Going Gaga For
Lady Gaga On HBO

"Do you know how many times I’ve come to this arena? And now, they’re opening the doors for us," Lady Gaga says at the beginning of her HBO special. Thus illustrates the selfless persona of the pop culture entity that is Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga returns home to New York City on one of the best HBO concert specials in recent memory. There are two facets to Lady Gaga presents The Monster's Ball: At Madison Square Garden that make it utterly brilliant.

Lady Gaga live on HBO

First, the audience garners a feeling that the Madison Square Garden performance for Lady Gaga is a homecoming. Monsters Ball Live is certainly that and so much more. Secondly, Lady Gaga rocks the stage like no other!

Gaga hits the stage after an emotional opening and it's off to the musical mastery of showmanship that is Lady Gaga and her live show. By her second song, Just Dance, it is clear this is not your ordinary HBO concert special. It's Lady Gaga and all her gregariousness.

HBO has scored a coup by broadcasting the Lady Gaga special on Sunday, May 8. Mother's Day has never had such a soundtrack. With each successive song, the New York City raised artist shows why she is the embodiment of the American-New York City success story. Her banter between songs showcases a side to Gaga that has only previously been hinted at before.

Even though the song list runs the gamut of meteoric hits, the theme is visibly a mantra of embracing one's self. Born This Way, the title track from Lady Gaga's latest and greatest, permeates throughout. With her lyrics, in-between-song chats and stage presentation, the singer manages to create an air of expectation that only increases with each new element of the Lady Gaga live performance.

HBO's live concerts have an illustrious history of bringing astronomical shows to the masses that are only truly attained by thousands of fans in each arena where the superstar artist performs. With the Lady Gaga presents The Monster's Ball: At Madison Square Garden premiere, that tradition of musical excellence on HBO continues. The pomp of music's newest and most popular chameleon comes home through Gaga's sharply choreographed dance sequences, her astounding vocal prowess, an explosive stage show and the veracity of her hit list. Telephone, Poker Face, Born This Way, Love Game and Bad Romance are merely a sampling of the track list that will astound.

Lady Gaga and HBO are a musical marriage matched in heaven. Her ability to do and say what she wants is merely the icing on the cake that is the wonderful experience of Lady Gaga presents The Monster's Ball: At Madison Square Garden on so many levels.

Lady Gaga live on HBO: Born This Way performance

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Comments on "Lady Gaga HBO special review"

Mad November 25, 2011 | 8:51 PM

I am not to happy over all with this so called unique copy cat. She is a person who gains popularity by being someone who will always be an outcast in society. I don't mind people if they confine to themselves and not on tv. Marriage is about one man and one woman and will always be Gaga. 90% of Gaga fans are and I happen to not be one after what I saw where 2 guys kissed. That is garbage and will always be. Outcast.

TB May 22, 2011 | 10:55 AM

Having heard both live, Lady Gaga is a much better singer than Madonna. But the choreography, outfits and schtick is Madonna even down to the black and white video with the crying and fake behind the scenes video. Madonna like Lady Gaga borrowed from a lot of entertainers as well. I agree Gaga adds Freddie Mercury (Radio Gaga), Elton John, Warhol and the Madonna slinky outfits that overshadows the fact she has a good voice. I could do without the dime store philosophy screamed from the stage. It is not particularly deep, revelatory or sincere.

lololee May 22, 2011 | 12:59 AM

For someone who can play the piano, dance (somewhat) and sing (a little, she's no Areatha Franklin) Why does she insist on repackaging Madonna, Elton John, Grace Jones, Andy Warhol, and so forth. She's a complete rip-off artist, with the potential of being a original. She chooses to take the easy or better yet lazy way out, by repackaging other peoples idea's. Her new song is supposedly about being yourself but she doesn't even know who she is. How can one know who they are if their constantly attempting to be other people? People are falling for her bogus BS left and right,all the well (you) idiots are making this shrewd phony rich-LOL! I love it, she's getting rich on you're stupidity. Too stupid to see pass her BS long-winded rants about Nothing! Just listen to her interviews if you want to see the real (?) whomever she is, outside of Lady Gaga. She supports the s and yet is uncomfortable admitting she's Biual? or maybe she isn't, from what I hear she's just afraid of being alone and so, anybody that is "any-body" will do. She's a lazy talent with the potential of becoming a original talent, all she has to do is stop stealing other peoples materials. And to the Wanker up above who called Madonna a "Geriatric deviant" Honey you'll be praying once you've turned 50 to look half a good as that women. Madonna is very attractive, takes very good care of herself, and deserves a little respect and credit for having the ability, the fortitude, and business savvy, to have remind relevant for over 25 years. Can anyone dissing Madonna say the same? can anyone dissing Madonna say that at 50 they too will be that ripped in shape, strong minded and rich? probably not, but you'll complain anyway out of shear inferiority. Madonna's classic, Lady Gaga's a rip off artist masquerading around like someone with real creativity.

