Lady Gaga @ Rod Laver Arena
It’s difficult to quantify what was more ridiculous – the extravagant castle onstage, the wireframe xenomorph outfit, the mecha-unicorn, the pantomimed cunnilingus, the gunshot execution of a backup dancer, the prism-encased disembodied head, or the entry via what was purported to be her own swollen loins. Within the first five minutes of the set, Lady Gaga vehemently laid clear why she is currently the biggest pop star in the world right now - and it didn’t let up for a second in the following two hours.
Costume changes hovered around the one per song ratio, the dynamic of gimmick performances (floating onrail stilts, a lap of the Gaga-motorcycle hybrid) and all-out dance jams was kept in check, and audience interaction never dipped below the red. There was some sort of over-arching narrative during the show, something to do with that floating prism-head. I could wrap my head around Prometheus, but I had no idea what the fuck was going on tonight. Anyway I think the head was bad so Lady Gaga shot it. Also there was something to do with goats and aliens. Underneath the overreaching imagery, Gaga relayed and reiterated the overwhelmingly positive message to the audience. Despite everything surrounding it, the sentiment rang true.
There were times when Rod Laver Arena flooded with lasers and became the best nightclub in the world, and all those in attendance eventually heeded Gaga’s call to stand up. Especially when they had a pretty lifelike rifle being aimed in their direction.
Gaga chose this evening to debut the new track Princess Die (which “may or may not be on the new album”). A candid ballad in which a shopping list of suicide techniques are explored, the track sounded like what Born To Die could have been if Lana Del Rey was in any way interesting.
Showcasing her vocal chops with a stripped back intro to Edge Of Glory before being joined by her crack backing band (who spent the majority of the night within the confines of the cross-section castle) to tear up the encore. Pulling up a little’n from the audience, Gaga reinforced the “if I can do it, anyone can do it” motto before saying goodnight with Marry The Night.
Spectacular, transgressive and celebratory. It’s only rock and roll, and I like it.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
LOVED: The one-two encore punch of Edge Of Glory and Marry The Night.
HATED: That the late, great Clarence Clemons’ sax solo on Edge Of Glory had to be relegated to a fairly weak guitar solo.
DRANK: Frozen cocktails out of flashing neon plastic martini cups (not really).