Bedecked in an array of wigs, sequins, leotards and leather, tonight 12,000 dedicated fans worshipped at the temple of Lady Gaga, during a two and a half hour stage spectacular with Gaga preaching her mantra of loving thyself, throughout.

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The show was mind-boggling (and extraordinarily loud), with a five story gothic castle set, and set pieces which range from a giant inflatable pelvis which gives birth to Gaga and her 12 dancers, to a three wheeled motorbike which became a keyboard, a mechanical horse, a couch made of muscle and tendons, guns, carcasses (yep, she even wore a meat dress), and too many costumes and head pieces to count.

It was like an avante-garde opera for the modern age, which occasionally got confusing in it's direction - Gaga began the show as an escaping prisoner, a warrior who will take over the earth for us, not alien yet not human, but also stepped out from behind her character at certain points, to make some very real human connections with her reverential fans.


But despite it's odd changes of pace and message, it was a stunning display of creativity and talent.

For behind all the trappings, Gaga is a brilliant singer, songwriter and dancer - when she got the opportunity to open her lungs on songs like You and I, and The Edge of Glory, there was no doubt she's the new Madonna.

She sang every hit (Born This Way, Alejandro and Marry The Night were highlights, though Bad Romance and Just Dance still sound like classic pop hits), nailed every dance move, and despite the occasionally indulgent declarations which made her sound like a cult-leader ("I am you, I am your hopes, let me be your dreams etc") she's still got one heck of an attitude.

The attitude and conviction of a star who can stand bent on a motorcycle in black stiletto boots and a bondage inspired corset, orange curls tumbling down as she somehow plays the piano and sings Hair, with her rear end gyrating in the air.

She promised that it would be less than two years until her next visit to New Zealand, and undoubtedly her Little Monster fans will be eager to see just what she can come up with next.