Lady Gaga live at SXSW: Five talking points

During her keynote speech at SXSW, Lady Gaga spoke of her desire to put on a unique show “that was perfect for Austin”.

Of course, every other artist playing terrible blues rock down sixth street probably thinks they’re putting on a unique show that’s perfect for Austin, so how exactly did Lady Gaga stand out from the crowd at her Thursday night Stubbs show? Here’s five ways how …

She featured a woman eating sausages for the support act

It’s showtime and Gaga is not yet onstage … but someone is. A spotlight hovers over the drum stool, on which sits a woman staring casually at the crowd while munching on a string of sausages. You wait for something else to happen … but several minutes pass and she’s still there, alone, chowing down on yet more food. As introductions go, this is slightly more original than “hello Texas”.

She arrived onstage tied to a mechanical spit

When Gaga finally does arrive onstage she does so hog-tied to a mechanical spit roast that spins around as she sings. Dancers proceed to rub fat up and down her thighs, leading to the delicious thought that we might be able to buy a bit of Lady Gaga for $8 from a taco van outside after the show.

She rode a bucking bronco

It was pretty hard to keep up with this show at times. Turn around to chat to a friend for ten seconds and by the time you’re looking back at the stage Gaga has her legs wrapped around another lady as they get violently assaulted by a mechanical bull. It’s fair to say we didn’t get this kind of thing with Coldplay on Tuesday night.

She hired someone to vomit on the crowd

Gaga’s show was sick – quite literally. When she introduced “Millie from London” onto the stage, it sounded like the kind of name you imagine might add some fiddle to a Mumford & Sons single … then Millie opened her mouth and covered Gaga in fluorescent vomit. A bit of googling reveals that Millie Brown is a “professional vomit painter”, but then isn’t everybody these days?

She gave her biggest hit a line dance reinvention

Just to confuse things further, Gaga did then bring someone out to play fiddle – a fantastic moment for those of us who have always wondered why Bad Romance didn’t go down the obvious Cotton Eyed Joe route. As for her other big hits: Poker Face? Born This Way? Just Dance? Erm, she didn’t actually play any of them – concentrating entirely on songs from latest album Artpop. This stopped a visually spectactular show from being a great one in its own right. But when when you’ve got a bucking bronco, a mechanical spit roast and a vomiting lady in your arsenal, does anyone really care about the music?

Powered by article was written by Tim Jonze, for on Saturday 15th March 2014 00.31 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010