Lady Gaga deserves ‘applause’ for artRAVE tour

May 19, 2014
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Crazy costume changes, killer vocals, catchy songs, what more could you ask for in a concert?

Dressing myself in the proper Gaga attire, complete with face paint replicating the “Applause” music video and the bow-tie hairstyle from the singer’s first years on the scene, I was ready to experience my first Lady Gaga concert at “artRAVE: the ARTPOP ball” on Thursday, May 15th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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Lady Gaga is the epitome of not judging a book by its cover. The most common criticism the born and raised New Yorker receives is about her choice of clothing, which is completely ridiculous because underneath her celebrity aura is nothing but pure and amazing talent. “I think it’s ok to have wigs and crazy outfits with makeup and I don’t think it makes you shallow or artificial. I think it’s a way to express who you are, I think it’s a wonderful way to run away from things, I think it’s a way to cope,” she later confessed during the show before an onstage outfit change.

However, her opening act Hatsune Miku was not up to par whatsoever. In fact, she downright confused me. Not only was the performer not speaking English, but she wasn’t even a person. She was a hologram with a squeaky high voice whose “songs” all sounded exactly the same. My best friend, her mom and I walked back out to get food during her performance after the initial “wow this is weird” effect shortly wore off and we remembered that we would have to listen to her for at least another half an hour. Even the security guard stopped to ask us before we walked back, “do you have any idea what this is supposed to be?” My honest answer was a simple “no idea”. There was an actual person on stage when we came back, but she never said a word and just mixed annoying beats until it was time for the real musician to come on stage.

Meanwhile, Gaga’s die-hard fans were surely a sight to see. Like mother monster herself, they seemed very comfortable in their own skin and even striked poses when asked for a picture of their crazy ensembles. The girl with the rainbow skirt exclaimed that she had a literal bag of glitter with her and upon taking it out she proceeded to throw it up in the air for all to revel in its shimmery glory with her. (I still don’t think all of it is out of my hair yet.)

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Gaga ascended into view in a silver/gold sparkle leotard adorned with a blue orb in the center that channeled the cover of her newest album, ARTPOP. She strutted herself down all isles of her elongated stage, making sure to give all her little monsters the best access to her as possible. She changed into 5 other outfits consisting of a different wig each time. Her rockin’ 2 hours consisted of a great mix of vintage songs such as “Bad Romance”, “Alejandro”, “Telephone”, and newer hits like “Do What U Want”. The setlist was as follows:

-ARTPOP

-G.U.Y.

-Donatella

-Fashion!

-Venus

-MANiCURE

-Cake Like Lady Gaga

-Just Dance

-Poker Face

-Telephone

-Partynauseous

-Paparazzi

-Do What U Want

-Born This Way

-Jewels N’ Drugs

-Aura

-Sexxx Dreams

-Mary Jane Holland

-Alejandro

-Bad Romance

-Applause

-Swine

-Gypsy (encore)

The most heartfelt point in the show was when fans started to throw gifts onstage. Odd things to grab her attention such as a Cheerios box which Gaga pointed out “has no Cheerios in it” were present, but sentimential notes of affection made the pop star stop the show dead in its tracks and read aloud to the audience. The stories of inspiration and gratefulness she received made her point out the letters’ authors and publicly ask them if they wanted to go backstage afterwards to meet her.

Gaga acknowledged the crowd very well, making sure to add “Philly” to each speech to keep everybody’s energy up (not that it was necessary). Sitting down at a rock structure with a piano behind it, Gaga shined liked the queen of pop that she is. Sure, the get-up-and-dance songs were great, but her raw voice on the ballads was so fantastic that I could have listened to her belt out the flawless renditions of “Born This Way” and “Gypsy” all night long.

Being a typical concert goer, I can honestly say that the feelings I got after this show weren’t like any of the ones I’ve been to in the past. I felt completely inspired after seeing how Gaga was so naturally confident and it made me want to be just as fearless as her in my everyday life. I loved how she not only showed love and was non-biased towards all types of people different from herself, but she also challenged her audience to do the same.  Gaga summed it up best in her intro for “MANiCURE” saying, “no negativity, there is no failure in this room tonight. We all f—in won.”

Long story short, you can say what you want about Lady Gaga but if you give her a chance and attend one of her shows you will be blown away. It saddens me to think about the other Lady Gaga tours I’ve missed out on in the past, but I know for sure that I won’t miss any from now on.

Are you going/did you go to artRAVE? Share your stories, videos, and/or pictures with us @weknowthedj.

-Lauren Fabiszak @kidrauhlsjonas

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