The Monster Ball Tour: Wikis


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The Monster Ball Tour
A female blond woman stands in a silvery metallic leotard. Her left foot is put forward and she wears black heels and sunglasses. Around her, she wears a number of concentric metallic rings which encircles her. Behind her, a number of drunk men are visible, some standing and some sitting. Above the woman the words 'The Monster Ball Tour' is written in white font. Beneath it, the words 'Starring LADY GAGA' are written in white on black.
The official tour poster
Tour by Lady Gaga
Supporting album The Fame Monster
Start date November 27, 2009
End date TBA
Shows 65 in North America
27 in Europe
15 in Oceania
4 in Asia
111 in Total
Lady Gaga tour chronology
The Fame Ball Tour
The Monster Ball Tour
(2009 - 2010)

The Monster Ball Tour is the second concert tour by American recording artist Lady Gaga to promote her second studio album, The Fame Monster. The tour was officially announced on October 15, 2009, after her joint concert tour with rapper Kanye West, titled Fame Kills, was suddenly canceled. Described by Gaga as "the first-ever 'pop electro opera'", The Monster Ball began four days after the release of The Fame Monster. Rapper Kid Cudi and singer Jason Derülo were confirmed as the supporting act for the American stop of the tour, while the band Alphabeat will support the UK stop of the tour. Virgin Mobile USA sponsored the tour. Gaga's production team Haus of Gaga designed the poster and the stage of the concert, including a giant contraption called "The Orbit".

Gaga and her production team developed a stage that looks like a frame with forced perspectives and everything for the show fitted within it. She felt that the design would allow her creative control. Since the album dealt with the paranoias faced by Gaga over the year, the main theme of the show became evolution, with Gaga portraying growth as the show progressed. She compared the setting of the stage with that of a hollowed-out television set. Elements of the cancelled tour with Kanye West were incorporated in some parts. The set list of the tour consisted of songs from The Fame Monster as well as her debut album The Fame.

The show was divided into five segments with the last one being the encore. Each segment featured Gaga in a new dress and was followed by a video interlude, portraying Gaga in Gothic and artsy poses, to the next one. The show began with Gaga appearing from behind an electric maze of lights. It continued with acoustic piano playing, dancing in costumes made of guns, Cleopatra style head gears and fairy-tale Rapunzel style hair. Contemporary critics praised the show, commending Gaga's singing abilities and sense of style and fashion. They were also impressed by the pompousness and the theatricality of the show, comparing it to the tours of artists like Madonna.



Gaga performing "Just Dance" while playing a keytar.

Initially, hip-hop artist Kanye West and Lady Gaga had plans to launch a joint tour together. Fame Kills: Starring Lady Gaga and Kanye West was confirmed in September 2009 as a concert tour that West and Gaga would co-headline.[1] In the aftermath of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West made a public statement that he would take a break from the music industry following the media and public reaction to his outburst during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for winning the VMA for Best Female Video. Nevertheless, the complete schedule for Fame Kills was released, with the tour set to begin on November 10, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.[2] Shortly afterwards, the tour was officially canceled without any explanation.[3] Gaga addressed the situation at Billboard's annual Women in Music luncheon where she cited creative differences as the reason for the tour's cancellation. In an interview she stated, "[Kanye] is going to take a break, but the good news is, I am not."[4]

After ensuring the public that she would be embarking on a solo tour in lieu of the defunct Fame Kills tour, Gaga officially announced The Monster Ball Tour on October 15, 2009. The tour had originally been planned to debut in London in early 2010, but will now kick off on November 27, 2009 in Montreal, QC.[5][6] Rapper Kid Cudi and singer Jason Derülo were confirmed as the supporting act for the tour. While Kid Cudi is confirmed to be supporting Gaga from the beginning of the tour, DeRulo will join the tour beginning on December 28, 2009.[5][7] The official poster for the tour features Gaga in her signature Versace 676 sunglasses and what she has dubbed "The Orbit", which she first wore on the October 3, 2009 edition of Saturday Night Live. The contraption was designed by Nasir Mazhar in collaboration with Gaga's own creative production company, Haus of Gaga.[4][8] The tour was sponsored by Virgin Mobile USA. It introduced the "Free I.P." program, offering fans who volunteer their time to homeless youth organizations access to free show tickets.[9]


