Lady Gaga ended her week long stay in Austin with a live-streamed keynote speech on Friday, following her intimate vomit-heavy show on Thursday. Having gone out to party in Austin last weekend, Gaga also made time to watch some new bands herself (including K-pop darling HyunA) in between rehearsals, before Stubbs’ stage became “Lady Gaga’s BBQ Haus of Swine”. The popstar made sure an Austin theme ran right through the brilliantly batshit show, where she was on finest form as she brought abundant energy to hit songs from 2013’s ARTPOP (and "Bad Romance"). The show was sponsored by Doritos and the audience filled with fans that had to win their spots by acting crazy on social media. Despite some snide comments in the press about the crisp magnate then owning all the rights, it worked to draw in a crowd that was suitably hyped to see a superstar in a relatively small venue. Lady Gaga was then interviewed live by Fuse at Austin's Hilton Hotel – the first woman to do a keynote speech in 15 years.
GAGA WANTS US TO GIVE HER A BREAK
Speaking about the media attention surrounding her album release last year. Gaga told us she was more than satisfied with 2.5 million copies of ARTPOP being sold and that she is regularly held to unrealistic 1970s standards of record sales. She is also understandably troubled by the constant comparisons of herself against other female popstars. Gaga is not Katy Perry. Which I think we knew already.
NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT WEB CONTENT WHEN YOU’RE DEAD
Gaga implored the crowd at her Stubbs’ show to absorb the experience without a screen mediating it, declaring you should, “Fuck your cellphone. Fuck your friends” (instead). Later on the she made the point that no-one cares what you tweeted when you’re dead, nor will they care how famous she was. Gaga also spoke out against attention-seeking via social media during her interview today, lambasting new artists who think the way to break is by taking selfies of themselves with bigger acts. This was a touch tempered by the fact that access to her gig was only possible via attention-seeking on social media.
THAT PEOPLE STILL LOVE TO DEBATE ART IN THE MEDIA IF YOU GIVE THEM SOMETHING SENSATIONAL TO DISCUSS
Gaga revealed she was thrilled by the amount of press coverage surrounding artist Millie Brown’s puking performance piece on stage during "Swine" – regardless of whether the chatter was positive. She relished that she'd created a debate about what is and isn’t art in the media.
GAGA IS READY TO WALK ANY MOMENT
Gaga repeatedly stated that she is ready to walk away from the business before having to deviate from making exactly what she wants to make, and therefore betray herself and her fans. The star revealing that she would be as happy tomorrow playing tiny bars in NYC as she was when she began at 15. The fame and money aren’t what’s driving her onwards.
COMPANIES WON’T MAKE YOU FAMOUS, BUT THEY SURE CAN HELP
During her Stubbs show Lady Gaga shouted out that bands don’t need record labels and big companies to make them famous – which seemed a little rich coming from a stage paid for by tortilla chips company. She noted that “record labels have no fucking money", also likening those huge labels to prison that suck artists of their creativity. Gaga made the point that Doritos was a longtime supporter of her art, that its thinking was aligned with hers and that it made a large donation to her charity too. Good things can come from crisps it seems.
HAVING METAL SCREWS IN YOUR HIP WON’T STOP YOU FROM BEING ROASTED ON A SPIT
The medical woes due to overexertion on tour last year, which saw Gaga in a wheelchair for four months and three new screws to hold her hip in place, were clearly behind her as she took to the stage with more energy than a toddler on crack, entangling herself around a turning spit and humping the mechanical bucking pig with gusto.
SOME PEOPLE STILL THINK SXSW IS ABOUT DISCOVERING NEW MUSIC
Gaga made certain during both her show and talk that everyone listening knew that the main point of SXSW music festival is to support new talent. She views the increasing influx of superstar acts like herself and Jay Z as a good thing, as it allows support acts a chance to play to bigger audiences. This is a little contrary to the views of a lot of attendees that the emphasis has shifted even further away from this initial purpose with these rising numbers of famed acts, the ever more painful costs of hosting showcases, and a more party-focused crowd drawn in by said big acts.
GAGA HAS THE SAME CREW NOW AS SHE DID WHEN SHE WAS 15
During her performance Gaga brought on several musician pals that she has been playing shows with since the start of her career including Lady Starlight, The Dirty Pearls and Semi Precious Weapons. She also played a sweet, tribute song to them which went down well despite some slightly awkward rhyming. In her speech, Lady Gaga discussed the importance of playing tiny gigs with supportive musicians around her at the start of her career, and told young acts to go knocking on the doors of local venues to find gigs rather than networking and hyping themselves on social media.
GAGA ADORES AUSTIN AND THE CITY LOVES HER BACK
The cover of the Austin Chronicle declared Lady Gaga accepted as “one of us” by the good folk of the town, and as well as bringing the BBQ on stage with her and a local fiddle player to add a touch of Texas to “Bad Romance”, Gaga declared her love for SXSW several times during her show and live interview.
GAGA DOESN’T WANT MORE
Continuing to rail against ever being told what to do, Gaga spoke about being asked to widen her demographic by playing up to different social groups today, but she stated she doesn’t need more fans. Nor does she want more fame or money. It’s not about more anything for her it seems.