Sunday, August 7, 2022

Lady Gaga, the queen of freaks, is back and just as unforgettable

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“I’m focusing on all the bravery, all the bravery,” Lady Gaga says of the pandemic time, which has seen her Chromatica Ball tour twice postponed. “I want to look back on the last few years and always remember us just like that.”

Given that “just like that” includes 60,000 people with flashing bracelets watching a purple bug lady play a piano that resembles a flaming alien throne – apparently designed by HR Giger – we probably won’t forget it.

We are somewhat blessed with this coming in 2022 and as an acclaimed actor his Americana album in 2016 Joanne Descended into an unaffected personal revelation, Stefani Germanotta remains one of the world’s most eye-popping and bizarre live acts. “Thanks for loving a freak like me!” She beams at the crowd, a sizeable portion of whom are dressed in their own homemade freak outfits. And it’s hard not to fall for a ghost avant-garde enough to concoct a four-act stadium show Brazil meets Hostel, A Clockwork Orange, Prometheus, The Great Gatsby, The Warriors, Them!, The Matrix and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

The show begins as strange as it takes to go on. An impressionistic film, like a nightmare on celluloid, captures Gaga transforming into an evil bird woman before the prelude begins, in which Gaga appears atop a series of brutalist mock concrete cells held in place by a mechanical exoskeleton and at a ” Bad Romance sings troupe of dancing prisoners as they spin in place. The metaphor for being trapped in an abusive relationship is obvious, but from there the Chromatica Ball pays little attention to image and subject matter.

Gaga breaks out of her metal straitjacket for “Just Dance,” red alarm lights flood the stage for Eurythmics noir “Poker Face,” and the monster is loose. In Act 1 (“Alice”, “Replay”, “Monster”), in a blood-spattered leotard and blood-red dress, she lies on a filthy slab of a hydraulic operating room like the torture-porn victim of a spleen raid on a Budapest back street. In Act 2 (“911,” “Sour Candy,” a great “Telephone,” and “LoveGame,” Gaga’s sizzle-free “…Baby One More Time”), she’s recast as a sci-fi S&M cop as the stage moves transformed into a steampunk version of the Nostromo. Act 3 (“Babylon”, “Free Woman”, “Born This Way”) then takes place at a decadent Gatsby party, Gaga and dancers in gold suits, before forming a procession to a second stage in the crowd and crowning Gaga as the queen of the bug people.

That shape-shifting generosity has often drawn comparisons to Bowie, but Gaga doesn’t display nearly the same genre-bending vivacity tonight. Strong drawing from the 2020s chromaticism Album, her return to dance-pop, she often comes across as almost a tribute act to her pop predecessors: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Pet Shop Boys and – on the “Vogue”-ape Babylon – and Express Yourself -Facsimile “Born This Way” – Madonna. These are hardly bad acts, but it’s when Gaga grabs the latest in a long line of surreal pianos for the Act 4 ballad medley that her individual talent really shines behind the costume stand. Interrupting tunes to dedicate them to Alexander McQueen and deliver motivational messages about identity, she roars through the epic land of “Shallow.” A star Is Bornand stands on one leg on her stool as “Fun Tonight” transitions from sad ballad to U2 disco.

Finally, a video of Gaga reciting a poem about how life is art and we’re all eternal (tell that Tottenham’s hangover tomorrow) gives way to an ecstatic finale of “Stupid Love,” “Rain On Me,” and “Hold My.” Hand”. , Gaga disguised as biker Beyonce with a scrawny clawed hand. It’s fair to say that the queen of freaks is back and still unforgettable.

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