Gaga performing "LoveGame" on the tour

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gaga explained that she wanted to put together an expensive looking, beautiful show which would be affordable by her fans.[6] She explained that the tour is a "pop-electro opera" because the theatrics and the story elements interwoven in the tour are played like an opera. According to her the design of the show is innovative and forward in terms of creativeness. Gaga wanted to change the shape of the stage and designed one with Haus of Gaga that is "essentially a frame with forced perspective, and the frame is put inside the stage."[6] Gaga explained,

"It's got kind of a triangular inset, like a diamond, and everywhere we're playing, the dimensions fit this box that I'm bringing, so it's this giant box that fits into every show. So no matter where I go, my fans get the same experience. So often you go into theaters and there's ambient light flying in from all sorts of places, and the audience is in different spots, and the stage is in different shapes and lengths and widths and depths, so this is a way for me to control all the light and all of the different elements of the show."[6]

The theme of the show is evolution.[10] According to Gaga, the songs on The Fame Monster represents the personal demons that she had faced. Hence while developing the record Gaga spoke about original sin and demons inside human beings. She said, "So we talked about growth, and that led us into this kind of scientific space, and we started talking about evolution and the evolution of humanity and how we begin as one thing, and we become another."[6] This theme of monsters and evolution is supposed to play a part in the fashion for the tour, which according to Gaga is "another level from where we were with the Fame Ball. [...] It's going to be a truly artistic experience that is going to take the form of the greatest post-apocalyptic house party that you've ever been to." Although Gaga stated that she was inspired by the things her and Kanye were doing with the Fame Kills tour, she concluded, "...I made a decision based on integrity not to use any of the things that we had designed together." Later, she agreed that it was "the great lost tour".[6] Emphasizing further on the theme of evolution, Gaga said:

"I begin as a cell and I grow and change throughout the show, [...] And it's also done in what now is becoming my aesthetic, which is, you know, it's part pop, part performance art, part fashion installation — so all of those things are present. [..] It's a story, it's me battling all my monsters along the way. I'm playing all the music from The Fame, all the music from The Fame Monster. And the stage that I designed with the Haus [of Gaga] is a giant cube that sits. Imagine you were to hollow out a TV and just break the fourth wall on a TV screen. It forces you to look at the center of the TV. It's my way of saying, 'My music is art.'"[11]

Revamped 2010 shows

In December 2009, Gaga revealed that for her 2010 concerts, she planned to cancel the whole concept of the show, and start fresh.[12] She felt that the revamp of the show was needed as the original tour was constructed in a very short span of time.

"It's kind of funny because, after Kanye and I split up for this tour, I was really unsure if I could get a show together in time for my fans, [...] But I didn't want to disappoint them and not tour over Christmas, and I had a new record coming out, so ... what's exciting about this show is that I was able to put together something that, in truth, I never would have done if I had a longer amount of time. [...] [F]or the next version of the Monster Ball, which is going to be in February when I begin in the U.K. with my arena tour, I'm throwing out the stage. My team thinks I'm completely psychotic. But I don't f---ing care what they think. [...] Well, just to give you an idea, the stage is about four times the size of the one we're on now and conceptually, it's completely different. One thing that has been lost over the past 10-15 years, in pop music, is the idea of showbiz. And this is definitely going to bring that back"[12]

