After postponing due to illness towards the end of 2017, Lady Gaga continued her European tour of Joanne this Spring.
Naturally, because this is Lady Gaga, we expect nothing less than provocative costuming; although this album and her costuming is relatively tame in comparison to its predecessor, Artpop (those of you who are vegetarian will be pleased to know there was no horrific meat dress this time). Nonetheless, Gaga certainly did not leave much to the audience’s imagination as layer after layer was removed during her performance.
Fans seeing Gaga for the first time are satisfied to hear their long-standing favourites including: Paparazzi, LoveGame and Telephone (sadly, no surprise duet with Beyoncé). The choreography, staging and lighting were innovative, featuring tiers and moving platforms. Although the audience hadn’t realised, Gaga halted the concert after this technology failed during Scheiße; we were blessed with an encore of this as the performance was being filmed for TV that night.
The album title (also a single) refers to both her middle name and her father’s sister who tragically died before Gaga’s birth from the chronic disease lupus. Undoubtedly, this heartfelt song is challenging for Gaga to perform, and an equally emotional experience for the audience as hear and feel her grief and relate it to our own; tears were shed for our Joannes.
The core theme of the tour is ‘emotion, dance, love and acceptance’, says Catherine Regan (19, University of East Anglia) who, along with her sister Nicola (16), were lucky enough to have VIP tickets and thus outstanding views for Gaga’s on stage piano pieces. During song intervals, necessary for catching breaths between vigorous dance routines, Gaga preached equality which would then seamlessly lead into Born this Way.
Through her music, Gaga has captured the hearts and minds of young adults during their most troubling times. This became evident upon finding a scrunched-up letter from a member of the front row, Conor, who had struggled fitting in at an all-boys school and found solace only at lunch breaks, during which he could shut out the rest of the world, insert his earphones and listen to Gaga.
Gaga is a performer; but to say this is her only role would be an insult. She is an inspiration to millions of individuals who have felt alone and uncomfortable in their own bodies. Her confidence to speak (or sing) out for those who feel they are incapable of doing so, makes her a credit to the music industry.
Words, Rachel Deakin