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Photo by Marta Kierkus

Perhaps Gaga can be considered gimmicky, but one can only feel amused when artists are still trying new things instead of the same rehearsed dance routine we have seen from other major pop stars’ concert tours this year.

Lady Gaga demands to be unique, and she will try anything to get your attention.

She made everyone aware she was there to celebrate the ArtPop ball, not her previous eras of music at this year’s Bluesfest. The background looked like something you would see in the Candy Land board game. The hashtag #artrave shot across the prompter for the crowd to see. It may have been gimmicky, but one can only feel amused that artists are still trying new things instead of the same old dance routine.

Gaga began the set with “ARTPOP,” a slow song that should have sped up with more energy rather than having to watch her slowly stretch her arms and fist pump behind a piano for several minutes. When the song ended, she demanded thecrowd get crazier as she dropped countless F-bombs and the sun began to set.

More of her new songs like “G.U.Y.” relied on playback and lost the crowd’s enthusiasm of a live performance. It was not until Gaga connected with the crowd with a reprised version of “Donatella.” She tweaked the lyrics of the song to “I’m blonde / I’m skinny / I’m rich and I’m in Ottawa, bitch.”

Granted, much of her appeal is the effort and enthusiasm she demonstrates visually. There was never a dull moment on the stage. “I’m going to give you the fucking night of your life, even if it kills me,” she said.

When Gaga finally performed her old classics like “Poker Face,” “Paparazzi,” and “Just Dance,” her fans immediately connected to her again as they sang each song word for word.

More intimate moments of the show included an a cappella version of Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got a Crush on You” to celebrate the blues. Gaga also sang a slow version of “Born This Way” on the piano, which made her tear up mid-song.

Not only is Gaga known for her eccentric style and creativity, she is known to be respectful and thankful for her fans. Two songs into the set the audience heard her lament on how the audience’s spirit is “beautiful and beyond”. Near the end of the evening she read aloud a heartfelt letter from a fan, and brought fans dressed like her on stage for an encore.

Gaga may not be as popular as she was during her Fame Monster days, but there is no denying this artist has a voice that can entertain.

Editor’s Note: The author was also scheduled to cover The Killers and Cypress Hill on July 9. On assignment, Ms. Eritou fell ill with heat exhaustion in the crowd. She would personally like to thank the staff and medical team at Bluesfest for being so responsive, helpful, and accommodating to her recovery.


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