During an interview with London's 95.8 Capital FM radio station, Gaga further elaborated on the changes in the show. She said that the show was constructed like a musical theatre. It also incorporated a number of contemporary and old musical pieces, some of them being composed specifically for the show itself. A number of surprises were mentioned by her.[13] A new keytar was constructed for the show. Known as 'Emma', the keytar was played by her at the 2010 BRIT Awards on February 16, 2010. The instrument was created by Gaga's production team Haus of Gaga and she said, "We have this new instrument that I brought to the Brits tonight, 'Emma,' which is what I was playing on the stage. She's a hybrid from all these other instruments, which is quite funny to deal with."[13] During an interview on KISS-FM with Ryan Seacrest, on his show On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Gaga explained,

"It's still called Monster Ball, but it's more of a musical and less of a concert. It has a New York theme, it's a story, and the story is that me and my friends are in New York and we're going to the Monster Ball, and we get lost."[13]

Concert synopsis

Gaga performs "Speechless" during the piano segment of The Monster Ball Tour

The show started with a video of Gaga floating in water.[14] Then she appeared behind a giant, green, laser lit video screen featuring scrim lights, in a futuristic silver jewelled jumpsuit with bulbs on it,[15] with matching eye makeup and mask, singing the song "Dance in the Dark" from The Fame Monster, while dancers dressed in white balaclavas and white jumpsuits moved around her.[16][17] The scrim resembled an electric math grid which was lifted during the performance.[18] After the song she strapped on a portable silver jewelled keyboard and started performing "Just Dance" while inside a white cube from which she emerged from the top, and the video screen came up. She was raised on a platform with a keytar over her shoulder as eight dancers in white bodysuits locked into step below her.[16][17] This was followed by a brief video intermission and Gaga returned with an elaborate off-white costume that resembled an alien ecto-skeleton. She started performing "LoveGame" which ended with Gaga pointing towards her groins.[16][17] A digital background of flames was featured with the dancers wearing skeletal headgear.[14] As she got out of her ecto-skeleton outfit, she stripped down to a silver bodysuit for another The Fame Monster song, "Alejandro", which saw her being carried by her crotch by one of her male dancers and lowered onto another male dancer.[16]

Gaga performing "Money Honey" on the tour.

The section was followed by a video interlude featuring snarling dogs and brooding ravens.[19] The performance of "Monster" began with Gaga emerging in a black feathered jacket and performing dance moves reminiscent of Michael Jackson. The backdrop featured a black bird's wings.[18] It continued with two songs from The Fame Monster: "So Happy I Could Die" and "Teeth", where she removed the feathered dress. She then started performing the song "Speechless" and continued at the piano with the acoustic version of "Poker Face"; she played the piano while balancing on her piano stool and holding one leg up in the air.[16] Rapper Kid Cudi joined her then to perform his song "Make Her Say" which contains a sample of "Poker Face". This segment was followed by the performance of "Fashion" and "The Fame", during these performances Gaga wore a gold Egyptian styled crown and matching body suit.[16] The dress was compared to the garment of a viking.[20] Gaga crawled atop her piano during the follow-up songs "The Fame" and "Money Honey".[17] Upholstered in black vinyl and nearly nude in a red patent leather bikini, she followed "Money Honey" with "Boys Boys Boys," backed by a squadron of skinny, shirtless, snake-hipped leather boys.[21] Bondage inspired black leather dress with guns hanging from it and a hat made of muzzles,[22] were worn during "Poker Face" and Gaga pumped her hands in the air while performing the song.[17] This was followed by Gaga sitting on a dentist's chair and spreading her legs during "Paper Gangsta".[16] Another video interlude followed displaying arty poses of Gaga in gothic looks.[18]

She returned on the stage while wearing multiple donned braided extensions for "Paparazzi". Gaga was perched atop a railing and from each of her braids, a dancer was attached on the stage. A backdrop of stars were shown during the performance. For this performance, Gaga had collaborated with her Haus of Gaga creative partner Matthew "Matty Dada" Williams. She commented,

