I am sick of Lady Gaga’s new concert tour being reviewed by people who neither understand nor like Lady Gaga and her music. Screw the haters!
Here is my review, by someone who gets it. A Little Monster!
Lady Gaga’s current concert tour in support of her new ARTPOP album, dubbed “artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball,” brings together great songwriting, exceptionally concert-ready dance anthems, Gaga’s powerful and unique voice, and fascinating performance art. It’s simply a must see experience, not only for us “Little Monster” Lady Gaga diehards, but also for anyone who is interested in cutting edge pop culture and great music.
As I said, some critics have dismissed both her new album, ARTPOP, and her artRAVE concert as mediocre. The album has already sold 2.5 million copies (Mariah Carey’s and J Lo’s new albums have each sold fewer than 100,000 copies), yet they complain that her new songs are not as good as her older material. I couldn’t disagree more—in fact, I think ARTPOP is as good as her megahit album, “The Fame Monster.” Most of the songs are upbeat, hard-pounding, high-energy disco/EDM songs with Gaga’s signature catchy melodies. The remainder are similar to many tracks on The Fame Monster in that they are kitschy, even a little grungy, with a strong and controversial message.
In other words, ARTPOP is quintessential Gaga.
Predictably, many critics have also minimized the artRAVE concert, saying that it is just a “great show,” implying that the performances are interesting but the songs are lacking. But how do you put on a great show without great songs and exceptional vocals? I think many critics have just chosen to jump on the “Lady Gaga is done” bandwagon and are “mailing in” their reviews without much thought. (In an interesting turn of events, the last 3 or 4 reviews of artRAVE have been much more favorable, with critics saying things like “ARTPOP has catchier songs than I realized,” “Lady Gaga’s voice and performance in artRAVE are incredible,” and “We critics may want to rethink our dismissal of Gaga.” Duh!)
So on to my review of artRAVE.
Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP album forms an ideal basis for her show, because it is great arena concert material, with its memorable, catchy choruses and jackhammer beats. There is an immediacy and urgency to her songs that is unmistakable. Gaga also knows how to work the stage and audience for maximum effect, with frequent exhortations to the crowd to participate and her powerful message of love and acceptance. Of course, Gaga and her 15 hot-looking dancers do several costume changes during the course of the show. The whole thing makes for a fascinating, exhilarating, and visceral experience.
ArtRAVE kicks off with several songs from ARTPOP, a rousing start. “Donatella,” “Venus,” and “MANiCURE” are especially manic and crowd friendly. She then transitions into several Top 10 hits off The Fame Monster album—and who doesn’t recognize “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” and “Paparazzi?” Once again, these are superb arena rock songs and Gaga plays them to the hilt. She finishes her show in strong fashion with “Bad Romance,” “Applause,” and “Gypsy.” During her two hour performance she performs almost every song from her new album, so artRAVE is a thorough ARTPOP experience.
Lastly, my advice to the critics is to not count Lady Gaga out so prematurely. With her songwriting ability, voice, artistic talents, youth, and work ethic, it would be a huge mistake to bet against her. And I recommend to any of you who are either fans or potential fans, go see Lady Gaga’s artRAVE. I would be very surprised if you were disappointed. Well, maybe if you don’t have a pulse!
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