As the Lady brings her ArtRave tour to town, we debate whether she’s still got it
Sonya Barber, Blog editor
Lady Gaga is the essence of all that is wonderfully hyperbolic about pop music. She’s boiled down Madonna’s songwriting, Grace Jones’s flair and Beyoncé’s dancing prowess and given it all a pretentious twist by collaborating with artists like Marina Abramovic and Jeff Koons. She’s taken it so far that she’s almost become a work of performance art, which reaches its glorious climax during her flamboyant stadium shows.
For her Born This Way tour, Gaga treated us to holograms, motorbikes, monsters and meat. She was even birthed from a huge vagina. I have never seen a crowd so buoyant. ArtRave promises to be even more grand, with an on-stage cave, multiple costume changes, tentacles, sparkly wings and canons firing cuddly toys. It’s silly, filthy, kitsch, fun and 100 percent mindless entertainment. I’m sure this will be unlike any east London art rave I’ve ever been to, but sometimes I don’t want to think, I want to… just dance.
Oliver Keens, Music editor
Sure, Gaga can throw a bazillion strobes on to a stage. She can even indiscriminately blast furry toys at her fans. A kick ass stage show is great, but for a stadium gig to really to work, you need to have the ability to charm everyone, to the very last row. The peculiar problem with Gaga is that she’s cultivated her hardcore fanbase, her Little Monsters, a little too well.
Where she once aimed at the mainstream, Gaga’s started to become niche, self-indulgent and boring – a view reinforced by her disappointing ‘Artpop’ LP (can you name any songs from it? Didn’t think so). Existing in a bubble of tribal followers means ordinary punters get left out.
When I saw her previewing songs from ‘Artpop’ last year, singalong hands-in-the-air fun took a back seat as she revelled in soliciting endless sympathy and devotion from her fans. Anyone not signed up to the cult of Gaga just found it a little awkward and a bit cringe worthy. Her Little Monsters will love it, but I doubt that this show will add up to art, a rave, or, indeed, a great night out.
Lady Gaga plays The O2 on Thu Oct 23, Sat Oct 25 and Sun Oct 26. Find out more and buy tickets here.