"I had a different vision for it in the beginning. Dada thought it should be braided, and I said, 'I never wear my hair braided.' He said, 'I know, but it's so Rapunzel, and it's something people deeply understand. And when you're wearing sunglasses on a scaffolding piece with a giant alien dancing behind you, I promise you it's not going to look like Rapunzel.'"[23]

The performance ended with Gaga faking her death. This was followed by "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) which signified her rebirth as she descended from the top amidst white lights and mechanical fog.[19] She wore a giant human sized gyroscope around her, which was developed by the Haus of Gaga and was named "The Orbit".[22] The last song of the show was "Bad Romance" which she performed in an '80s-inspired white power suit with exaggerated high shoulders and highwaisted pants.[16] The show ended with a video of Gaga getting a heart-shaped tattoo on her shoulder with the word "Dad" in the center of it.[18]


Gaga performing "Paper Gangsta" while tying her dancers to a chair.

Jane Stevenson from Toronto Sun gave the concert four out of five stars and said that "Lady Gaga came across as a confident, colourful, and campy performer. [...] Gaga's success was evident with slick-looking videos, lights, elaborate costumes, dancers, and yes, a band, even if her stage was sometimes left dark as she left to make numerous changes."[16] T'Cha Dunlevy for The Gazette noted that the performance was lacking ("The elements are there but they haven't all been brought together"), adding that the show never reached its peak until the end, when Gaga performed the "real rendition" of "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance." "Better late than never," Dunlevy concluded.[17] Aedan Helmer from Jam! magazine said that "At first blush, it might seem the real driving force behind Gaga's meteoric rise to fame is her hand-picked cadre of costume and set designers – dubbed Haus of Gaga – who seemingly know no bounds when it comes to pushing the envelope of haute couture and the theatre of the absurd. [...] But what really sets Gaga apart from the middling masses of lip-synching Britney clones and Idol wannabes is her pure, unadulterated musical talent. [...] The Lady can sing."[24] Theatre critic Kelly Nestruck, while writing for The Guardian said "While The Monster Ball has nothing on the great operas or the golden age of musical theatre, Lady Gaga's "electro-pop opera" is at least twice as entertaining and infinitely fresher than any stage musical written over the last decade."[22] Lauren Carter from Boston Herald praised the show saying "[Gaga] only has two albums under her belt (maybe closer to one-and-a-half) but who cares? Every song feels like a hit, and Gaga-as-star is already taking on Madonna-like proportions. [...] After [the show] at the Wang Theater, fans could justifiably walk away thinking Lady Gaga is crazy, brilliant or both."[14] Jeremy Adams from Rolling Stone reviewed the performance at Wang Center in Boston and said that "Throughout the evening, Gaga [..] aimed for a kind of pop theatricality that might potentially cement her burgeoning status as performance artist."[18]

A blond woman in white pants and black bustier stands inside a number of metallic circular rings. She holds a microphone to her mouth with her left hand and her right hand makes a claw like gesture. The woman is flanked by men and women in white dress and fierce expressions with their eyes being white in color.
Gaga, surrounded by her dancers, performing the final song "Bad Romance" while standing inside a gyroscope.

Sam Adams from The Philadelphia Inquirer felt that "Gaga seemed isolated on stage, and oddly tentative, as if not quite ready to assume stardom as her right rather than a privilege contingent on each passing instant."[25] Chris Johnson from Daily Mail complimented the costumes worn in the tour.[20] Aidin Vaziri of San Francisco Chronicle said that "During her 90-minute performance - not so much a live concert as a meticulously choreographed spectacle - Lady Gaga also evoked Kanye West with the futuristic set, Britney Spears in her heavy-lidded stage movements, Courtney Love with her interminable between-song monologues highlighted by four-letter squelches and - who else? - Madonna for, oh, just about everything else."[26] Jim Harrington from San Jose Mercury News felt that the show would have been better technically if around thirty minutes were lessened from it.[15] James Montogomery from MTV reviewed the concert at San Diego and said that "[Gaga] powered through and turned the San Diego Sports Arena into a raucous, delightfully raw discotheque."[19] Joe Brown from Las Vegas Sun said that "Lady Gaga out-Cher-ed Cher, made Cirque du Soleil and Britney's 'Circus tour' look like county fair carnivals, and made New Year's Eve in Las Vegas anticlimactic.[21] Ann Powers from Los Angeles Times commented that the tour was "an invigoratingly ambitious show, executed with vigor by its star and her expressive dancers."[27] Jon Pareles from The New York Times said that the your always provided "something worth a snapshot: a sci-fi tableau, perhaps, or a skimpy, glittery costume. The more her image gets around, the better Lady Gaga does."[28] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian reviewed the opening show of the European leg, and commented that "it takes a certain je ne sais quoi to open your show doing something that looks suspiciously like mime on a rickety metal staircase while wearing an outfit with shoulderpads the size of the deck on a small aircraft carrier."[29]

