Subdued’ Lady Gaga still rocks in Dubai concert
It was perhaps a show the eccentric pop star won’t soon forget, mostly for what she sacrificed on stage in order to bring it to the Middle East.
Lady Gaga successfully toed the line of controversy during her first-ever performance in the Arab world, eager to give fans a glimpse into her risqué universe while respecting Dubai’s conservative sensibilities.
It was perhaps a show the eccentric pop star won’t soon forget, mostly for what she sacrificed on stage in order to bring it to the Middle East. But neither Gaga nor her fans seemed to mind, instead choosing to use the unprecedented concert as a platform to connect with a region so often misunderstood by the Western world.
“They used to tell me I was crazy, I would never come to the Middle East. They were wrong, they were the judgmental ones,” Gaga told her legions of fans who packed into Meydan Racecourse on a humid Wednesday night.
“We have different religions, we come from different places, but tonight I will do my best to respect your culture. We are here to celebrate because we belong together.”
Kicking off the European leg of her ArtRAVE: The Artpop Ball tour, Gaga was determined to connect with her local audience as she attempted to piece together flattering colloquial phrases which, although lacked proper diction, nevertheless drew wide praise and approval from the crowd.
“I want to speak Arabic so badly but I’m terrible at it,” the 28-year-old said cheekily after stammering her way through a few lines.
But the overall mood of the night was evident: Gaga can still make a spectacle without having to push the envelope.
Opening the show with a medley of hits including Artpop, the title track on her latest album, the Manhattan-native — backed by at least a dozen dancers — began the steady stream of wig and costume changes that fans have come to expect from the often bizarre and over-the-top performer.
The star’s critically acclaimed artistry was on full display, showcasing her love for neon-lit tentacles and lasers while belting out many of the hit songs that have turned her into one of the best-selling female musicians in recent memory.
At times, she was sincerely emotional, portraying herself as the voice of the rejected and misunderstood. Spouting inspiring messages about acceptance and tolerance, Gaga held nothing back in defence of “International love”.
“We are all different but I see you, I will not ignore you, I will not pretend like you don’t exist.”
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