David Rael May 19, 2011 | 3:28 AM

Wish I could see her live. Instead I pretend to be her in my room. I made a cover of Edge of Glory using trombones, cellos, synths and my hands. Please watch and let me know what you think! http://www.youtube/watch?v=5UN-582Ba3c :)

Phill May 14, 2011 | 11:30 AM

I got nothing against Gaga doing her thing making millions of dollars but stick to the bubble gum pop. Her breaking away every so often to show this joke of a guitarist for what im guessing were solos. Then calling him the "Best" and "Jesus Christ", now im assuming his name is Jesus. Point is she needs to leave the Anti-Christ message to Metal and leave guitar solos to the people that know how to play. I was bullied in high school to, you don't see me crying about it in front of millions of people on HBO. Stick to your BS music and keep the preaching to the preachers.

JC May 13, 2011 | 4:30 PM

I love GAGA!!!! I want to buy the HBO show on blu-ray!

NukNuk May 12, 2011 | 11:16 AM

To all the idiots going on about Lady GaGa's supposed superior talent - when compared to Madonna; I ask you this: If she is so much more talented than the geriatric diva of deviance Madonna), why is she blatantly ripping her off, producing this fluffy pop crap that the old ho did 20+ years ago? Born this way IS Express yourself. Now if you are hearing impaired, I apologize in advance. If you are not and still cannot see (or hear rather)that, get off the drugs and get help. GaGa is a damn hack and so very lame. The 'I am rebelling against my Catholic upbringing' was old when Madonna did it. Now it is just weak. Write an Anti-Islam song and talk about how you would be treated in Iran parading around like this GaGa. I dare ya!

Alicia May 10, 2011 | 10:31 AM

Actually, I don't see anywhere that the reviewer said Judas was performed?!

star May 09, 2011 | 7:27 PM

I watched it for little bit, and then i went into convulsions, i had to throw up. Once it settled, i watched her again. trying to dance, trying to throw those chubby thighs into some kind of rhythm. i rushed to the bathroom again. that was enough for me. seeing those chunky legs, those uncoordinated legs, that overflowing belly, that awkward y-me-i'm-hot try was too much. vomit.

Jones May 09, 2011 | 2:24 AM

Why is everyone still bringing up Madonna all the time? Why are these haters so in love with Madonna? I grew up in the Madonna era, I can tell you from day one Borderline, that woman was a complete facade - she was a cultural icon with no substance whatsoever...she couldn't sing, couldn't play any instruments, couldn't write her own songs (no, I don't credit someone with being a songwriter when all they do is come up with a few lines and hums them to a real musician and producer - that's BS. If you wanna call that songwriting, I can show you a billion 4 year olds that can do it). Madonna's got about 1/100th the talent that Lady Gaga has. Lady Gaga is a real musician, trained singer and songwriter, who was playing rock covers in the clubs in NY five years ago. What's with all this holy worship for Madonna? She blows. And as far as the comparisons? I don't understand that either. Why? Because they're both blond female pop singers? What about Mick Jagger to Steven Tyler to Axl Rose? Guns N' Roses is just a poor man's Aerosmith. I am a 40's rocker that grew up on metal - I went to the Monster Ball and it was one of the best shows I've seen in decades, very inspirational, and the energy in the arena was off the charts. She is nothing like Madonna, who always seemed phony to me. Lady Gaga live is 100% genuine to the core.

MonsterBalls May 08, 2011 | 10:20 PM

Judas was NOT on the playlist. The special was filmed before Judas was released. The Monster Ball is a great experience and seeing the HBO special just can't compare to being there in person. But it is the next best thing to being there, and I'll watch it many times to recapture the excitement.

Erin May 08, 2011 | 2:45 PM

The " I want my money back" was followed by just kidding and a laugh. It was a joke. The whole "lets go to the monster ball" theme was justa loose idea. Ut's funnt that people criticize over everything. I guess when you are as good as she is,you have to nitpick b/c she sets the bar so high and you need something to pinpoint. Madonna has imaginative ideas...when it comes to her concerts..sometimes... but Madonna doesnt have the voice or musicality thats she has or the ability to play many instruments as Gaga does. Madonna has an arrogance on stage and never looks like she is happy or having fun. No energy. Doesnt take time to talk to her audience and if u were AT Gaga's concert, you would see how much she does interact..alot of this wasn't shown in the special. Gaga looks like she is having fun and cares about her fans whereas Madonna was very "here.. im performing for u, is it over yet". The concert was great and Gaga has so much talent. She is just beginning. Haters will be haters though but thats not stopping the Lady...and her body was just kick ass!!!