Opening acts


Tour dates

Date City Country Venue
North America[5][32][33][34]
November 27, 2009 Montreal Canada Bell Centre
November 28, 2009 Toronto Air Canada Centre
November 29, 2009 Ottawa Scotiabank Place
December 1, 2009 Boston United States Wang Center
December 2, 2009
December 3, 2009 Camden Susquehanna Bank Center
December 9, 2009 Vancouver Canada Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 10, 2009
December 11, 2009
December 13, 2009 San Francisco United States Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
December 14, 2009
December 17, 2009 Las Vegas Pearl Concert Theater
December 18, 2009
December 19, 2009 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
December 21, 2009 Los Angeles Nokia Theatre
December 22, 2009
December 23, 2009
December 27, 2009 New Orleans UNO Lakefront Arena
December 28, 2009 Atlanta Fox Theatre
December 29, 2009
December 31, 2009 Miami James L. Knight Center
January 2, 2010
January 3, 2010 Orlando UCF Arena
January 7, 2010 St. Louis Fox Theatre
January 8, 2010 Chicago Rosemont Theatre
January 9, 2010
January 10, 2010
January 12, 2010 Detroit Joe Louis Arena
January 13, 2010
January 20, 2010 New York City Radio City Music Hall[A]
January 21, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 24, 2010
January 26, 2010 West Lafayette Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music[B]
February 18, 2010 Manchester United Kingdom Manchester Evening News Arena
February 20, 2010 Dublin Ireland The O2
February 21, 2010
February 22, 2010 Belfast United Kingdom Odyssey Arena
February 24, 2010 Liverpool Echo Arena
February 26, 2010 London The O2 Arena
February 27, 2010
March 1, 2010 Glasgow Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
March 3, 2010 Cardiff Cardiff International Arena
March 4, 2010 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
March 5, 2010 Birmingham LG Arena
March 13, 2010 Auckland New Zealand Vector Arena
March 14, 2010
March 17, 2010 Sydney Australia Sydney Entertainment Centre[40]
March 18, 2010
March 20, 2010 Newcastle Newcastle Entertainment Centre
March 23, 2010 Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
March 24, 2010
March 26, 2010 Brisbane Brisbane Entertainment Centre
March 27, 2010
March 29, 2010 Canberra AIS Arena
April 1, 2010 Perth Burswood Dome
April 3, 2010 Adelaide Adelaide Entertainment Centre
April 5, 2010 Wollongong WIN Entertainment Centre
April 7, 2010 Sydney Sydney Entertainment Centre
April 9, 2010 Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
April 15, 2010 Kobe Japan World Memorial Hall
April 17, 2010 Yokohama Yokohama Arena
April 18, 2010
May 7, 2010 Stockholm Sweden Ericsson Globe
May 8, 2010
May 10, 2010 Hamburg Germany Color Line Arena
May 11, 2010 Berlin O2 World
May 15, 2010 Arnhem Netherlands Gelredome XS
May 17, 2010 Antwerp Belgium Sportpaleis Merksem
May 18, 2010
May 21, 2010 Paris France Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
May 22, 2010
May 24, 2010 Oberhausen Germany König Pilsener
May 27, 2010 Nottingham United Kingdom Trent FM Arena[C]
May 28, 2010 Birmingham LG Arena
May 30, 2010 London The O2 Arena
May 31, 2010
June 2, 2010 Manchester Manchester Evening News Arena
June 3, 2010
