Gaga's Little Monsters make an early pit-stop
It was if Halloween had come early to the AsiaWorld-Arena yesterday as Lady Gaga fans donned platinum wigs, black leather vests, sky-high stilettos and fake blood to celebrate the singer's Hong Kong debut.
Fans arrived early to claim spots in the Monster Pit - the special zone reserved for a handful of those holding HK$1,580 and HK$1,280 standing tickets and, in the words of Gaga's website, are 'dressed to ball'.
Some took time off work and others skipped school, all for the chance of getting up close to the pop queen.
Hours before the show, Little Monsters - the name Gaga gives to her loyal devotees - were busily painting each others' faces and colouring their hair.
Andrew Lee Pat-shuen, 19, was first in line for admission.
He arrived at the venue at 4am on Monday wearing 13-centimetre stilettos and a blonde pigtail wig.
His dedication earned him the privilege of signing a gigantic Monster Pit key, a privilege given to the first in line at each of the 110 gigs on Gaga's 'Born This Way Ball' world tour. He was also invited to go backstage and meet the star after the gig.
'I cannot believe I just signed an autograph for Lady Gaga,' said Lee, who has just finished his secondary school exams.
'We, as fans, usually ask Lady Gaga for an autograph, but it just shows how sincere and warm she is that she would ask a Little Monster for one instead. I saw another autograph on it in Korean characters. It must be from the first fan in line [at the first concert of the tour] in Seoul,' he said.
But some of those queuing for a spot in the Monster Pit were left frustrated.
Felix Hung Chun-hin and two friends queued overnight outside the concert venue after arriving at 10pm on Tuesday.
But the trio were asked to leave the queue at 2pm - after a pointless 16-hour wait - because they held HK$1,280 seating tickets, not the standing tickets required for the Monster Pit.
'It said on Lady Gaga's website that even if you don't have standing tickets but you arrive early and dress up, then you may be able to get in,' Hung said. 'But they didn't even give us a chance before kicking us out of the line.'
A spokeswoman for concert promoted Live Nation said the operation of the Monster Pit queue was left to Lady Gaga's own management team.
Last night's show was the sixth for Gaga superfan Malbert Lee, who had travelled from London. He also went to the show in Seoul and he is attending tonight's concert as well.
'I saw Lady Gaga four times in London on her Monster Ball Tour,' Lee, clad in black leather, said.
'When I saw her in Seoul, I grazed her hand when she was at the edge of the stage. Wow, it was magical.
'What I love about her is she really pushes people's tolerance. She does extreme antics to see who can still take it.'
Gaga was to have performed only one show in Hong Kong, but massive demand for tickets - and claims that many ended up in the hands of scalpers rather than genuine fans - led promoters to put on three extra shows, tonight, on Saturday and on Monday.