My relationship with Gaga is tempestuous at best. I want to love her again. Four years ago she was the best act in pop music and now everyone has moved on (including myself). The artRave, to it’s credit, is an insanely colorful and imaginative show. Gaga has gone above and beyond to create an experience and if it had come to my city I still would have seen it for this reason.
Anyway, this morning I received an email from Live Nation linking me to a livestream for Gaga’s last show of the artRave in Paris and I decided what better way to watch than to liveblog it. Enjoy my thoughts and ramblings as I try to make it through this show.
1:45 — Apparently Live Nation/ Yahoo wants us to endure Gaga’s opening acts. I have no idea who I’m watching but I do know a) that snapback is not a good look b) he is very gay c) the wailing needs to end
1:50 — shots of Gaga in her make-up chair with her dog, who is clearly loving the attention, is so much better than this performance
2:00 — Lady Starlight is next which means I am going to eat lunch and watch American Dreams reruns
3:00 — AND WE’RE OFF
3:09 — Shots of a nude Gaga painting are overlayed with a repeating track that has been playing for a good ten minutes…. I feel like I’m losing my mind
3:10 — Gaga’s blonde wig is being put on.
3:11 — “HAHAHA I AM MAKING ALL OF YOU LISTEN TO THIS TRACK WHILE I AM GETTING GLAM. ARE YOU HAVING FUN????? ARE YOU LEARNING ABOUT ART YET??????”
3:13 — This repeating mantra is literally what they should use on prisoners in isolation/ torture.
3:15 — It has stopped. The crowd screamed.
3:20 — So many colorful lights. Dancers dressed like anime characters are running around the stage with balls. It’s definitely begun.
3:22 – ARTPOP. Lots of intense arm dancing from Gaga. She’s wearing feathered orange wings. A blue ball is bursting from her chest. She is joyously singing at the top of her lungs. She’s screamed to put your paws/ hands up twice in the last two minutes. She also likes to show her French vocabulary!
3:25 — G.U.Y. I think she might lose her voice by how much throat shrieking she’s doing???
3:29 — Donatella. “Check it: I’m blonde. I’m skinny. And I’m in Paris, YOU BITCH.” Clever live word play~~
3:30 — “In all your monster glory!!!” Sighs.
3:37 — VENUS. Gaga looks very euphoric rn
3:41 — Am I the only one getting Divine teas from Gaga’s eye make-up??? Just me?? No shade
3:42 — Gaga’s really trying to do Edith Piaf
3:43 — Gaga claims Little Monsters is the most “authentic” fanbase ever created. I laugh.
3:45 — “For those of you who came for the hits, you must not know me very well. I suggest you grab a glowstick, a drink and gET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. HERE’S MANICURE.” (gulps)
3:45 — This is why Katy Perry is performing at the Super Bowl and you’re not.
3:51 JUST DANCE. TUUUUUUUUNE!!! (finally) Cheers to the blonde dancer behind Gaga who is GETTING HIS LIFE!!!!!! from this number and singing along to every word
3:53 — POKER FACE. YASSSSSSS “I told you I’m not playing any hits tonight! Well, maybe just a few.” Please god. Play more.
3:56 — TELEPHONE. But it’s just the chorus because lol who cares about the Fame Monster tracks right??
3:57 — Well, she’s left the stage and with that so did any chance of any other hits besides “Bad Romance” being played.
4:04 — DO WHAT YOU WANT. The song that ended her tbh….RIP.
4:06 — She’s being pelted with gifts onstage while holding an LGBT flag. Doing a jazz version of “Do What U Want” now. #TONYSIMPACT
4:08 — “Look at all my sweet little babies throwing shit on stage.”
4:10 — She becomes more like Liza Minnelli every day. “Can you believe I used to be a stripper?” You weren’t. She’s performing “Dope” now. I have to mute this.
4:14 — This is still happening. God. Help. Paris.
4:20 — “Dope” has finally ended. Gaga is now asking her fans in Paris to send love, happiness and health to the fans watching this livestream
(because they are not there).
4:21 — YOU AND I. I guess Gaga listened to the criticisms because she is actually including more hits, including this gem which many fans were angryyy about her excluding in the North American leg.
4:28 — Gaga is reading a suicidal fan’s letter saying this is his/ her last Gaga concert. Hm.
4:36 — Gaga has brought the fan onstage and is now dedicating “Born This Way” to him. “Let’s lift our hands and hearts to every person who has been beaten and demoralized for this fucked up view.” Sidenote: I think if Gaga would just accept that she has niched herself to only gay fans she will have a much happier career.
4:44 — JUDAS. I’m surprised??? “Judas” segues into “Aura.”
4:47 — I’M EXHAUSTED –this show is too much
4:48 — SEX DREAMS. Remember when her stans said this should be a single because it would save the era? This performance was very messy.
4:55 — “Mary Jane Holland” happened but it was very boring. Now she is onto “Alejandro”. More glimpses of when Gaga was great.
5:00 — Gaga has emerged in her Cher cosplay performing a track from Cheek To Cheek. The crowd is indifferent.
5:11 DOESN’T ANYONE REMEMBER GLAMOUR?!?!?!?
5:16 Gaga says the best show was in the audience every night. (I am not surprised) “From artist to fan, we APPLAUD YOU” (“Applause” begins) I sometimes imagine her writing these speeches at her mirror, rehearsing them, weeping a bit and then saying to herself, “Yes, yes. This is very good.”
5:20 — She’s squealing like a pig. This is nothing other than “Swine.” Once again, I am burying my head in embarrassment for her.
5:28 — Gypsy encore. A final walk down the runway. She’s weeping now. “I hope you can all remember this moment together. When we painted each other’s face (her voice breaks), when we called each other monsters. (real crying now). I will follow you around the world as long as you’ll have me. (sniffles) I love making music. I love making art. I love, love meeting all you beautiful creative people. When this song is over, the clock will start ticking until next time.” Paris is screaming.
THE SHOW IS OFFICIALLY OVER.
My final thoughts are this: While there’s no denying Gaga is immensely talented she lacks much direction and focus with Artpop. It’s so apparent in the excessive wig changes and no real concept for the show. It’s just an explosion of color and costumes. Furthermore, Gaga does not have that large amount of GOOD tunes to warrant nearly 2 and a half hours of a show that is not beyond exhausting. This show could have been so much more: so edgier, so sleeker, so THOUGHT-PROVOKING. It’s really none of those things. It’s for the diehard fans and it is interesting for sure, but only because I’m trying to decipher what really made the train go off the tracks for Gaga. (And further to the point, because there’s so much going on) She gives it her all in every number, and Gaga has a large amount of stage presence. She clearly loves Artpop. But I don’t think that can save her from the lack of good songs and actual direction in the show.
Either way it was a fun experience to watch. If anyone else went to the show or saw it what were your thoughts?