After two years of delays, Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica Ball” has finally begun. The stadium tour kicked off its U.S. leg starting in New York (but very much actually in New Jersey) last night on August 11, 2022.
“This is the biggest audience that has ever come to just see me,” Gaga tearfully shared with the glitter-covered crowd during the show, which did not have an opener or guest stars. The stadium thundered back with loving cheers, but that was far from the only emotionally-charged moment of the night.
Things got heavy when the “Born This Way” singer took time to open up about her love for her “Cheek to Cheek” partner and “special friend,” Tony Bennett.
“Tony used to be my neighbor in New York. He still kinda is my neighbor,” she said with a lighthearted laugh. “When I see Tony or I spend time with him, I’m always reminded to go straight ahead in life. It’s something he always taught me—he always said straight ahead.”
“Even though things are different, I feel so very blessed that his wonderful wife Susan is with him every day. And even though Tony couldn’t be here tonight, Susan, I always want to remember us just like this,” she said, taking a moment to compose herself before singing “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star is Born. The pop star interjected a reminder to be “kind to those dealing with mental health” toward the end of the song.
She also acknowledged her Born This Way Foundation, explaining that it’s committed to building “a braver and kinder world,” adding: “It’s pretty clear, after the last two years, that the world is already pretty brave.”
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Mother Monster also took time to give New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen a shout out before performing “Edge of Glory,” which is heavily inspired by his body of work. She mentioned how satisfying it was to perform on a fire escape for the song’s music video, adding, “That’s all I ever wanted to do was shoot a music video on my fire escape.”
Giving the audience the full Gaga experience, she also shared the story behind her song “1000 Doves,” lamenting about how her slower piano version was her preference over the dance version of the song, as it was inspired by a dark time in her life. “This is a sad, sad, song that I wrote at the piano and I turned it into a dance song but I’m going to sing it how I made it,” she told the roaring and supportive crowd.
Before she began playing the heartbreaking song, she explained that the whole album—which she wrote going between her studio and her porch—is about “dancing through your pain.”
She added: “I didn’t want to get off my porch. I was too sad. You know what I gotta say about that? BURN THE MOTHERF—ING PORCH.”