Whether it was the presence of Mother Monster's actual mother in the balcony or the task at-hand of closing a 95-year-old venue, Gaga was particularly wistful during her hit-filled set on Sunday night.
Greeting her fans with a sneer peeking out from beneath an impossibly large neon-blonde wig, Gaga opened with a piano-bound "Born This Way" before high-kicking into "Black Jesus," which found her surrounded by feathery man candy and leathery musicians.
Facing ecstatic shrieks that nearly drowned out her piano playing, Gaga quieted down the crowd long enough between songs to shout out her mom in the balcony, give advice to fame-hungry Little Monsters ("work hard!") and fondly reminisce about good times she's had at the NYC mainstay.
"95 years old—that's an old bitch," Gaga said of Roseland. "We're sad to see you go… I've done a lot of drugs in the bathroom here." The crowd roared its approval while she offered a cheeky "sorry mom" to the balcony.
Speaking of addiction, Gaga got quote-unquote real for a moment after playing her confessional ARTPOP track "Dope." "This last birthday was the first in years that didn't begin with me waking up and boozing or getting high," Gaga admitted. But lest you think the Fame Monster has killed the Party Monster, Gaga assured fans she simply "waited 'til 9pm" before indulging on her birthday.
In addition to a screeching hair metal take on "Bad Romance" and a subdued "Poker Face," Gaga performed her breakout hit, "Just Dance," and talked about the critics who didn't think she'd land another chart hit after that, much less maintain her public profile for six years (and counting).
After leaving the audience with "Applause" and a flash of her ass, Gaga returned for a one-song encore of "G.U.Y." that absolutely slayed. Sure, it was a little light given the whole performance clocked in at just over an hour, but watching Gaga enrapture an intimate venue in her hometown is a completely electric experience.
As she said leaving the stage, "I'll see you at some other concert when I'm 90 and you're 90, too."
Lady Gaga Setlist at Roseland Ballroom, March 30, 2014
Born This Way
You & I