Kerrie May 08, 2011 | 11:12 AM

I love Gaga and appreciate what she's done for the community. I really do. But GaGa live lacks the production values and special effects her album/radio songs have. I don't want to hear her sing "Telephone" or "Just Dance" without those effects, even though GaGa has a lovely trained voice, unlike so many other pop stars . . . (Spears? I'm lookin' at you.) Plus, there were a lot of inconsistencies in what she said on stage. "I hate money," followed up later by, "All you mf-ers who didn't pay for their tickets . . . I want my money." The whole journey to the Monster Ball was confusing too. Are we there? I thought you said we were there when you were singing one of your main hits, I forget which one. . . but then no, you and your friends are still trying to get us there. Overall, I found myself disappointed. I think if she lip synced her big songs with their production values it would have been more to my liking. Madonna has the whole thing down. Of course, GaGa isn't Madonna . . . and never will be.

Bruce W May 08, 2011 | 9:52 AM

Wow. Even her reviews pander to her in the same way she panders to her audience. This is not a mutual masturbation fest. She can't dance to save her life, the show is cheap-looking and her music is weak with the exception of the couple of tracks she is known for. She is an insipid mess on stage, and her wannabe status took a new twist as she tried to pull off theater diva in addition to her already rancid "borrowing" from everyone else of importance in the history of modern pop culture. Next to Madonna at any stage in her career, this is a travesty, and the fact that no one seems to be able to point out the level of mediocrity leads me to believe either your eyes and ears are closed, or you were unfortunately not aware of pop culture when it was actually good and so this all seems like a amateur pill-form rendition of stuff that has been done before. One thing is for sure. Gaga is more Miley Cyrus than Madonna, but poor Gaga just doesn't seem to be able to see that because of her Eve Harrington complex. Next.

Danger Wil Robinson! May 08, 2011 | 7:53 AM

Concert was amazing. Had some friends over who are not fans, but they are now. They loved it. However, she did not sing JUDAS as mentioned in the review.

Christy May 08, 2011 | 2:17 AM

She's so amazing and logical person said some very impt things. I think people who arent "fans" of her automatically throw stones b/c granted all they see are the costumes and drama. The non fans only look at this. Her real fans see past it. I love her for everything. Sometimes I wish more people would realize the extent of her talent. I was lucky enough to go to 2 of her concerts live and its a real experience. The best show I've ever seen. You cant deny her raw talent..and you see another side of her that myabe wasnt as showcased in the HBO special b/c of editing but she is so positive and one on one with her fans. I've never really seen another performer get so "close" to his/her fans the way she does. She'sa actually very real despite all the outlandish things...but I think all of this makes the whole person very exciting. I love all her work and I hope one day she puts out something with piano ballads b/c all the pop haters and Gaga haters..may still hate her but they wont be able to say she isnt talented. Thanks logical person for keeping an open mind and bringing your experienced voice here to speak unbiasedly.

Jack Slack May 08, 2011 | 12:55 AM

I thought the show began slow and was poorly shot and poorly directed. But Gaga really does work. Everyone was sweating like pigs and she was dry and cool. I now think there are two or three Gaga's that come out. It is the only explanation. She is an amazing performer.

logical_person May 08, 2011 | 12:29 AM

I'm a late 50's woman who rocked with some great concerts and entertainers through the years. Hadn't been impressed with Lady Gaga as I had only seen her outrageous costumes and never heard her music much. Thought she was just another wacko wannabe until I saw her HBO concert tonight. Not only does she have an outrageous voice, plays piano, dances like a professional, but put on a concert for 120 solid minutes of nonstop high energy that had me riveted! Her show was like a constant shot of adrenaline - I have NEVER seen one show that was like the best of theatre, the best voice and fabulously choreographed. How she kept that pace up for the whole 120 minutes of her concert was nearly superhuman. This is one talented little lady who just raised the bar for entertainment! Lady Gaga, you crossed the generation gap into the "Baby Boomers" and worked your a$$ off for it! Good for you and keep it up - I'll certainly be watching!

Harlow May 07, 2011 | 9:42 PM

I saw her twice during the Monster Ball. She is amazing

Bran May 07, 2011 | 10:08 AM

I was lucky enough to see her Monster Ball in person, it really is an epic experience. Best time of my life.

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