Live Review: Lady Gaga - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (23.08.14)

Photo: Paul Kane/Getty

Lady Gaga brought her artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball tour to Melbourne on Saturday night, and delighted the crowd with a massive production consisting of an extended stage, numerous costume changes, dancers, impressive lighting and her live band. It was nothing short of a raving spectacle that celebrated the pop diva's prowess while maintaining a high level of artistic integrity.

Walking into Rod Laver Arena, the first thing you noticed was the large shiny pink curtain sparkling on stage. There was an elaborate stage set up leading out from the main stage, made up of clear walkways and four mini stages, with one stage being the home for her fairytale themed piano. The GA ticket holders, most of whom were dressed up in elaborate costumes had the prized position of gathering around and underneath the walkways.

When it was time, the pink curtain dropped to expose an extravagant stage step up of white igloo like domes. As the live band launched into “ARTPOP”, Lady Gaga emerged from under the floor, wearing a gold leotard and an extravagant wing-like back piece. It became instantly clear that this was going to be a massive production that was going to be full of excessive amounts of sparkling and glitzy fun, and confetti being sprayed into the audience during the first song settled any dispute about this.

What was impressive about the spectacle was Lady Gaga's ability to combine the traditional pop diva elements while maintaining her artistic integrity. She had no less than five elaborate costume changes, a group of talented dancers prancing around her and a very girly glitzy stage set-up. Yet, it was completely true to herself as an artist. There was no compromising herself during this show. She was in control of the whole show and she owned it. She interrupted her own songs numerous times to speak about equality, uniqueness, addictions, pursuit of happiness and self-acceptance.

Everyone in the audience were her little monsters and she made sure every single person felt loved and felt free to be whoever they wanted to be. In the sometimes conservative and judgemental world that we live in, we need more people like her. It was clear how much her fans idolise her for her respect and celebration of being unique. Fans threw fan mail onto the stage at one point, which Lady Gaga made time to read, some of them being page-long letters of love and admiration for the star.

At the end of the day, Lady Gaga put on a show that was was all about celebrating creative freedom. She endeavoured to celebrate her own creative freedom but while inspiring the audience to follow their creative pursuits with no boundaries, with comments such as 'you are an artist of your own life, your canvas is only half written'.

Looking past what Lady Gaga stands for, she is also an incredibly talented singer. Her vocals soared with ease, reaching high pitched notes one moment then screaming from the top of her lungs the next. And while their may have been some backing vocals, it was obvious she was not lip synching. While her set primarily consisted of newer tracks from her recent record ARTPOP, she also featured some of her older songs such as “Poker Face”, “Alejandro” and “Telephone” to keep her old school fans happy.

While all of Lady Gaga's little monsters would have left the arena feeling extremely happy and inspired, all the skeptics would of surely come around to realising what an incredible talent and respectable artist Lady Gaga is. The world needs more talented and honest artists in the world, and Lady Gaga is taking it upon herself to inspire the next generation to have the self-love and creative freedom to be whoever they want to be.

Set List
2. G.U.Y
3. Donatella
4. Venus
5. MANiCure
6. Just Dance
7. Poker Face
8. Telephone
9. Paparazzi
10. Do What U Want
11. Dope
12. Born This Way
13. The Edge of Glory
14. Judas
15. Aura
16. Sexxx Dreams
17. Alejandro
18. Bad Romance
19. Applause
20. Swine
Encore: Gypsy