronson Centre, an action-packed circus of sound, lights, video images, fog and choreography. Though heavy on theatrics, there was no skimping on the music." She also commented on Gaga's fashion sense and style in her costumes by saying, "In an hour, Gaga proved her star power by packing in all her hits, displaying influences that ranged from Motown to 80s pop, and exhibiting a fearless fashion sense in several costume changes, none of which covered her bum."
Talk To Public 2009 Edit
Andy Downing from Chicago Tribune was impressed by the show at House of Blues and said "The work is paying off. Just weeks into her first nationwide headlining tour, the 22-year-old New Yorker [...] already commands the stage like a seasoned pro." Jill Menze from Billboard also gave a positive review for the performance and complimented songs like "Just Dance", LoveGame", Poker Face", "Boys, Boys, Boys" and the fame obsessed "Paparazzi". The reviewer also said that "[From] her chart success, Lady Gaga has proven herself to be an of-the-moment pop sensation. Dig deeper, and it’s clear she’s versatile and talented enough to have staying power." Mikel Wood from Rolling Stone also gave a positive review saying "The tongue-in-cheek tabloid-victim shtick that provides some laughs on The Fame grew somewhat tiresome at the Wiltern, especially when the singer started spewing half-baked media-studies nonsense like, 'Some say Lady Gaga is a lie, and they’re right: I am a lie, and every day I kill to make it true.' Fortunately, this is a woman who knows how to lighten a mood: Within 10 minutes or so, she’d donned a flesh-colored leotard and a bedazzled admiral’s cap and was rhyming 'boys in cars' with 'buy us drinks in bars." On March 13, 2009 Gaga was presented with a plaque from the Recording Industry Association of America by social blogger Perez Hilton commemorating three million sales of her debut single "Just Dance", during her performance at the Wiltern Theatre. This show was also attended by rapper Kanye West. Craig Rosen from The Hollywood Reporter said that "Lady Gaga showed she's a serious contender to Madonna's crown Friday at the Wiltern. She might be a relative newcomer, but the artist born Stefani Joanne Germanotta commanded the stage with a royal air during her hourlong set, at times even sporting a glowing scepter.