Lady Gaga Newcastle Arena 22nd Nov 2014

Lady Gaga Newcastle Arena 22nd Nov 2014
gagaprogLaura and her friend Christina accompanied me to the ArtPop Ball, when Gaga’s ArtRave tour called at Newcastle Arena last night. I am finding it difficult to write about this show, there was so much going on all the time, with a crazy stage set, many dancers, and loads of costume changes. I also can’t make my mind up whether it was one of the best shows I have ever seen, or one of the worst; truth being it contained elements of both.
We arrived while support, and Gaga friend, Lady Starlight was finishing her set, which seemed to consisted of a constant monotone dance beat. She soon left the stage and a series of videos of our Gaga hero were greeted by massive cheers from the crowd. The stage set consisted of bright white dome-like structures on the main stage which housed the band, and formed an entrance to the show. From the stage a series of translucent walkways extended out into the main floor area of the arena. The fans on the floor could walk underneath and between the walkways and could still see the show through them. There was another smaller stage-cum-walkway at the other end of the floor area. A massive piano, looking something like a futuristic version of the organ from The Phantom, was perched on a corner of the set up.
gagatixThe show itself was a mix of Lady Gaga’s hits and tracks from the new album. Lots of loud dance, anthemic singalongs and a few acoustic-type songs which featured Gaga largely solo on the piano. The latter were, for me, some of the best moments. Lady Gaga had a number of costumes changes into a series of bizarre get-ups including a strange tentacle dress, a golden leotard with wings, some very revealing next-to-nothing outfits and a crazy rave girl complete with big rara skirt and luminous dreadlocks. At one point she is changed by her stylists on stage, dressing down to nothing at all, with her back to the audience. There were also quite a few Gaga speeches / sermons where she told us hoiw she is “the most authentic artist”, talked about her support for the LGBT community, and related some stories of her life. Her personal connection to the fans is clear and strong. She talks directly to them, a lot, more so than any other artist. The music is pretty powerful stuff at times. Some of the images are simplistic and obvious, but I guess that it part of the point, the attraction, the charm and the power of the concept. Is it “authentic performance art”? Who knows, and who is to decide? The audience certainly liked it and cheered in unison when Gaga declared them the “most f***ing authentic fanbase in the world” (if you keep saying you are authentic does it make you authentic?). But I am perhaps being a little harsh here. At the end of the day this is a challenging, entertaining, sometimes moving, sometimes a little shocking, show which takes every rock and pop (and art) concept you have ever seen (Bowie, Madonna, Queen, Liza Minnelli, punk, disco, dance, rave, Bette Midler, Black Sabbath, Blondie, Cyndi Lauper, Andy Warhol – you can see them all in there), mashes them up, twists them and throws them back out at you in some super bright, often trashy, never boring but always entertaining, postmodern pastiche. You just have to admire the lady.
ACT I: Welcome to the artRave: ArtPop; G.U.Y.; Donatella
ACT II: Planet Venus; Venus; MANiCURE
ACT III: Memories; Just Dance; Poker Face / Telephone
ACT IV: Partynauseous; Paparazzi; Do What U Want; Dope; Yoü And I; Born This Way
ACT V: Jewels N’ Drugs; The Edge of Glory (snippet); Sexxx Dreams; Mary Jane Holland; Alejandro; Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
ACT VI: Ratchet; Bad Romance; Applause; Swine
Encore: Gypsy

Advertisements

2 responses to this post.

  1. By way of contrast last night we went out to a small local venue in Northampton to see a Sheffield-based singer-songwriter called Neil McSweeney. It was one of the most impressive gigs I’ve been to in a long time, he’s well worth checking out if you’ve not already come across him: http://neilmcsweeney.com/

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: