OK, I need to be honest. I don’t own a Lady Gaga album. I have never been interested in buying a Lady Gaga album and I haven’t actually been sure if I ever like her very much. And then I went to her concert.
Gaga is a great singer, there’s no denying that. Bursting into ARTPOP, she dominated the massive curling stage, surrounded but dancers, lights and screaming fans. She nailed every song, dancing non-stop, disappearing every few songs for a change into another elaborate costume.
I was blown away, singing along, surprised to realise that I actually knew the words to a lot of her songs. I would have liked to have heard more from her back catalogue mixed in with the ARTOP-dominated set list. ‘Pokerface’, ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Telephone’ were delivered as a mash-up rather than as stand-alone songs.
Teasing the crowd with the lyrics for “I Will Always Love You”, she reminded me of a Madonna/Whitney combination. Boisterous, unstoppable and full of soul. Situating herself at the piano for a few songs, was she was really enchanting, dedicating the beautiful ‘Dope’ to people suffering with drug addiction, mental health and HIV.
The extravagant Heart-shaped confetti covered everyone and lights spun around the room. The seven costume changes were quick and breathtaking and included one on-stage change which was a brilliant spectacle. Looking very Marilynesque at one point, it struck me how much of an amazing performer she really is. It’s a full-on show, but also really showcases her voice.
It’s undeniable that she loves her fans and that’s what the evening was about – performing for her little monsters. Between ‘Aura’ and ‘Sexxx Dreams’, she paused to read a letter that had been thrown up on stage. “Thank you for creative artpop for us,” the hysterical Olivia from the front row had written, absolutely losing her shit when Gaga invited her backstage after the show.
She’s really nailed this performance thing. I think she kind of lost her way with ARTPOP originally but this tour seems to be more “Gaga”. ‘Bad Romance’ and ‘Alejandro’ rocked the entire place and her last costume change, leaving her dressed as a baby raver just made me smile. She ended with ‘Swine’ and ‘Gypsy’ and everyone kept dancing. Thankfully she left the whole “will she, won’t she” dragged out encore bullshit alone.
Sadly it was nowhere near a sold-out show and there was obvious many of the people in the seats around us did not seem to be enjoying it nearly as much as I was. A few of the costumes were a little over the top; Ursula meets 101 Dalmatians for example, but the whole point of ARTPOP is expression and she definitely did that.
I walked in cynical and unsure, and I left overexcited and happy. As a Gaga virgin I was definitely impressed and truthfully, now I kind of get the hype. I won’t go as far as calling myself a Little Monster but hands down she was really good. ARTPOP is here people; embrace the rave!
Lady Gaga – ARTRAVE Perth set list:
Just Dance/Poker Face/Telephone
Do What U Want
Born This Way
Edge of Glory
Lady Gaga’s artRAVE continues in Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on Saturday August 23 and Sunday August 24 then visits Brisbane’s Entertainment Centre on Tuesday August 26. Sydney’s Allphones Arena get the show on Saturday August 30 and Sunday August 31. Find tickets here via Ticketek.
Photos by Paul Kane.
This was originally published by SameSame. You can read it here.