Lady Gaga Enigma

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Lady Gaga: Enigma
Residency by Lady Gaga
A colorful neon-lit image of Gaga's face with the residency name embossed on top.
Promotional poster for the show
LocationPark Theater, Park MGM
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Start dateDecember 28, 2018 (2018-12-28)
End dateMay 16, 2020 (2020-05-16)
Legs5
No. of shows48
WebsiteShow Website
Lady Gaga concert chronology

Enigma is a concert residency held at the Park Theater, Park MGM in Las Vegas, United States, by American singer and songwriter Lady Gaga. The residency consists of two types of shows: Enigma, which focuses on theatricality and includes the singer's biggest hits, and Jazz and Piano, which involves songs from the Great American Songbook and stripped-down versions of Gaga's songs. The Enigma residency show opened on December 28, 2018, and the Jazz and Piano show opened on January 20, 2019.

Background[edit]

Park MGM in Las Vegas, location of the concert residency

In December 2017, Lady Gaga announced her two-year Las Vegas residency at Park Theater at Park MGM, starting in December 2018.[1] The deal is reportedly worth $100 million, includes 74 performances with a possible extension.[2][3] In July 2018, Ticketmaster website had mistakenly uploaded details about a "2 Show Bundle" for the residency with tentative name as Enigma and ticket sales from the end of that month. The link was quickly removed and the residency was finally announced on August 7, 2018.[4] It was named Lady Gaga Enigma with 27 dates, starting from December 28, 2018 to November 9, 2019.[5] Two different shows were listed with the press release, with Enigma described as a "brand-new odyssey of [Gaga's] pop hits built as an experience unlike any other,"[6] and Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano painted as featuring stripped down versions of her songs accompanied by tracks from the Great American Songbook.[7][8] Gaga described the show as "unlike anything I've done before. It will be a celebration of all that is unique and different within us. The challenges of bravery can be overcome with creativity and courage that is grown out of adversity, love and music."[5] Five additional dates were added to the itinerary for the Jazz & Piano shows.[9]

The singer released a promotional poster accompanying the announcement, colored in day-glo paint. She wore a neon green tulle dress by designers Laurence & Chico, and latex gloves and swim cap from Vex Clothing. The image was photographed by Inez and Vinoodh and styled by Gaga's longtime collaborator Nicola Formichetti. Matt Moen from Paper felt that the poster hearkened back to Gaga's fashion choices during The Fame Monster (2009) era, suggesting the singer's return to avant-garde looks. He also found Las Vegas EDM and rave influences in the poster, likening it to an Electric Daisy Carnival.[10] Formichetti also worked on creating the costumes for the concert series.[11] On December 4, 2018, Gaga shared a video from the rehearsal on her Instagram account showing her in a bodysuit with dots on it, utilizing motion capture while the song "Aura" played in the background.[12] She also assumed a titular new identity in one of the videos, referring herself as Enigma.[13]

Concert synopsis[edit]

Gaga during the opening Enigma show on December 28, 2018

The Enigma show starts with an introduction where Enigma, a motion captured character who is Gaga's alter ego, welcomes the crowd. Shortly after, the singer appears suspended to the roof of the theater and performs "Just Dance" as she plays the keytar. After joining the stage, Gaga and her dancers perform "Poker Face" and "LoveGame". Then, she meets Enigma, who explains her who she is and that she's going to show Gaga the future through a simulation. After an interlude, the singer returns on stage wearing a fluorescent suit and a manga inspired wig, and performs "Dance in the Dark" and "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich". Gaga takes her jacket off and plays her keytar called Emma while she sings "The Fame". After performing "Telephone" and "Applause", Gaga realizes that in the simulation, paparazzi are dangerous and want to capture her. She performs "Paparazzi" up in the air in an orb-like cage, but quickly after, the paparazzi catch her and she performs "Aura" while they torture her.

