When I heard Lady GaGa was coming to Australia, I set about procuring a ticket as quickly as possible.
The first thing I noticed about her was her voice, I hadn't even seen a picture yet, but that voice, best I've heard in a very long time Then the videos, the interviews. There was something quite different about her compared to other artists. Here was someone who can sing, play an instrument, write songs, and was rather arty. Quite a collection of talents in one person.
Well tonight was the night for her Melbourne show and I had a great seat, slightly off centre, two rows from the front and next to an aisle. Mind you the stage was still some distance from me, but I was never again going to purchase a seat on the floor after The Who's concert.
The show was quite different to any other I had seen and I guess was arty. The support act, if you want to call it that, were dancers dancing to what sounded like David Bowie songs. The dancing was minimal and at some points statue like with no movement at all. Yes, something was happening on the stage, but not a lot.
After about four dancers the lights came up and stayed that way for a very long time. All that was happening was symphony music coming over the P.A. This went on for an eternity it seemed until the audience became restless. In an effort they amused themselves by performing 'Mexican Waves' but that soon lost it's gloss. Then the chanting started, the clapping, the yelling, the calling out "GaGa" nothing happened. After what must have been nearly an hour the audience was making that much noise that the show started. Now there's a tactic you don't see every day.
The first sensation that hits you is the sound: Loud and bassy, but very clear. I had my fingers in my ears for most of the show, both to soften the sound of the P.A. and the fans screaming/yelling. The next sensation is the light show, just amazing. Next is the stage prop if you can call it that: A huge stone castle five stories high and a circular catwalk containing the mosh pit.
The people that do the mixing, etc, looked like a piece of a NASA moon shot. Two rows with multiple desks in each row. There were also two TV type cameras. Clearly no expense was spared.
During the 'quiet period', I noticed one of the techs playing Doom or something similar on a laptop. They knew we were in for a wait.
Heaps of costume changes and lots of movement. The castle's front hinges and it actually opens up like a clam giving more variance. Twelve dancers roughly fifty-fifty male-female supported Lady GaGa and they worked hard. More visual props were the motorcycle and 'floating people'. Let me explain. The motorcycle was motorised and somehow traversed the whole catwalk with no-one steering it. Three of the dancers were in long white dresses obviously standing on some sort of motorised contraption did the same circuit. The fog machines were out and gave the appearance that they were floating as they were moving, but not by foot power.
A lot of use was made of stage elevators. They type that are level with the floor and then magically make people/objects appears and disappear. There was one at the centre of the catwalk. So one moment Lady GaGa was in the castle and then a few moments later she would magically appear at the front of the catwalk. Obviously the catwalk was hollow and she would run undetected between places.
Another GaGa-ism is her directions to the audience: Dance, Jump, Scream, Raise your hands,etc. I don't know any other performer who does this. Well, I did try at the last Blues Club open-mic but didn't have as much success as Lady GaGa.
A very strange show, closer to a theatre production than a pop act. When it came time to finish, I really didn't want it to. Lady GaGa had cast a spell on us and I really didn't want it to end, but end it did.
Most impressed, glad I went.