This was Lady Gaga at her finest; with three full blown shows in Mexico, and several more side-events and promotions. Her main performances were at Estadio Tres de Marzo stadium, in Guadalajara, then two more at Foro Sol, in the capital city. All three shows were filled to bursting with highly appreciative crowds. (On her website, one girl tells of how she attended the concert without her father's permission. He hasn't spoken to her for a fortnight since, but she says that it was so worth it!)
There were some truly golden moments during the Mexican leg of the Monster Ball. Alejandro Fernández is one of Mexico's more versatile singing superstars. He has previously dueted with Beyoncé, Nelly Futado and a host of musical legends, like Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. He was name-checked in Guadalajara, before Lady Gaga sang her hit, Alejandro. It gave a whole new meaning to her stomping lyric:
"You know that I love you, boy
Hot like Mexico, rejoice!
At this point I've got to choose
Nothing to lose."
In Mexico City, Lady Gaga encouraged the audience to sing the traditional Mexican song, 'Cielito Lindo' to her. The performer sat on the stage, on a high stool, waving her hands, then applauding, as the 55,000 strong crowd serenaded her. This was on Cinco de Mayo, so it gave an extra layer of celebration to the festivities.
But, of course, the biggest news of the Mexican shows was the premier of 'Americano'. It's a song about gay rights, particularly the defeat of Proposition 8 in California, USA, which sought to ban same sex marriages. Yet the sound is Mexican. Lady Gaga wanted to tie the theme in with a statement about immigration laws in the USA. The couple in her Californian marriage are American and Mexican.
Her producer, Fernando Garibay, described Lady Gaga's direction on the song, "I remember her saying, 'Yes, I want mariachi, I want Latin percussions. I want to go big.' I'm so used to people in the industry saying, 'Latin: It's a little bit cheesy'; but she was like, 'F*** that! Let's go full Mexicano.' We started with me on guitar and her on piano, kind of wrote the lyric on the spot, and she sang it all the way through, and that's how the song was born."
The words are bilingual. Half are in American English and the other in Mexican Spanish. As she unveiled it, in Guadalajara, the crowd went insane. Loud cheers and applause met it and the stadium echoed to the sound afterwards. It was a triumph.
Monster Ball support stars, Semi Precious Weapons, released this footage a couple of days ago. It takes us backstage, at the biggest show on Earth, as it played out in Mexico City.
Lady Gaga and her support crew are welcome back in Mexico anyday!