Lady GaGa jazzes it up at Radio 1 Big Weekend in Carlisle
Last updated at 11:23, Monday, 16 May 2011
When Lady Gaga announced she was headlining Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Carlisle braced itself for a night of high drama, couture costumes and hopefully a pop show like nothing it had ever seen before.
Carried on stage in a coffin and emerging, PVC-clad, like a creature from Predator, the queen of quirk made sure she didn’t disappoint.
The statement outfit included a mock pregnancy bump which she stroked maternally then, as the tension began to subside, blasted into Born This Way – the show had begun.
But as well as the headline- grabbing costumes and theatrical dance routines, Carlisle also saw a softer side of Gaga that rarely comes across, even in interviews.
Between the chart-toppers, she pulled back her superstar veil and gave us a glimpse of the real her - the woman behind the artist, so to speak – with a stripped-back jazz-inspired set, at times just her and the piano.
Any rumours that she would turn up and mime were blown right out the water. The voice was soulful and note-perfect.
Okay, she was late on stage. By about 30 minutes. But when you’re as in demand an artist as Lady Gaga is right now it’d be almost rude not to play up to the hype a bit – and let’s face it, lacing up those knee-length PVC stiletto boots isn’t a two-minute job.
If anything, the late arrival only added to the already-boiling-over suspense. Carlisle chanted her name, and her Gaga came – in trademark style.
From Born This Way she was straight into Bad Romance, leading her army of backing dancers through some edgy, Thriller-esque routines and she switched from one leather-studded garment to the next.
The little monsters in the crowd responded to the mothership’s orders, putting their “claws up” – anyone who’s seen the Bad Romance video will know what that means – as they danced and sang along.
After migrating to a vintage throne at the top of the stage, she looked down at the sea of fans and pondered on what to do next. The answer, a selection of past hits featuring club favourite Telephone, second single Poker Face and the sublime Alejandro.
Then she vanished. The set went dark before a jazz trumpet solo began to play on stage. Where was Gaga? Changing into her black net gown, of course.
Lying back glamorously as she was wheeled on stage, this incarnation can only be described as a gothic Marilyn Monroe. Her blonde locks streaked with black to add a darker edge, Gaga had coy 1950s film star off to a tee as she playfully engaged the crowd. She spoke of her childhood, of getting picked on for joining a jazz band, before giving the audience a real taste of what she can do musically.
Singing a beautiful cover of Nat King Cole’s Orange Coloured Sky, she changed the words in tribute to newlywed Royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton.
She then confessed to having always dreamt of marrying a handsome prince, but joked that she had instead – gesturing to her backing dancers with a wry smile – “got stuck with these guys with tight pants and bad attitudes”.
She then toned down the humour for the next few songs, dedicating the heartfelt Speechless to her dad and then devoting new single The Edge of Glory to her grandad in what was one of the real stripped-back highlights of her set.
Whether it was theatre or true emotion, she held back tears as she put her all into that song, playing each note on her grand piano with an air of genuine conviction.
Finishing this part of the set off with You And I, a track she’d previously performed alongside Elton John, she had suddenly got people talking for an unexpected reason: just where had this deeper side of Gaga been hiding?
But just as we were pondering the answer to that question, the showgirl turned the tables again.
Stripping off her black wedding-esque lace gown to reveal the tight black rubber dress underneath, she writhed across her piano – while playing the keys with her pointed stilettos. The famous Monsterball attitude was back with a vengeance.
Gaga’s final costume change saw the outfits get even smaller – think PVC hotpants, bra and fishnets – as she fired into her first ever single Just Dance to bring the show towards its close.
As she finished, the Main Stage tent exploded and thousands of white tissue paper hearts came raining down from above. As her little monsters reached out to claim a souvenir, she brought the set – which was actually longer than billed – to a thundering end as she sang the opening verse of Judas.
The crowd was wild, Gaga and Co were even wilder and the show finished on a real high.
The pop show/fashion show/theatre show that is Lady Gaga had officially come to an end but one thing’s for sure – Carlisle will never forget it.
First published at 11:09, Monday, 16 May 2011
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
she is a diva she wouldnt come out on stage till everything else had stopped!! i was watching the strokes in the other tent and they were really good, i would say that they had there set cut short because SHE wouldnt come on till they had finished! they just walked off the stage at 9.30pm and they were supposed to play until 9.45pm they didnt look happy at all!! i thought the Gaga show was a bit disappointing to slow and jazzy for an headliners act didnt really get the crowd rocking at all.she is a talented lady and we seen a different side of her but she should have kept it for another time not while headlining a brilliant weekend we needed some thing live and rocking to end the gig look at how the foo fighter rocked on saturday night!!
She was brilliant, an amazing voice and sang from the heart ***** 5 star performance.
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