Lady Gaga makes her long-awaited return to London for a special performance in front of her legions of monsters.
The first of two nights at the striking new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which had to be rescheduled twice as a result of the pandemic, is Lady Gaga’s first headline show in London since 2014.
A lot has changed then as the x13 Grammy winner has conquered Hollywood and won an Academy Award but she still continues to be a major force in the music industry and remains just as unpredictable and exciting as ever on stage.
The jam-packed set started with one of Lady Gaga’s biggest hits ‘Bad Romance’ and instantly the famous intro got the crowd jumping around and joining in with the catchy ‘Rah, rah-ah-ah-ah.’
The early hits came thick and fast with ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’ in what was a close to perfect opening section. There aren’t many singers that would be brave enough to open with three of their biggest hits but it was a decision that got the party well and truly underway.
The show in the vast stadium, which holds over 62,000, was somehow made immersive through flashing wristbands which correlated with the visuals on stage and turned the tens of thousands into a swarm of glow-worms.
After the ‘prologue’, Gaga went off stage as a series of avant-garde videos introduced Act 1 of Chromatica. The singer was lifted onto the stage on a stone slab operating table which was elevated in the air.
Evoking Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster was brought to life and escaped to wreak havoc as she sung ‘Alice’ and ‘Replay’ from her 2020 album ‘Chromatica’ and aptly finished the act with ’Monster.’
The show continued with Act II, starting with dance tracks from Chromatica ‘911’ and ‘Sour Candy’, Gaga’s collaboration with K-Pop giants BLACKPINK. The hits kept on coming with the classic pop hits ‘Telephone’ and ‘LoveGame’.
The energy was electric and this continued through Act III as after ‘Babylon’, dedicated to Alexander McQueen, the singer walked from the main stage through the crowd to a second stage in the middle of the stadium. Here she sang a beautiful acoustic version of ‘Born This Way’ before an energetic performance of the original version with added pyro flames.
After over an hour of high-octane choreographed dancing and pop music, Gaga slowed things down with Act IV, a section of piano ballads and crooner-esque crowd interaction.
This part of the show truly encapsulated what makes Lady Gaga such a unique performer that captures the imagination of her audience.
Dressed in an avant-garde costume that resembled either a harlequin or an alien, she sat down on a piano and sang a spine-tingling rendition of ‘Shallow’, her Oscar-winning song from A Star is Born.
The contrast between the beautiful vocals of ‘Shallow’ and ‘Always Remember Us This Way’ to the upbeat dance hits like ‘Rain On Me’ and ‘Stupid Love’ merely songs apart, put on full display the supreme talent and versatility of the pop icon.
Lady Gaga’s two nights at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium is only the second concert at the new state-of-the-art ground, the first being Guns ‘N Roses earlier in the month.
Gaga channeled her inner Axl Rose rockstar throughout with the occasional throwback rock scream and in the exceptional encore ‘Hold My Hand’, from the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack, the singer jumped over fire into a knee slide.
Walking out of the stadium after the show, fans were singing ‘Edge Of Glory’, a notable absence from the setlist alongside other huge hits like ‘Judas’ and ‘Paparazzi.’ However, it is testament to Lady Gaga’s discography that she is able to leave out some of her biggest hits and not feel like we have been shortchanged.
The show was as predictably unpredictable as you’d expect from a Lady Gaga concert with everything from incredible choreographed dances to avant-garde theatrics and lots of special effects that made it a night to remember for all in attendance.
Words: Adam Davidson