Live Review - Lady Gaga at London's Brixton Academy, July 14 2009
All photos via Kate Green's flickr page - go check it out and leave her a comment...she took some great shots.
After almost a year of London club appearances, chart topping singles and gradual tabloid build-up frenzy, Lady Gaga performed her first London headline show to 5000 eager and sweaty fans last night at London's O2 Brixton Academy.
Blonde wigs galore, thunder bolt eye-makeup abundent, homeade disco sticks and general Gaga wannabe craziness filled the auditorium whilst Hyper Crush and Gary Go warmed-up the exciteable crowd. Clock turned 9:30pm and Lady Gaga took to the stage opening with her current UK single "Paparazzi" adorned with a disco ball dress that shined beaming rays of lights out in every direction to the audience - all of whom had their phones and cameras held high in the air to get a shot of the eccentric hit-maker.
It's interesting to see how Lady Gaga has opened up as an artist this past year since our early interview with her in July 2008. Emerging onto the pop music scene as almost a mysterious chantuese in gigantic dark sunglasses, rectangular football-player shoulder pads in red satin and PVC before "Just Dance" dominated the world charts, Lady Gaga now seems to be much more in-your-face, child-like and yet uberly aware of her superstar status now that the world has fallen charmed to her quirky brand of unavoidable pop and homeade glittery costumes.
"I know all of people say I say dirty things, but that's because I'm a dirty girl..."
After belting through "Love Game" Gaga welcomes the crowd by saying "Hello my little monsters". Perhaps an early reference to the re-release of the album entitled "The Fame - Monster" which was announced earlier in the day. Throughout the show, we got to see Lady Gaga film pieces portraying her alter ego "Candy Warhol" all set to the soundtrack of pop treasures such as "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say" (which was dedicated to her obsession with tattooed biker-type men) and one of my favourite songs on "The Fame" the spunktastic "where are all my gay boys?" track "Boys Boys Boys".
The best part about this whole visual spectacle for me was Lady Gaga's banter in-between songs. There is nothing more annoying for me than a popstar who doesn't talk to the crowd. During "Beautiful Dirty Rich", Gaga explains how she doesn't want our cash - it's all about the art for her. Somehow I find this to be a little hard to believe as I'm sure she's enjoying the fast track to success and the money that goes along with it...but you can tell that the money she's made thus far has gone right back into into her performance art in way of elaborate music videos and stage pieces; including a giant Haus of Gaga backdrop, bubble-wrap effect piano, lightning bolt microphone stand, apocolyptic Mad Max style musicians (who looked like they could have been the Nelson brothers - 15 years on) and keytars and of course the four quirky costume changes on the night. If she continues on this road to success with more chart-topping singles, I would love to find out what the stage show will consist of in the future - my imagination runs vividly wild as I'm sure Lady Gaga's does as well.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the show is the finale of "Brown Eyes" and "Poker Face". Lady Gaga did a five minute intimate piano number to "Poker Face" whilst inserting lots of quips and stories in-between the "I love my fans" lovefest. A touching preface to the number was when she read a letter from an admiring fan named Stevie before going into the performance. Stevie described herself as not being a crazed stalker or a 14 year-old girl, but rather a normal 19 year-old girl that loves nothing only but to "get wasted with her friends". Touching indeed - apparentley this form of honesty is something that moves Lady Gaga to tears as the performance was dedicated to this lucky fan.
Overall, a killer performance from Lady Gaga for her first headline London show. As a die-hard Gaga fan myself, I wanted a little something extra beyond all the YouTube clips I've seen of The Fame Ball Tour in America, but I really can't fault any part of this feast for the senses. When most new pop stars struggle to carve out an identity in music, it's nice to know that Lady Gaga is defined by her art and that every ounce of effort and her number one priority is to entertaining her fans and giving them the show-of-shows. She may be not be at the level of sold-out stadiums and arenas just yet, but give it time dear readers. I caught a lot of flack on Twitter for proclaiming her to be the new Madonna, but after this iconic performance at London's Brixton Academy, there is no doubt in my mind that Lady Gaga has is here to stay and has a very long pop career ahead of her.
This performance reminded me of Madonna's first big performance in Seattle, Washington on the memorable Virgin Tour - and if that wasn't iconic, I don't know what else is...
The only part missing was her pyrotechnic fire-tit bra -- I would have loved to see that...