Lady Gaga, Brixton Academy, London
Thursday 16 July 2009
Artists such as Little Boots and La Roux may be grabbing the critical plaudits at the moment, but for sheer effort Lady Gaga is impossible to ignore. Every day there appears to be another set of pictures in the tabloids of an outlandishly attired Stefani Germanotta, resulting in accusations that she is doing nothing more than merely trying to generate controversy and column inches in a cold and calculated grab for pop stardom.
Whether this is true or not, a number one album and two chart-topping singles cannot be put down solely to her ubiquity, and neither can a headline spot at the 5000-capacity Brixton Academy that sells out in 10 minutes. As a result, deafening screams greet the start of the show, a short video (the first of several) entitled "Haus of Gaga presents Who Shot Candy Warhol", and the noise level is raised as the screen drops to reveal Lady Gaga, attired in a skimpy mirrored outfit.
She begins with "Paparazzi", which is then followed by the suitably debauched "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich", both of which are greeted with riotous glee. Lady Gaga laps it up, at one point simply standing still and waving regally so as to ensure that everyone can get a snap of her on their camera phone.
What is great is that the whole thing is played as if it was an arena show, the type that Madonna and Kylie Minogue have perfected – backing dancers, moving video screens and, of course, numerous costume changes (I counted four different outfits) all feature. She even has a piano wheeled out for her at one point, and she plays it while showing off a surprisingly soulful voice on "Brown Eyes".
It is a short set tonight, unsurprisingly given that she only has the one album, but she manages to spread the hits – such as the big disco sing-along "Boys Boys Boys" and "The Fame", which sees her wheeled onto the stage astride a moped – evenly throughout, meaning there is barely a lull.
She finishes with "Poker Face", arguably her biggest song to date and elongated to close to twenty minutes, first led by piano and then reprised in its familiar form. Yes, it might seem a bit of a cop-out to fill the time, but no-one really seems to mind. Her second album will see her add more songs to her repertoire – just don't be surprised if by then the arenas are the only place you will be able to see her.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
- 3 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election