The third act opens with Gaga riding a giant mechanical robot while singing "Scheiße", with pyrotechnic effects accompanying the performance. The song transitions to "Judas", in which Gaga performs a long electric guitar solo. After performing "Government Hooker", Gaga covers David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans" while standing in a circular keyboard console. Following an interlude in which Enigma explains to Gaga that she must heal, "The Edge of Glory" and "Alejandro" are performed. Gaga sits down at piano at the end of the catwalk, to sing "Million Reasons" and "You and I", where she is joined by her guitarists. The last act opens with "Bad Romance", performed in a cream latex suit on the catwalk while Gaga's dancers execute the choreography on the main stage. Enigma tells Gaga it is now time for her to leave, but Gaga insists to perform for her one last time. "Born This Way" follows and after Gaga and her crew leave the stage, she comes back to sing "Shallow" on her piano as the encore.

The singer's Jazz and Piano engagement does not involve a comprehensive narrative as the Enigma show, but it is divided into four segments, each of them preceded by costume change and black-and-white interlude films. In the videos, Gaga talks about her love of Jazz and American classics, and gives shout outs to performers who inspired her, including Billie Holiday, Etta James and Dinah Washington.[14]

Critical response[edit]

Enigma[edit]

Gaga performing her song "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" during one of the Enigma shows

Chris Willman from Variety called the Enigma show a "back-to-roots move for the superstar", as it focused on her "art and artifice of being spectacular", and complimented Gaga for singing live for the entirety of the two hours.[15] Mark Gray from People thought that the show was "highly energetic", which "lived up to the hype", and praised the theatricality of the show and the singer's connection with the audience.[16] Andreas Hale from Billboard thought that the "set pieces were just as grandiose and over-the-top as the performances themselves" and the outfits were "outrageously unique". At the end of his review, he concluded that "it was obvious that Gaga was more than comfortable on the Vegas stage where many all-time greats cut their teeth. Simply put, she was born to do this."[17] John Katsilometes, from the Las Vegas Review-Journal praised the singer's vocal and piano skills, saying that "she is dazzling dancing around the stage, a slim figure in a mirrored one-piece to open the night, but her heartfelt playing on the keyboards shows she can move a crowd subtly, too."[18] Writing for Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos highlighted the variety of the setlist and the use of props, while saying that "the best moments are the ones that feel improvised". She concluded her review by saying that Enigma "ended up becoming a show that confirms and begins her legacy".[19]

Randy Lewis from the Los Angeles Times thought that Gaga was "in full pop star mode", and while he appreciated the "gigantic" set pieces and the inclusion of the singer's biggest hits, he found the show "disjointed", with "little sense of narrative flow". He also added that the choreography "offers little in the way of physical expression or amplification of her songs’ lyrics or music", although he noted that it showcased "plenty of wild, kinetic energy".[20] Entertainment Weekly journalist Marc Snetiker called the show "on the whole, rather nutty, (...) but Enigma the show is a damn good time, and it’s admirable in its attempts to elevate a greatest-hits gathering into something striving for more, something that perhaps even galvanized an artist in the peak of her career to take a Vegas residency in the first place."[21]

Jazz and Piano[edit]

Variety magazine journalist Chris Willman thought that the Jazz & Piano arrangement was even better than the singer's other show, calling it "the best shot we’re going to get at (...) time travel" as "this show recalls peak Vegas", and complimented the singer"s "real emotion" showcased throughout this performance.[22] Mikael Wood from the Los Angeles Times also compared it to Enigma, saying that "for all their differences in style and repertoire, both shows feel indelibly Gaga, linked by the unifying force of her wacky personality and her raw vocal talent." He further noticed, that "for her, the two Vegas performances aren’t opposed but complementary — part of the same determination to use artifice to say something real."[23]

Commercial reception[edit]

Pre-sale for the show started from August 8, 2018, for Gaga's fan club members, followed by Citi bank credit card holders on the next day, getting an early chance at acquiring the tickets.[24] There was also a pre-sale for MGM members as well as Live Nation and Ticketmaster customers which ran from August 11–12. The next day tickets for the show would be available to the general public, including the general bookings and VIP packages for meet-and-greet.[6] IQ magazine reported that the tickets were outselling nearest competitors, those of residencies by artists like Celine Dion and Britney Spears. The sales are also affected by the higher price range of the tickets in the secondary markets.[25]

