Around this time last year, I managed to get some tickets to Lady Gaga’s sold out Houston show. After waiting for hours in the online waiting room, I finally got tickets. The concert would be for a year later. Flash forward to one year and Sunday I went to the Lady Gaga show with a good friend of mine, I had taken him for his birthday.
It just so happened that Sunday was the day it decided to pour down raining for the first time since Harvey. Right as we left for the concert. We got to the Toyota Center safely, it was just the task of trying not to catch a cold waiting outside for the doors to open. Everyone was wet and cold and impatient. The doors were supposed to open up at 6:30, but for some reason they didn’t open up until about 7:00. Everyone was getting restless and there was no real form of direction from the employees. I don’t think anyone truly knew what to do.
So at about 7:00 after braving the chilly rain, we were let into the warmth of the venue. I was surprised to see the merch stands had no crowd around them. I guess we had been the first few to get in therefore there wasn’t that many lines. That was the shortest time I’ve ever waited for merch at a concert, it shocked me.After buying a few shirts, my friend and I went off to find our seats. The employees inside showing you to your seats have always been really nice to me, today was no different. We found our seats quickly, grabbed a bite to eat, and waited for Lady Gaga to come on stage.
Lady Gaga’s world tour Joanne has 3 legs of the tour with 59 shows in total; 41 shows in North America and 18 in Europe. She’s not new to the touring life, this would be her fifth tour in her career for her fifth album, Joanne. Joanne dropped last October.
The show was supposed to start at 7:30, but she didn’t hit the stage until about 9:00, but that was okay. The crowd was clearly in a pumped up mood, her devoted fans were anxiously awaiting her arrival. She played most of the Joanne album and all of the fan favorites like “Born This Way” , “Just Dance” , and “Bad Romance” to name a few.
From the start of the show, Gaga expressed how special Houston was to her. She has a personal connection with our city. A very dear friend of her’s, Sonja, was from Houston and she passed away due to breast cancer earlier this year. Many important people to Gaga were at attendance at the show such as her mother and Sonja’s parents.
Earlier in the day, Gaga had helped a local Houstonian, Pam, with the cleaning of her house from Harvey. Gaga partnered with Team Rubicon, an organization of veterans and first responders who have been helping Houston rebuild from Harvey. The group and Gaga helped Pam clean out her house. Pam and Team Rubicon were also invited to the show by Gaga.
During her famous hit “Edge of Glory” she dedicated the song to the city of Houston on being so strong during the rebuild process, Pam who was very brave despite losing everything, and of course her dear friend Sonja. The performance was very emotional, even I teared up a few times. There were so many lights lighting up the otherwise completely dark stadium. Gaga teared up on several occasions looking around at the lit up stadium, tell us that Sonja was present in spirit.
After her show, she did an encore. The first song she came out holding a single picture frame. At first, none of us were able to make out the picture, but when the camera zoomed in we seen it was her and her friend Sonja on Sonja’s wedding day. She emotionally sang the heartfelt song “Grigio Girls” which was written for Sonja. The encore was very touching, she even dedicated Million Reasons to her friend stating, “She fought like hell – to her last breath.”
Overall the show was one of the best I have been to this year. It seemed filled with so many raw emotions and felt so personal. She has a truly amazing connection between her and her fans. It was an amazing night.