Billboard -- Lady Gaga brought her "Born This Way Ball" to L.A.'s Staples Center on Sunday night (Jan. 20) for the first of two back-to-back shows at the venue, and her fourth U.S. show on this massive tour. Following an incessant "Gaga" chant, the eccentric pop princess took the stage around 8:30 PM, as a curtain dropped to reveal Gaga emerging from a three-story castle and riding a mechanical stallion while escorted by guards. The evening continued as a sea of theatrics, choreography and quirky outfits, which rotated with nearly every song. The two-and-a-half-hour stage show followed Gaga through several acts - taking down a predator while dressed as a glitzy alien in "Government Hooker," giving birth to herself (by means of a giant inflatable womb) during "Born This Way," singing "Alejandro" on a raw meat couch, morphing into a human motorcycle as part of "Heavy Metal Lover." Her backing band, which played inside the confines of the castle walls, accompanied her on-stage antics - each assigned to their own portion of the rotating landscape.
Towards the end of the evening, Gaga slowed things down by jumping behind a piano that looked as if it could have been fashioned from portions of her fake castle. She performed "The Queen," which she dedicated to several of her gay friends, and "You & I," before instructing the audience to look at their cell phones. Gaga then proceeded to dial the number of one lucky fan in attendance and serenaded him with a stripped-down version of "Born This Way." A boy named Kyle picked up the phone crying hysterically and repeating, "I love you." He was so flustered that he spelled his name out under his breath and all Gaga could get was "KY," which she instantly deemed his nickname.
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Throughout the evening, Gaga took several opportunities to bring light to her stance on human equality, preaching: "Tonight it doesn't matter if we have different views or like different shit. Tonight you're fucking free!" She repeatedly thanked her "little monsters" for attending and asked the crowd how many of them had to work the next day, to which she remarked: "I don't give a shit because I have to work tomorrow too. I would like you all to have a Lady Gaga hangover in the morning." The set ended with an encore rendition of "The Edge of Glory" and "Marry The Night." Setlist Highway Unicorn (Road to Love) Government Hooker Born This Way Black Jesus + Amen Fashion Bloody Mary Bad Romance Judas Fashion of His Love Just Dance Love Game Telephone Hair Electric Chapel Heavy Metal Lover Bad Kids The Queen You and I Born This Way (reprise) Americano Poker Face Alejandro Paparazzi Scheiße Encore The Edge of Glory Marry The Night
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