After a two-year delay thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legendary Lady Gaga began her sixth headlining concert tour, The Chromatica Ball. Gaga took Chromatica all over the world, with 20 shows in Europe, Asia and North America in the span of two months. After news broke out of her final stop being the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, fans in Florida couldn’t miss out on the opportunity. On the eve of September 17, thousands gathered at the venue hours before the show’s start at 7:30 p.m.
The Ball didn’t start at the indicated time, giving fans time to munch on quick snacks, such as arepas and sandwiches sold outside stadium doors. After what seemed like forever, camera crews ran out into the arena at around 8:45 p.m. The audience cheered as the stadium’s lights dimmed and the stage lit up at nine.
After the introduction faded out, everyone cheered as the “Bad Romance” intro snuck its way into the silence. Gaga’s dancers tiptoed out onto the stage and began a rhythmic dance to an extended classical introduction before Lady Gaga began singing. She was inside a white cylinder, almost like a cocoon. As the song progressed, the cocoon loosened and she was able to step out.
After Lady Gaga was out, there seemed to be nothing that could stop her. She delivered her newer music, including “Babylon,” “Alice,” “911,” “Shallow” and “Replay.” But it was clear Gaga hadn’t forgotten her roots because her set also included iconic hits from the late 2000s and early 2010s such as “Just Dance,” “LoveGame,” “Poker Face,” “Monster,” “Telephone,” “Born This Way” and “The Edge of Glory.” Every color in the world was present on that stage, from the darkest red to the brightest yellow. She blended minimalist and extravagant styles with every song, and it was refreshing to watch an artist of her caliber make music for everyone and love them equally.
In the height of the fun, the unthinkable but unsurprising happened. She abruptly stopped performing in the middle of “Angel Down,” and the stage faded to black. Hard Rock’s screens flashed a message about inclement weather. It was unbelievable to think that harsh rains and lightning had come down on Florida at this moment, when Lady Gaga was only a few songs away from completing Chromatica. Before leaving the stage, she assured everyone of her love for us, and that this was only a temporary pause and it’s urgent that we stay safe.
Random, heavy rains and lightning are typical in Florida, and with many attendees being Florida residents, the rain was anticipated to stop at some point. But it was hard to tell when that stop would come. Some began singing “Rain on Me” as lightning struck the ground and the floor seats were flooded with puddles. Many, like myself, hoped Gaga would finish, because it was foolish to let typical Florida weather shatter our hopes of witnessing the grand finale. Eventually, the rain stopped as many predicted, but lightning and thunder continued to strike even after Hard Rock announced their plans to resume the show.
Suddenly Lady Gaga stepped out from the stage wings and stood center stage. She tearfully announced that they couldn’t finish the set by saying, “I care about life now in a way that I didn’t for a long time. I’m sorry that we can’t finish but I don’t want to put your life in danger and I don’t want to put our life in danger. So thank you, get home safely, God bless you, and thank you for coming to our show.” She graciously bowed to an audience that respected her decision and threw a bouquet of roses at her.
Shortly after she took to Instagram to tell the world what happened. Despite not being able to witness “Rain on Me” in the rain, I grew a greater amount of love and respect for Gaga and her fans. The Chromatica Ball powerfully blended all stages of her career into a mature collection that showcased her growth as an artist while appreciating remnants of her past success. After her humble announcement and loving response from fans, it was clear the maturity and grace behind Chromatica wasn’t fabricated.
In a way, what happened in Miami symbolically reflects the vision behind Chromatica. This album was about healing and Gaga’s journey to loving herself. if there’s anything one should know about healing, it’s that healing isn’t linear. It comes with joyful empowerment and painful limitations. Gaga told the world on Instagram that Chromatica will never be over– and she was right, because healing never stops.