Tuesday, April 21, 2020

I endured eight gruelling hours of Lady Gaga’s ‘One World: Together At Home’ concert so you didn’t have to

Credit: Getty Images

By now, you’ve probably settled into the “new normal”, perhaps adopting hobbies you hitherto had zero interest in (endless Zoom pub quizzes, baking bread, burning down 5G masts) and watching online gigs. Last night, the biggest of them all so far arrived, as One World: Together At Home arrived like a lockdown Live Aid. Lady Gaga laudably ransacked her contacts book to curate over 100 artists beaming in from their homes across the globe.
With a line-up groaning with festival-headlining talent (The KillersBillie Eilish), part of the novelty was glimpsing behind the velvet rope into megastar’s abodes, like Through The Keyhole meets Glastonbury. Who has the nicest house? Which technological butterfingers has filmed their contribution in portrait as opposed to landscape mode? (Step forward Sir Paul McCartney) Who’s selected the most baffling location to record their effort? That’d be Sir Elton John, belting out ‘I’m Still Standing’ in his garden on a piano incongruously located underneath a basketball hoop.
In the six-hour pre-show, Jameela Jamil promises us “a moment of joy and respite” as we honour our frontline workers, before Cali singer Andra Day launches into an acoustic version of the uplifting gospel soul of ‘Rise Up’, which sets the musical tone for the evening: earnest odes to overcoming adversity delivered with closed-eyed sincerity. Around hour two, a kind of solemn-warbling snowblindness kicks in.
Thankfully, though, some artists didn’t receive the maudlin memo. “Clap with us!” implores Sofi Tukker‘s Tucker Halpern during the rave-up of ‘Purple Hat’ – as a British nation who’ve lost all track of days presumably think: ‘Is it Thursday at 8pm already?’, poised to make a beeline to the balcony with a pot and wooden spoon.
Ever the reliable Las Vegas showmen, The Killers‘ Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vannucci Jr deploy the bulletproof ‘Mr Brightside’ as a duo (with a Casio keyboard straight from Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights)Rita Ora brings pop-video style different camera angles the banger ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ – and teams up with Liam Payne remotely for their Fifty Shades Freed collab ‘For You’. Following an earlier all-the-feels rendition of ‘Mad World’, Adam Lambert keeps glam and carries on with the turbo-charged bop ‘Superpower’, and the reliably magnetic Christine And The Queens delivers an early stand out moment with spike-tingling versions of ‘People I’ve Been Sad’ and ‘Mountains (We Met)’ – on a squeaky floor.

Read more: https://www.nme.com/reviews/live/lady-gaga-one-world-together-at-home-concert-review-taylor-swift-billie-eilish-2649604

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