Lady Gaga to Start Her Residency at the MGM Park Theater in Las Vegas in 2018

Lady Gaga signing her 2-year residency contract with MGM
Source: @LadyGaga via Instagram

Going to the Sin City is not just about poker games and slot machines. Recently, six-time Grammy Award winner Lady Gaga and the MGM in Las Vegas announced that a two-year residency will be happening soon for the “Mother Monster”. A concert residency is a series of live music performances done in one location over a period of time. In this case, Lady Gaga will be performing at the Park Theater. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Joanne singer will be having 74 shows at the said venue. Park Theater confirmed that the series will commence in December 2018.

Lady Gaga’s hit song ‘Poker Face’, released in 2009

The 31-year old multi-awarded singer, known for her hit song Poker Face which was released in 2008 as part of her debut album The Fame, expressed her excitement to be performing in the Sin City, where big names such as Elton John, Elvis, Judy Garland, Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra and more have also performed and had residencies throughout the years. “It has been a life-long dream of mine to play Las Vegas,” she exclaimed, before adding “I am humbled to be a part of a historical lineup of performers, and to have the honor of creating a new show unlike anything Vegas has ever seen before.”

It is said that the deal is worth $100 million and Lady Gaga is expected to make $1 million for each show. The Park Theater is a 5,300-seat venue located at the Las Vegas Strip resort. It is currently transitioning from the Monte Carlo to Park MGM.

How Las Vegas Became a Music Destination alongside being a Gambling Destination

The concept of a concert residency started with piano virtuoso and singer Liberace, who debuted in Las Vegas in 1944. After Liberace’s debut, Frank Sinatra followed suit with the Rat Pack and Elvis Presley. In April 1956, Elvis began a two-week concert residency at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in the Sin City, after his self-titled debut album was released.

Caesars Palace vice president of entertainment Kurt Melien shared that for a time, the music scene in the Sin City was not as glorious as it was or is now, “Historically, Vegas residencies were more a loss-leader event – famous artists playing in small showrooms just to draw in the gambling crowds.” In the live music world, Las Vegas used to be known as the place where singers went to die, where they could earn a crust in their twilight years entertaining tourists on the Strip alongside magicians like David Copperfield, or Siegfried & Roy.

However, Celine Dion restored the popularity of concert residencies in Las Vegas with her A New Day… residency which spanned from 2003 through 2007. During Celine Dion’s residency, she introduced a refreshing form of live musical entertainment that involved a blend of song, performance art and state-of-the-art stagecraft and technology. Las Vegas residency was revitalized and became something which all the top music artists aspired to achieve.

Kurt Melien commended Celine Dion for bringing back the popularity of Vegas residencies and paving the way for others, “Celine was a pioneer without question. Twenty years ago, we couldn’t have got someone the stature of Britney Spears to appear in Vegas. [Celine Dion] changed the face of modern Vegas.” The singer returned to the Sin City in 2011 for her second residency, Celine. And in 2016, Celine Dion performed her record-breaking 1000th performance in her years of residency in Las Vegas.

Famous Music Artists Who Have Performed in Las Vegas

Since the glory days of concert residencies in Las Vegas which began in the 1940s by singer-pianist Liberace and reignited by Celine Dion in 2003, various popular music artists such as Cher, Toni Braxton, Rod Stewart, Ricky Martin, Shania Twain, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Bruno Mars, Calvin Harris, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears.

Cher on stage in Las Vegas
Source: Cher on Facebook

Pop legend Cher’s first concert residency was A Celebration at the Circus Maximus Showroom at Caesars Palace. Cher performed a total of 125 shows from 1979 to 1982. Her next stint in the Sin City was titled Cher at the Colosseum which also took place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, this time for a three-year engagement from 2008 to 2011, grossing over $97 million. In 2017, Cher signed on for another Las Vegas residency, Classic Cher, this time to perform at the Park Theater.

Britney Spears, who became famous after her hit single …Baby One More Time spent four years performing in her first concert residency Britney: Piece of Me at The AXIS auditorium located in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Her first show was held on December 27, 2013, and her final performance which concluded her Vegas residency was on December 31, 2017. She completed a total of 250 performances.

Viva Poker Face: Vegas’ Influence on the Music Industry

The allure of Las Vegas to music artists in undeniable, with so many songs written containing reference to the Sin City and its most loved games, including slots, roulette and poker. One such song is Garth Brooks’ Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House which was released in 1990 was originally written and recorded by Dennis Robbins in 1987. The song compares finding the love of your life to a winning poker hand. In this song, the singer and his lover as said to be two of a kind but they are “workin’ on a full house,” which means that there are kids in the cards. The lyrics abound with poker references like a “wildcard man” and “little queen of the south.”

The song Shape of My Heart performed by Sting and released in 1993 is another great song with obvious poker references. This song is about a Texas Hold’em poker player who plays the game not to win, but to learn how poker works so he can crack the code of the game. As the song goes, “he deals the cards to find the answer, the sacred geometry of chance, the hidden law of a probable outcome.” The player eventually learns that “spades are the swords of a soldier,” that “clubs are weapons of war,” and that “diamonds mean money for this art.”

Another song that’s strongly influenced by the poker game is Aerosmith’s Deuces Are Wild which was released in 1994. For casino players who have played deuces wild poker, landing a two is an awesome thing because deuces can be whatever you want them to be. Inspired by deuces, Steven Tyler sings about this woman whom he is obsessed with. Similar to the poker game’s deuces, the singer expresses his passion for this “wild, girl, like a double shot of lovin’ so fine.” Another subtle poker reference in the song is in the part where he sings “cause you and me is two of a kind.”

For those who have been wondering how a few rounds of poker with the devil could end up, an O.A.R. classic released in 1997 and titled That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker would give you an idea. The song narrates the story of an unlucky man who constantly loses at the poker tables, which seems to be something we see every so often at casinos. However, in this song, things got out of hand when whisky, bourbon, and a 45-caliber revolver was added into the mix.


A decade ago, Lady Gaga’s Poker Face was released. Hitting the shops in 2008, this track is about reading opponents’ “tells” in the popular casino game, which was already popular online, after the “poker boom” of 2003 onwards. It was a perfect time for Lady Gaga to capitalize on the global rise of online poker, which did (and does) not only mean a rise in the number of players worldwide but also a rise in the number of poker variants available to play online, with Omaha, 7 Card STud and Texas Hold’em the classics next to new ways of playing like SNAP and sit & go tournaments on mobiles and desktops. Lady Gaga’s song became a smash hit because of its engaging beat and the cleverly assembled lyrics that fused love and everybody’s favorite card game of skill. Within the lyrics of this song, there’s a lot of poker-fueled lines, such as, “luck and intuition play the cards with spades to start” and “I wanna hold em’ like they do in Texas.”

Katy Perry’s 2009 hit song Waking Up In Vegas takes the focus away from poker and other card games and centers on the crazy night life in the Sin City and what happens the morning after. In this song, a young couple woke up trying to piece together what happened to them the previous night. It was apparent that they got married the infamous Vegas style as was implied by the line “Oh, did we get hitched last night, dressed up like Elvis.” Other than that, everything else remains a mystery to the hung over couple who seemed to have enjoyed their night in the Sin City a little too much.

Las Vegas is the ultimate place to be for anyone who wants to have fun, and that includes music. Aside from the casino games that we all love like slot machines, roulette, baccarat, and poker, going to the Sin City for live entertainment will definitely give you an amazing experience. And this time around, Lady Gaga will take center stage.