Listen up, Little Monsters. Lady Gaga is back on tour this fall in Las Vegas. The electro-pop queen will be hitting the Park Theater Stage at the infamous MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. The tour is called Enigma, which perfectly describes the unpredictable star. If this upcoming tour is anything like her 2014 tour, artRAVE: the ARTPOP ball, it will be electric.
The tour started at the end of December 2018 and runs through November of this year. The show’s name, Enigma, doesn’t so much represent the tour by the meaning of the word; it happens to be the name of Gaga’s science fiction alter ego that takes her and the audience on an intergalactic adventure.
This isn’t Gaga’s first debut of an alter ego. Back in 2010, Gaga transformed herself into Jo Calderone, a sexy Italian greaser looking for mischief. The 2010 VMA performance seemed closer to performance art than the usual presentation, but that is what she is known best for: her noteworthy performances. Specifically mentionable would be her ARTPOP tour.
Gaga’s ARTPOP tour was a spectacular dance party. I had the pleasure of accompanying my best friend to a show for her birthday. We had crazy costumes and even crazier makeup and hair. That concert will forever be one of my top five favorite live music shows ever.
What makes the “Born This Way” singer such an exceptional and entertaining performer is her attention to production design and the overall experience. Lasers, fire and costume changes are only the beginning of a Gaga musical extravaganza.
Although I have not personally seen an Enigma concert (yet), those that have, have many promising things to say about it. Chris Willman of Variety describes Enigma as exquisitely orchestrated.
He says that it’s “a considerable pleasure to spend this much time in the shallow of fireworks, flying gyroscopes, Transformer-type marching machines, a band that can effectively incorporate industrial metal and funk, and the most spectacular unitards known to womankind.”
If that description alone doesn’t pique someone’s curiosity, I don’t know what will. Willman does warn the potential concert-goer to not read too much into Gaga’s concert narrative because it gets confusing at times.
The tour is called Enigma so I think Willman is right. Confusion is expected. Also, it’s Gaga. She doesn’t have to explain anything to anyone. She does what she wants.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal praised the star’s sold out tour. Writer and concert attendee John Katsilometes gives extensive detail on the show. Gaga is suspended from the ceiling by two strings, playing her guitar. Fans could not contain themselves.
Katsilometes raves, “Lady Gaga is the unique Vegas residency highlighting superstar at her creative and artistic peak.” What an incredible compliment, and I must agree: Gaga is at one of her all-time highest peaks.
Like Hannah Montana, Gaga is truly living the best of both worlds. She is not only touring her electro pop, enigmatic show, but she is also touring a Jazz & Piano special in Vegas as well. While her Jazz & Piano tour does not have as many showings, critics are raving about Gaga’s successful, multitasking career.
What made the opening of her jazz tour so sweet and nostalgic was a surprise visit by the one and only Tony Bennett. The two shared their first moments on stage in Vegas at The Cosmopolitan, where they debuted their jazz album, “Cheek to Cheek,” in 2015.
The two embraced, and as Bennett was leaving the stage, Gaga exclaimed, “Tony, thank you for keeping jazz music alive!” If anything, Gaga is the one single-handedly keeping jazz alive. In a way, Bennett is passing the torch from one generation to the next.
Her jazz show is wonderfully reviewed by Variety’s Chris Willman. Just like her Enigma tour, Jazz & Piano possesses a rather enigmatic mood, making it tricky for fans to know what to expect at the show.
Willman describes her setlist as “mysterious,” which only seems appropriate with the reoccurring theme. Fans and critics hoped that she would perform some familiar, original songs, and she does. She rather vocally picks through the “American Standards” and puts her own, beautiful Gaga twist on it.
The star covered musical classics like Dinah Washington’s “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes!” (1959) and Nat King Coles’ “Orange Colored Sky.” She even performed a couple songs off her jazz album, “Cheek to Cheek,” such as “Lush Life.”
Willman ends the review with a promising hook that Gaga’s Jazz & Piano is the closest thing any jazz lover will get to a time machine, as the pop icon truly takes the listener on a journey to the good ol’ jazz days in Vegas.
I commend Gaga for doing what other artists do not dare to do. She is touring two shows, covering a wide audience with her music. It is safe to say that Enigma is more for the young, electronic crowd. Jazz & Piano is for the parents and grandparents or young jazz enthusiasts.
The Enigma tour seems to be much more confusing than the cut-and-dry jazz music lovers know. Yet, when music evolves, people typically don’t accept or understand it at first. A hundred years from now, Enigma could be a humble start for the future of electronic performance. Either way, Gaga leads the way in musical innovation.
Want to see Gaga in Vegas? Click the link to check out her tour dates and prices. As expected, the tickets are nowhere near cheap, but this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Gaga belt out not only her original material but also some of America’s classics.