The new Young Fathers album is their most intriguing and absorbing yet, building effortlessly on the plaudits received by their previous workWritten by Letty Gardner on 23rd March 2018
Live Review: Lady Gaga
After a long, patient wait for Lady Gaga's rescheduled shows, Life&Style Editor Tara Kergon is lucky enough to see one of just two shows before the Joanne tour is called off again
A heady experience, the kind of visually, mentally, and aurally intense performance that leaves you simultaneously dazed and high, the Joanne World Tour was Lady Gaga at her very best. Perhaps, as a long-time little monster, I’m a little biased, but the two-hour long show was worth both of the waits: first, since the rescheduling in September 2017, and second, the seven hours I sat outside the arena in a bodysuit and fishnets to be in the front row. Gaga takes ‘all the world is a stage’ to extremes and when actually onstage somehow even further: elaborate costumes, fireballs, rigorous dance routines, ascending and descending platforms that linked two smaller circle stages to the main stage, and even her own ‘death’ were all part of the spectacle.
“Gaga takes ‘all the world is a stage’ to extremes and when actually onstage somehow even further. This was far more than just a run-down of the latest album
The set list, too, was more than just a run-down of the latest album: she may have ascended to begin with ‘Diamond Heart’ and blazed literal fireballs during ‘John Wayne’, but ‘Bad Romance’, ‘Just Dance’, ‘Alejandro’ and many more classic hits found themselves re-imagined. It’s been ten years since her first album was released and ‘LoveGame’ still gets me up and dancing - just call her Joanne this time. Imbued with the sheer electrifying emotion and energy she emanates from the stage, the concert took me from dancing to ‘Perfect Illusion’ and ‘Poker Face’, to holding my monster claw aloft during ‘Born This Way’, to crying as she performed the heartstring-tugging title track ‘Joanne’ from a piano emitting rainbow light.
What makes a Lady Gaga concert something unlike no other live performance is that atmosphere, and the fact that she genuinely cares. She pours her heart and soul into each performance and makes it perfect every time; after ‘Scheiße’, what I took to be an overly dramatic rendition of the ‘Alejandro’ refrain (‘Stop! Please, just let me go, Alejandro…’) turned out to be her halting the entire show over a stage malfunction – and then proceeding to repeat ‘Scheiße’ from the top.
“Finding out afterwards that she was not only in such pain, but that she was receiving medical attention backstage between sets, only makes her energy and her fire more impressive
And it is not just her art and creativity that Gaga cares about, but her fans. She is inclusive to the end, and the concert space becomes more than a place to watch an act – during ‘The Edge of Glory’, she asked every audience member who had ever felt different to raise their lights, and the arena became a twinkling sea of phone torches, self love, and acceptance. And she always makes the time to gather the letters thrown on stage and read out a ‘Monster-gram’.
The show seems even more special now, since the two Birmingham dates were the only two she performed in the UK before cancelling the final tour dates due to her fibromyalgia. Finding out afterwards that she was not only in such pain, but that she was receiving medical attention backstage between sets, only makes her energy and her fire more impressive. Xo, Joanne.