Live Review and Photo Gallery: Lady Gaga – Sydney Monster Hall (13.07.11)

In the biggest promotional coup that Sydney has seen since Oprah came to town, last night Lady Gaga exploded onto the Sydney “Monster” Hall stage for what was no doubt the loudest, most extravagant event the venue has seen since Margaret and David argued about some films during the Sydney Film Festival.

The stage design, setlist and choreography were all touted as a one-off for the star, embracing the sort of spectacle we could expect from her stadium shows, while fitting it into the unique space of the Sydney Town… ahem, Monster Hall. In her opening number “Born This Way”, Gaga even made her way up to the grand organ that features in the room, and seemed to play a few notes. The music, however, was too loud to know one way or another whether she actually played anything. Oh, but it was grand alright.

The crowd – made up of 800 “golden ticket winners” and 200 A-List VIPS – were an enthusiastic bunch. Most of the “Little Monsters” (as she dubs her hardcore fans) were dressed to impress, got their claws up and kept the event looking mighty fine for television (find out more on where you can view the footage at the end of the article)… but most importantly, they gave the room a terribly exciting atmosphere.

The set ran for an hour, separated into a four parts: the first saw Gaga arrive onto the stage surrounded by bondage-laden dancers (both male and female), who took care of some pretty well orchestrated choreography. Not all tracks were played in their entirety, but in this section we saw her run through hits “Born This Way”, “Just Dance”, “Poker Face”, “Telephone” and “Alejandro” kick off a fast action set, which ended with her death.

She left the stage briefly, allowing for some guitar solos from her shirtless guitar players before she resurrected herself in a wheelchair, dressed as a mermaid for “You & I”. She hit the keys for “Hair” (proving to the naysayers that she can play piano and sing! Unlike SOME pop stars out there…), got the claws out for “Bad Romance” and disappeared again briefly (bass solo time now!) before returning for “Edge of Glory”.

She kept the fans waiting for “Judas” which closed out a very entertaining set, as she fell from a platform and the lights fell. Theatrical? You betcha. It was a joy to watch for start to finish: Gaga is a performer through and through, and regardless of how you feel about her music, she takes you on one hell of a ride through the veins of commercial modern pop music. And based on a statement from her during the show (where she threw an Australian flag around a couple of times), when it comes to her time in Australia, she says that she’ll “never be away for that long again” (referring of course to the fact it’s been over a year since she was least here)… Given the chatter on the night, I think we should anticipate a massive year-end tour announcement pretty soon.

The best thing about this whole promotion was that it proved once and for all that the music isn’t dead, and multi-millionare megastars can still be born in this industry. And when people line up from midday to get the best spot, you know that this only is the case because the crowds exist and are enthusiastic about it. And as someone who loves live music, I can’t support that sort of behaviour enough. I just wish they’d do it more often!

Lady Gaga’s live performance of “Edge Of Glory” and a taste of “You And I” at Sydney Monster Hall plus behind the scenes footage are available now for eager fans on Vodafone Mobiles, and online at, Today Network websites and Vodafone’s Facebook page.

As for the rest of the show, this world exclusive event will premiere on July 29 from 6pm on Nine’s digital channel GO!, on radio across Austereo’s Today Network and Southern Cross Media networks and online at, followed by Channel [V] at 9pm. Vodafone and 3 customers will also be able to view the show and content from GAGA LIVE at Sydney Monster Hall directly from their mobiles via Vodafone Central for Vodafone customers andPlanet 3 for 3 customers.

Photos within article by Jacob Dezwart. Used with Permission.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.