The Year of Gaga continues. Or, as I will now be calling it, YAGA.
Fresh off the blockbuster success of A Star Is Born, her Las Vegas residency and her Oscar-win for “Shallow,” Lady Gaga performed her first ever show at Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater in celebration of the union of SiriusXM and Pandora.
Though I haven’t seen the Vegas show yet, it seemed to be a smaller version of Enigma, with the titular avatar appearing on screen and guiding Gaga through a loony but enjoyable narrative. The pop star played most of her biggest hits, opening with a trio of hits from debut album The Fame, including “Just Dance” (Gaga played the keytar during that), “Poker Face,” and “Love Game.”
Gaga mostly stuck to the Enigma script but did take moments to reflect on her journey getting to this moment. She admitted to the intimate audience, which included Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Camila Mendes, and her Born costars Shangela and Willam, that she and her friends used to hang in Harlem all the time and that this was the first time she was playing to an audience of this size in 10 years.
Halfway through the performance, Gaga sat at her keyboard and made a point to talk about World Pride Week in New York and its importance. That launched her into “Million Reasons” and “You & I.”
Eventually, she came back on stage flanked by her latex-clad back-up dancers just in time to do “Bad Romance” and “Born This Way.”
Her encore was her latest hit, “Shallow,” which had the entire audience singing along and one attendee FaceTiming their mother.