In February 2019, the first set of boxscores were reported by Billboard. Gaga earned $16 million from the 11 reported sold out dates, which when divided monthwise, resulted in grosses of $4.3 million in December 2018, $8.7 million in January 2019 and $2.9 million in February. Individual show grosses ranged from $1.41–$1.48 million, with the total audience rounding out at 59,162 tickets. According to the magazine's Eric Frankenberg, the total gross was "an electrifying opening pace for Gaga's Vegas residency", since the singer "outperformed" the opening grosses of all previous residencies by other artists—including Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Backstreet Boys, Shania Twain and Gwen Stefani. With the gross, Gaga also became the fifth woman to pass the half-billion career total as per Billboard Boxscore.[26]

Set lists[edit]

Notes

Shows[edit]

List of dates, showing the type of show, attendance and revenue earned
Date[9] Type of show Attendance Revenue[30]
Leg 1
December 28, 2018 Enigma 59,162 / 59,162 $15,970,436
December 30, 2018
December 31, 2018
January 17, 2019
January 19, 2019
January 20, 2019 Jazz & Piano
January 24, 2019 Enigma
January 26, 2019
January 31, 2019
February 2, 2019
February 3, 2019 Jazz & Piano
Leg 2
May 9, 2019[a] Enigma N/A N/A
May 17, 2019[b]
May 20, 2019[c]
May 30, 2019 48,833 / 48,833 $13,549,061
June 1, 2019
June 2, 2019 Jazz & Piano
June 6, 2019 Enigma
June 8, 2019
June 9, 2019 Jazz & Piano
June 12, 2019 Enigma
June 14, 2019
June 15, 2019 Jazz & Piano
June 24, 2019[d] Enigma N/A N/A
Leg 3
October 17, 2019 Enigma TBA TBA
October 19, 2019
October 20, 2019 Jazz & Piano
October 23, 2019 Enigma
October 25, 2019
October 26, 2019 Jazz & Piano
October 31, 2019 Enigma
November 2, 2019
November 3, 2019 Jazz & Piano
November 6, 2019 Enigma
November 8, 2019
November 9, 2019 Jazz & Piano
Leg 4
December 28, 2019 Enigma TBA TBA
December 30, 2019
December 31, 2019 Jazz & Piano
Leg 5
April 30, 2020 Enigma TBA TBA
May 2, 2020
May 3, 2020 Jazz & Piano
May 7, 2020
May 9, 2020 Enigma
May 10, 2020 Jazz & Piano
May 13, 2020 Enigma
May 15, 2020
May 16, 2020 Jazz & Piano
Total 107,995 / 107,995 (100%) $29,519,497

