Courtesy of MCT
One of the biggest musical acts in pop music is scheduled to stop in Columbus on Thursday at the Schottenstein Center for about 12,000 fans. Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball” is making its first appearance in central Ohio on the third leg of its tour. Gaga has been touring since late 2009, after her joint tour with Kanye West was canceled. No reason was given for the cancellation of the “Fame Kills” tour, but it came after a wave of negative publicity for West following his interruption of Taylor Swift at the VMA’s.
Tickets for the Columbus show went on sale in May 2010 and regularly priced tickets sold out immediately.
Dave Redelberger, promotions manager for the Schottenstein Center, said they are expecting a sold-out show by Thursday, though there were still tickets available as of Tuesday.
Derek Coalter, student manager at D-Tix in the Ohio Union, said that while they didn’t have the discounted tickets right when they went on sale in May, they had it worked out with the Schottenstein Center to acquire them for Ohio State students.
D-Tix got about 200 tickets to sell at $70, which sold out one day after they went on sale in the Union, Coalter said.
Nick Ansara, a third year in hospitality management considered getting tickets from D-Tix too great a risk.
“I would have been afraid that I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the Union, or they would run out of tickets,” Ansara said. “I wanted to ensure I had tickets.”
During an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Gaga explained where her tour got its name and the overall theme.
“It’s still called ‘Monster Ball,’ but it’s more of a musical and less of a concert. It has a New York theme. It’s a story, and the story is that me and my friends are in New York and we’re going to the ‘Monster Ball,’ and we get lost,” she said.
Gaga boasts that she sings live at all her shows, among the varied choreography and elaborate set pieces, including “The Fame Monster,” a giant, mechanical, man-eating fish. She has a different costume for nearly every song she performs. Redelberger said the enormity of Gaga’s setup caused seating problems.
“We can’t fit as many people as we can for a basketball game because of her (Gaga’s) stage,” he said.
Not to be outdone by their “Mother Monster,” fans have taken to dressing up in costumes similar to those in Gaga’s videos and even making up some outfits on their own.
“I hope that people go all out for the concert. I’ve seen pictures of fans at her other concerts and they go way over the top,” said Carly Weisenbach, a second-year in communication.
The most recent addition to “Monster Ball” is Gaga’s new single, “Born This Way,” which she has been saving for the last song of the night, according to the Chicago-Sun Times.
Redelberger said ticket sales spiked again when Gaga’s new song hit the radio waves.
“Lady Gaga has a true connection with her ‘little monsters,'” he said. “It’s really a culture of tolerance, the ‘we’ll all get along’ mentality.”
Billboard has estimated that by the time the tour finishes in 2011, making way for the “Born This Way Ball,” it will have grossed about $200 million worldwide.
Past opening acts have included Kid Cudi, Jason Derulo and Far East Movement. The opening act for Gaga at the Schott will be the Scissor Sisters.
Redelberger said many concertgoers would be driving in from out of town, and as a result, OSU Director of Transportation and Parking Services Beth Kelley-Snoke said she is staffing at “full-deployment” for the concert.
She also said to expect road delays for about 40 minutes after the concert ends.
Kelley-Snoke said shuttles will run from the Buckeye lots near Ackerman.
Laurie Watkins, manager of the Varsity Club, a restaurant on Lane Avenue, said an event like this brings a lot of business in the hours before the show.
“We’re used to working big events,” said Watkins. “If you can handle football, you can pretty much handle Lady Gaga.”
Gaga was not available for comment prior to the show, but fans were more than willing to promote it.
“I’m excited to see something new,” Ansara said. “She’s really talented, and puts on a great show.”
Andi Hendrickson contributed to this story.