PopCrush.com – “I’m gonna kick your a—, New York,” is the first thing Lady Gaga says when she addresses her hometown, sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden during the middle of ‘Just Dance.’ Tonight was her highly anticipated, HBO special, dubbed ‘Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour: Madison Square Garden.’
The Big Apple certainly had its a— handed to it during the course of the two-hour show. Gaga says that the Monster Ball is the greatest party on the planet — and she’s not exaggerating or engaging in a little hubris. If you’ve never had the pleasure of witnessing the Gaga experience live and in-the-flesh, this concert event does the trick and more: We saw black-and-white shots, backstage glimpses of costume changes, the crew holding water bottles with straws in them for Gaga to sip from, and the general chaos that goes along with putting a show on and keeping it on a schedule.
The event opens with the previously released clip of the gum-chomping Gaga grabbing a coffee — she takes it with milk and Splenda — at a bodega in her old stomping grounds of NYC. The also previously released clip of the vulnerable Gaga crying and saying she feels like a loser is also included, in truncated form. But there is little in the way of interview footage, and this is not Gaga’s version of ‘Truth or Dare.’ This special is all about the Monster Ball and Gaga coming to life for the Little Monsters.
We get to see her stretching before she arrives on stage in what unravels like a Broadway show. Some of our favorite things: The sparks-shooting bra for ‘Paparazzi’; the piano located under the hood of the car in the opening few songs; the reproduced subway car; Gaga calling out Liza Minelli and Marisa Tomei for being in attendance, which she admits she normally doesn’t do but had to in this case since both women influenced her infinitely; and the rousing version of ‘You & I,’ which felt like Gaga’s love letter to her home town.
Gaga closed out the show with an on-fire rendition of ‘Born This Way’ — and the Monster Ball ends on the highest of notes. But it doesn’t cease there.
The credits roll over Gaga and her back up singers belting out an absolutely stunning and soulful a cappella version of the song. It also reminds us that while Gaga is a consummate performer, presence and pop star, she is also a singer. Is there anything Gaga can’t do?
Yep, Gaga kicked NYC’s ass with her six inch stilettos and then some.