Lady Gaga was the first of thirty acts to perform at this year's iTunes Festival, held at The Roundhouse in Camden (September 1). Marking her first full show since having hip surgery, the stage was set for Mother Monster - treating lucky competition winners to new tunes from her forthcoming ARTPOP album.
Feeling: After teasing her Little Monsters for weeks about her iTunes Festival show - dubbed SwineFest by the lady herself - excitement was running high as the crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of Gaga. Half-hour went by before Lady G emerged on stage to a roar of applause, floating above the crowd in a cage contraption before being freed to unleash the fresh sounds of her ARTPOP LP onto her audience.
The Look: In typical Gaga fashion, there were plenty of costume changes throughout her hour-long set. She kicked off proceedings in a black wig with a veil across her face before switching it up by donning a curly blonde wig, and silver glittery shell bra - reminiscent from her Applause music video.
After showering her fans with pink confetti, she then sported a tartan shirt and a pig mask, before stripping off to a tiny leather bikini. Ripping off her wig, she then exposed her real hair. This was met by another huge roar from the crowd, with Gaga completing her final look with a green ringmaster jacket, top hat and sparkly silver boots for her encore of Applause.
Tunes: There was no Poker Face or Bad Romance in sight as Lady G's set was jam packed with fresh cuts from her ARTPOP album. As promised, Gaga performed seven new songs, opening with the EDM-influenced track AURA, before exclaiming: "To say I've missed you is an understatement. When I'm away from you, I can't live." She then launched into MANiCURE, before giving her audience a taste of what was to come by singing LP title tune, ARTPOP.
Admitting her next track was "a little different than the music I made before", Lady G unveiled hip-hop influenced song Jewels and Drugs, poking fun at collaborator T.I., saying they "wouldn't let him in the country" to grace the iTunes Festival stage with her. She was, however, joined by rappers Too $hort and Twista, much to the delight of her adoring audience.
After a slight break, Gaga came back on stage to perform raunchy track Sex Dreams and Swine - where she welcomed a bunch of her 'little piggys', taking off her wig to expose her real hair, while exclaiming: "In order to write ARTPOP, I needed to take off all the wigs and make up... I used them to become different people. I just created someone else. In order to grow, I knew I had to show you what's underneath all of the theatre, so here I am."
Lady G then showed off her vocals on emotional, stripped-back piano ballad I Wanna Be With You - which she dedicated to her diehard fans - before wrapping things up with current single Applause.
Banter: Gaga was very vocal throughout her performance and seeing as it was such an intimate setting, there was plenty of interaction with the crowd. From her quirky English accent to throwing pig toys into the audience, Lady G's set oozed personality as she told the story of each of her new tunes, allowing the crowd to familiarise themselves with her new music.
Special Guests: Aside from Twista and Too $hort, this gig was very much about one person… Gaga. The 27-year old put on an epic show in a way that only she knows how, showcasing the very best from her forthcoming ARTPOP album, meaning there was little time for special guests.
Celeb spots: The likes of actor Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Watson were rumoured to be on the guestlist, while One Direction's Niall Horan, Cara Delevingne and Adele were also spotted in the crowd, but we were far too busy obsessing over Gaga's next outfit to spot any A-listers! However, we did spy her proud dad Joe toe-tapping away to her new songs in the crowd.
Sweat Factor: Lady G's stint on stage was full of energetic dance routines, leaving the crowd stomping their feet and screaming for more which provided plenty of heat. The Roundhouse is an intimate, yet spacious venue so we didn't feel too sticky.
Summary: While we would have loved her to bust out some Gaga classics, it was clear from the start that this show was all about ARTPOP. And from tonight's taster, we're pretty sure Mother Monster has another hit on her hands.
Jewels & Drugs
I Wanna Be With You
By Joanne Dorken @mtvuknews