At the centre of the spectacle was the former Stefani Joanne Germanotta -- Lady Gaga herself -- with a trademark sexually charged, innuendo and profanity-laced performance that has vaulted her along a rocket-fuelled voyage to superstardom.
No review tickets or photo calls were granted to the press -- usually a troubling sign -- though the immaculately choreographed and visually stunning show dazzled critics on tour-opening stops in Montreal and Toronto over the weekend.
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Lady Gaga didn't disappoint on her much-anticipated return to the capital, a mere eight months after wowing a relatively minuscule crowd at the Bronson Centre, and after a fall tour stop supporting Kanye West was abruptly cancelled following the rap icon's public flameout at the VMAs.
As the lyric "I'm a freak" droned on repeat over the loudspeakers, Gaga emerged in the centre of a blackened empty stage, dry ice trails swirling around her sequined Jetsons spacesuit, complete with Xmas lights breastplate.
Opening with Dance in the Dark, a new tune from The Fame Monster -- the wildly-successful followup to 2008's breakthrough, multi-platinum-selling The Fame -- Lady Gaga launched into a raucous and racy set that featured almost as many costume changes as songs.
At first blush, it might seem the real driving force behind Gaga's meteoric rise to fame is her hand-picked cadre of costume and set designers -- dubbed Haus of Gaga -- who seemingly know no bounds when it comes to pushing the envelope of haute couture and the theatre of the absurd.
But what really sets Gaga apart from the middling masses of lip-synching Britney clones and Idol wannabes is her pure, unadulterated musical talent.
After an understated opening, the stage vacated of dancers following the hit single Just Dance to facilitate the first of many wardrobe changes, and the show really heated up.
Wearing a glittering ribbed blouse and matching headpiece, Gaga stormed back on stage with Love Game, featuring the cheeky lyric "I wanna ride your disco stick."
Lady Gaga oozed sexuality, channelling her obvious hero Madonna as dancers grooved and groped alongside the bleached blonde diva.
"I'm about to be very wicked," she promised.
Then, lying prone at centre stage, her legs splayed in the air, she cooed, "I'm kinda like Tinkerbell.
"When Tinkerbell died, the only way to bring her back to life was if you come for her," she said, feigning orgasm. "Scream for me Ottawa!"
The concert's most touching moment came mid-set with a dedication to her father, who has accompanied the starlet on each of the tour's first three Canadian dates.
The tender ballad Speechless gave way to a teasing, barely recognizable solo piano rendering of her name-making hit Poker Face, featuring an appearance from opening act Kid Cudi, who spliced his own Make Her Say in the mix as Gaga crooned.
Poker Face, predictably, was reprised later in the set to uproarious applause.
After yet another wardrobe break, Gaga returned in full Cleopatra regalia, with gilded headpiece and skimpy cone bra, to rip through Fashion, The Fame and Money Honey in rapid succession.
As Gaga herself likes to say, she's just trying to change the world, "one sequin at a time."
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