Monday, May 19, 2014

Lady Gaga Art Pop: You Make My Heart Stop

A little over a year ago Lady Gaga halted production of her "Born This Way Ball" and announced that she would be taking some time off to get a hip replacement. She canceled the rest of the tour and went in for some major surgery. Instead of taking time off after the surgery she got back to the studio and recorded her latest album Art Pop as soon as she was back on her feet. She promised her fans that this album and this tour would be different than anything that she had ever done before.

Art Pop is a dance record, it is a celebration of art, and it is different than her previous releases. It has been bashed by every critic out there, but as a fan I have to tell you, I do not see why. It might not have had the radio success that the last two albums have had, but commercial success doesn't mean shit to me. I have seen Gaga on her last four visits to Detroit and I knew that she was going to put on a great show despite what the critics had to say about the album. I walked into Joe Louis this past Saturday ready to dance and have a good time, and when it was all over I was not disappointed.

We arrived around 8:30 p.m. and made our way down to the floor which was standing room only. Once we were on the floor we saw the amazing stage set up that Gaga had assembled. The stage had three or four different walkways that literally went over the crowd. It was 100% see through, so even if you were standing under the stage you could see what was happening right above you. This setup made for some of the weirdest up skirts that I have ever witnessed, but also some of the coolest dance routines that I have ever seen.

At 9:15 the curtain dropped and Lady Gaga rose up through the floor in a costume that resembled the artwork on the cover of Art Pop. She proceed to play through about 5 or 6 tracks off Art Pop, including "Venus", "Manicure", and "Aura".
She changed her outfits for almost every song before breaking into a few of her hits, including "Poker Face", "Just Dance", and an acapella version of "Born this Way" on the piano. She then did a few more songs off Art Pop including "Mary Jane Holland", "Donatella", and "Do What You Want". She talked to the crowd in between every song. She accepted gifts of clothing and hats and put them out while she was performing. Gaga took a letter from a fan and read it aloud, it was sweet and touching and almost made me cry mid party. She interacted with the crowd and even invited a few people to come backstage after the show.

Each song came with costume changes, a story, or something to make it special. She walked around saying hello to her fans and waving at them when they waved at her. I stood way too close to the piano and even got a smile or two directed at me throughout the night. I have never seen an arena feel so intimate.

Gaga finished out her set playing "Applause" and my favorite track off the new album, "Swine". By this point she was dressed as a little raver and she was crawling around on the stage squealing like a little pig. The other pigs on stage were squirting fake puke onto a shirt which she then handed to someone in the crowd. The entire two hours was amazing to watch and very interactive.

She discussed the critics' judgement of the new album and said at the end of the day she loves it and that's all that matters to her. She addressed gay rights and celebrated the differences of those in the crowd. She talked about the image of pop stars in the media and went over all the ways that she doesn't live up to their standards. She even did a costume change on stage in front of the crowd screaming out, “I don't give a fuck what people think of me.” When she changed on stage she was completely nude, except for a thong. She literally showed her fans every nook and cranny of who she is, no filter. Her banter with the crowd was inspiring to say the least.

This show was different from Gaga's previous tours because it was less about a theatre production and more about having a party with her fans. It seems like this is her way of repaying the people that are sticking behind her despite what critics have to say. She closed the show by coming out in her fanciest outfit of the night and playing "Gypsy" on the piano. Even after two hours on my feet I did not want it to end. She delivered an excellent show and reaffirmed my obsession with her, no one gives their fans as much as she does.


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