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Live Review: Lady Gaga, Lady Starlight

12 July 2012 | 10:45 am | Sarah Scaife

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Thousands gathered within the pressurized walls of the Burswood Dome on Saturday night in eager anticipation of this generation's Madonna. Fans filed into place, wigs and costumes in tow, as Lady GaGa's friend and support artist, Lady Starlight, warmed the stage. Her intrinsic rock n'roll sound made her somewhat different from GaGa, while her eccentric costume and interpretive dance made her an apt choice of opening act.

By the time Lady Gaga herself made her grand entrance, the wait had left everyone buzzing with the electric excitement. The set came to life with purple light, illuminating the gargantuan castle on the stage, looming before the endless sea of the audience. Highway Unicorn (Road to Love) shattered through the air and enthusiastic cheers arose from every angle. Lady Gaga emerged, led by an army of glittering troops, on the back of a horse figure. They circled one lap around the U-shaped stage, Gaga still concealed by jeweled armour, before disappearing. The dramatic opening was symbolic of the entire show. Costume changes between almost every song ensured that the overall theme of acceptance and inspiration was ever-evolving – from a pink origami swan dress, to architectural triangles with an ox horn hat, to a sparkly harness and a spiked Medusa headpiece.

Beyond the outfits, visual spectacles manifested themselves in many other ways. A giant robot head hung above the stage throughout the performance, referred to by Gaga as Mother G.O.A.T, which was a sinister replica of her face encaged by a neon structure. After her hits Poker Face and Paparazzi, GaGa sentenced it to death with a beam of light, causing blood to leak from its orifices.

Another element to Gaga's persona is her sexuality, which was certainly not neglected. There were instances where Gaga simulated blowjobs, or was straddled by a scantily clad dancer, or encouraged the audience to start catfights with one another. Essentially, the Born This Way Ball was a lot like seeing a concert, musical theatre and a circus performance all at once. It would be impossible to summarise the experience of her shows with the written word, for its grandeur must be seen in order to be believed.

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