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The May 9, 2019 performance of Enigma was part of the SAPPHIRE NOW concert at Amway Center, Orlando, Florida.[31]
  2. ^ The May 17, 2019 performance of Enigma was performed at Apple Park, Cupertino, California, as part of the opening of the new Apple Inc. headquarters.[32]
  3. ^ This was a special performance of Enigma at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of Amway's 60th Anniversary.[33]
  4. ^ This was a special performance of Enigma at the Apollo Theater in collaboration with SiriusXM and Pandora.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mandell, Andrea (December 19, 2017). "Lady Gaga announces Las Vegas residency: 'The rumors are true!'". USA Today. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Blistein, Jon (December 24, 2017). "Lady Gaga Plots Las Vegas Residency". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  3. ^ Halperin, Shirley (December 19, 2017). "Lady Gaga Las Vegas Residency a Done Deal". Variety. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  4. ^ Moen, Matt (July 20, 2018). "Lady Gaga's Las Vegas Residency Might Be Called 'Enigma'". Paper. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Nolfi, Joey (August 7, 2018). "Lady Gaga announces Las Vegas residency show details". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (August 7, 2018). "Lady Gaga Announces Launch Date For Las Vegas 'Enigma' Residency". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  7. ^ Sands, Nicole (August 7, 2018). "Lady Gaga to Launch Las Vegas Residency at the End of the Year — All the Details". People. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  8. ^ "Grammy Award-Winning Superstar Lady Gaga To Launch Exclusive Las Vegas Residency at Park Theater Friday, December 28" (Press release). MGM Resorts International. PR Newswire. August 7, 2018. Archived from the original on August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Lady Gaga Announces Five Additional Jazz & Piano Shows". Broadway World (Press release). December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Moen, Matt (August 7, 2018). "Lady Gaga Is a Day-Glo Fantasy in 'Enigma' Poster". Paper. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Mercado, Jillian (November 13, 2018). "Lady Gaga's Creative Director Gives His Best Advice for Young People in the Fashion Industry". Out. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  12. ^ Reitman, Shelby (December 4, 2018). "Lady Gaga Shares Behind-the-Scenes Clip From 'Enigma' Rehearsals: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  13. ^ Rossignol, Derrick (December 11, 2018). "Lady Gaga Teases A New Alter Ego Called 'Enigma' Ahead Of Her Las Vegas Residency". Uproxx. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  14. ^ Sheckells, Melinda (January 21, 2019). "Lady Gaga Kicks Off Jazz & Piano Engagements With Classic Las Vegas Vibes, Support From Tony Bennett". Billboard. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  15. ^ Willman, Chris (December 29, 2018). "Concert Review: Lady Gaga Kicks Off a Very Good Romance With Vegas". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  16. ^ Gray, Mark (December 29, 2018). "Lady Gaga Kicks Off Las Vegas Residency with Star-Studded Affair — Including Katy Perry!". People. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  17. ^ Hale, Andreas (December 29, 2018). "Lady Gaga Delivers the Show She Was Born to Perform With 'Enigma'". Billboard. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  18. ^ Katsilometes, John (December 29, 2018). "Lady Gaga opens Las Vegas Strip residency to sold-out crowd". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Spanos, Brittany (December 29, 2018). "Review: Lady Gaga Maintains 'Poker Face' During Stellar Vegas Debut". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Lewis, Randy (December 30, 2018). "Commentary: A pop star is reborn: Lady Gaga introduces Las Vegas to her new show Enigma". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  21. ^ Snetiker, Marc (December 29, 2018). "In Vegas, a weird, wonderful Lady Gaga is reborn". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  22. ^ Willman, Chris (January 21, 2019). "Concert Review: Lady Gaga Outdoes Her Other Vegas Show With Masterful 'Jazz & Piano'". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  23. ^ Wood, Mikael (January 21, 2019). "Review: In Las Vegas, Lady Gaga solves the problem of 'A Star Is Born'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  24. ^ Rendan, Francisco (August 7, 2018). "Lady Gaga Unveils Vegas Residency Into 2019". Pollstar. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  25. ^ Chapple, Jon (November 28, 2018). "Gaga's Vegas Residency Is The Strip's Hottest Ticket". Iq-mag.net. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  26. ^ Frankenberg, Eric (February 27, 2019). "Lady Gaga's Touring Earnings Pass Half-Billion Mark as 'Enigma' Grosses Roll in". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  27. ^ Nied, Mike (January 21, 2019). "Opening Night! Lady Gaga Launches Second Vegas Residency – 'Jazz & Piano'". Idolator. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  28. ^ Aswad, Jem (December 31, 2018). "Watch Celine Dion Rock Out During Lady Gaga's Las Vegas Show". Variety.com. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  29. ^ a b Halperin, Shirley (January 27, 2019). "Lady Gaga Brings Out Bradley Cooper for Surprise Duet of 'Shallow' in Las Vegas (Watch)". Variety.com. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  30. ^ Sources for box office data:
  31. ^ "Lady Gaga brings Enigma to Orlando at the SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference". Ladygaganow.co. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  32. ^ Wong, Raymond (May 18, 2019). "Lady Gaga performed private Apple concert as a tribute to Steve Jobs". Mashable. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  33. ^ Katsilometes, John (May 21, 2019). "Lady Gaga is looking for staff for her Haus on Las Vegas Strip". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  34. ^ Gab, Ginsberg (June 25, 2019). "Lady Gaga Celebrates Pride, Brings Las Vegas to NYC For Intimate SiriusXM + Pandora Show: Recap". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2019.