June 4, 2010 Sheffield Sheffield Arena[C]
North America[44]
June 28, 2010 Montreal Canada Bell Centre
July 1, 2010 Boston United States TD Garden
July 4, 2010 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
July 6, 2010 New York City Madison Square Garden
July 11, 2010 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre
July 14, 2010 Cleveland United States Quicken Loans Arena
July 15, 2010 Indianapolis Conseco Fieldhouse
July 17, 2010 St. Louis Scottrade Center
July 20, 2010 Oklahoma City Ford Center
July 22, 2010 Dallas American Airlines Center
July 25, 2010 Houston Toyota Center
July 28, 2010 Denver Pepsi Center
July 31, 2010 Phoenix US Airways Center
August 3, 2010 Kansas City Sprint Center
August 11, 2010 Los Angeles Staples Center
August 13, 2010 Las Vegas MGM Grand
August 16, 2010 San Jose HP Pavilion
August 19, 2010 Portland Rose Garden
August 21, 2010 Tacoma Tacoma Dome
August 23, 2010 Vancouver Canada General Motors Place
August 26, 2010 Edmonton Rexall Place
August 30, 2010 St. Paul United States Xcel Energy Center
September 1, 2010 Milwaukee Bradley Center
September 4, 2010 Detroit The Palace of Auburn Hills
September 5, 2010 Pittsburgh Consol Energy Center
September 7, 2010 Washington, DC Verizon Center
September 8, 2010 Charlottesville John Paul Jones Arena
September 14, 2010 Philadelphia Wachovia Center
September 16, 2010 Hartford XL Center
September 18, 2010 Charlotte Time Warner Cable Arena
September 19, 2010 Raleigh RBC Center
  • A^ The ticket money from the final performance at Radio City, was donated for the Haiti earthquake relief. Gaga announced on the re-scheduled show at Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music on January 26, 2010, that about $500,000 was collected for the relief.[45]
  • B^ After the opening acts, it was announced that Gaga would be unable to appear due to illness. She posted an apology on her Twitter account, and stated that the performance would be rescheduled from January 18, 2010 to January 26, 2010.[46]
  • C^ These dates were rescheduled from March 2010 due to logistic problems stopping Gaga from being able to perform. All tickets bought for the original dates were valid upon entry to the rescheduled shows.

Box office score data

Venue City Tickets Sold / Available Gross Revenue
Bell Centre Montreal 12,532 / 12,832 (98%) $564,821[47]
Air Canada Centre Toronto 12,265 / 12,265 (100%) $619,497[48]
Scotiabank Place Ottawa 7,645 / 7,645 (100%) $375,875[48]
Wang Center Boston 7,056 / 7,056 (100%) $385,924[49]
Susquehanna Bank Center Camden 7,143 / 7,143 (100%) $291,295[49]
Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver 8,220 / 8,220 (100%) $479,149[50]
Nokia Theatre Los Angeles 20,559 / 20,559 (100%) $944,680[51]
Fox Theatre Atlanta 8,897 / 8,897 (100%) $489,849[51]
James L. Knight Center Miami 9,365 / 9,365 (100%) $445,933[52]
UCF Arena Orlando 6,785 / 6,785 (100%) $283,886[53]
Rosemont Theatre Chicago 12,712 / 13,032 (97%) $610,177[54]
Radio City Music Hall New York 23,684 / 23,684 (100%) $1,360,515[55]
Elliott Hall of Music West Lafayette 5,765 / 5,765 (100%) $198,893[56]
Total 142,628 / 145,248 (98%) $7,050,494


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