Lady Gaga kicks off her “artRave” as FAU students “paw-pump” her on

Despite a boring opener, FAU students cheered on Lady Gaga at the opening night of her artRave: The ARTPOP Ball at the BB&T Center Sunday night.

Lady Gaga blasted off to the planet Venus with FAU students during the opening night of her 2014 “artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball” world tour at the BB&T Center on Sunday.

Performing for a sold-out crowd of more than 20,000 little monsters, Gaga bared her breasts (with pasties), engaged in more than eight costume changes and viciously danced her way through a 24 song set list  full of old and new hits.

“The show was amazing,” said sophomore architecture major Cody Gosier. “I am a huge fan of Lady Gaga and have always wanted to go to one of her shows.”

Doors opened at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. Sunday night at 6:30 p.m., but fans lined up much earlier — some even spent the previous night camping out on the venue’s lawn.

“I spent the night at the [BB&T Center],” said freshman biology major Lori Hamilton. “I wanted to be the first person in line.”

At about 7:45 p.m. DJ Lady Starlight, Gaga’s off-stage best friend, opened the show by mixing a few different beats for an hour long set that had multiple audience members yawning and complaining.

“I was annoyed that she was on for so long,” said Gosier. “[She] was not very entertaining.”

Starlight made her way off the stage and waved as people cheered seemingly because she was finally done with her set. Starlight seemed to not notice the difference.

Moments later, a large white metallic curtain that covered the main stage (equipped with a transparent boot-shaped catwalk) fell from the rafters as Gaga’s dancers made their way across the stage.

“The moment the curtain fell I started freaking out,” said Hamilton. “It was one of the most exciting moments of the night.”

Gaga rose from beneath the main stage wearing a Donatella Versace gold sequined unitard, a Jeff Koons Ball on her chest and golden wings on her back. The crowd erupted into little monster mayhem as the pop phenom began her show with “ARTPOP,” the title track from her latest album.

During the opening number, along with “G.U.Y”, “Donatella” and “Fashion”, Gaga frequently spoke to fans and thanked them for coming to the show.

“I’ve missed you so much. Thank you for coming tonight,” she said between singing her lyrics.

Gaga left the stage and returned wearing nothing but her seashell bikini, garden panties and a gigantic wig for her song “Venus.” It was there that she officially welcomed the amped-up arena to her planet Venus where the night was “all about love and freedom.”

“I love that song so much and hearing it live was an experience I will never forget,” said Hamilton.

About halfway through her set, fans got a taste of Gaga’s older hits when she performed her debut singles “Just Dance,” “Pokerface,”  “Telephone (sans Beyonce)” and “Paparazzi.”

“I love hearing the old stuff because it brought back so many memories for me,” said Hamilton.

During a costume change, fans got a special treat from Gaga – “Partynauseous.” Previously unreleased, it was the first time many fans in the crowd heard the song.

The song faded as Gaga made her way to a piano on stage where she played one of the most vocally powerful performances of the night — “Born This Way.”

“[‘Born This Way’] really speaks to me and has a special place in my heart,” said senior neuroscience major Elaina Gombos. “I really love [Gaga] not just as an artist, but as an icon.”

During the song, Gaga gave a passionate speech about love, equality and freedom. The speech had a noticeable impact on fans who began to tear up after her very first sentence.

“[Gaga’s] speech had me crying and holding my girlfriend and my sister,”said Gombos. “That speech was amazing.”

Gaga switched from heartfelt to outrageous with her costume change for “Bad Romance” and “Applause.” It was here that Gaga stripped down to nothing except glitter pasties and fishnets, performing her costume change right on stage.

Despite being just about fully nude, the sight was something some fans were use to.

“Seeing Gaga’s boobies is not that shocking anymore,” said Hamilton. “We see them at least once a week.”

Most fans seemed to share a similar reaction as they screamed “Yes, Gaga. Yes!” and “Work, Gaga. Work!”

Moving into the last set of the night, Gaga wore a Kerli-esque raver’s outfit paired with neon colored fur boots, a petticoat and a wig made of yarn while she performed “Bad Romance” and “Applause,” two songs that reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

Gaga fled the stage and returned for her “Gypsy” finale where she thanked fans for coming to the show before descending one last time into the main stage amid a downpour of confetti, balloons and paw-pumping fans.

“It was liberating, validating, and just a feel-good environment,” said Gombos.

The ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball will continue on to Atlanta, Georgia on May 6. Click here for full schedule.