In case the sun-drenched photos of beautiful people on your Instagram feed didn’t tip you off, this weekend was the first of Coachella 2017.
Headlining on Saturday night was Lady Gaga. Making the crowd quickly forget that she was stepping in for a twin-bearing Beyoncé, the singer’s 90-minute set ripped through hits from “Bad Romance” to “Just Dance” and “Born This Way”. To the delight of little monsters everywhere, Gaga also dropped a new single – dubbed “The Cure”, it’s a step away from the country-inspired Joanne, and a return to the poppier sound that made her name.
The performance started with a video featuring the singer – along with a montage which included the ‘soon’ emoji, Gaga appeared with a giant tentacle in her mouth, writhing around as if there was a mythical monster taking over her body. Then, in an image that brings to mind both the lizard-loving tendencies (NSFW) of Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki and Richard Kern’s famed photo of no wave’s leading lady Lung Leg, she can be glimpsed with a small reptile atop her face, eyes flashing demonically.
Of course, this is the musician who arrived at the Grammys in a giant egg and got vomited on live on stage at SXSW – so even after the more pared-back aesthetics of Joanne, things were always going to be a little weird.
The film was created by Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gelardin, who have been working with Gaga as creative directors on her latest album. (They also directed the rock ‘n’ roll “Perfect Illusion” video, in which the musician performs in a very Coachella-esque desert). The accompanying track is the work of DJ White Shadow, the producer behind Born This Way and Artpop.
“Lady Gaga is the first female solo artist to headline Coachella in a decade so we wanted to introduce her to the stage in an extremely powerful way,” Hogben and Gelardin say of creating the clip. “Gaga is known for her ability to find beauty in the unusual and doesn’t feel the need to conform. For this very reason we absolutely love shooting and working with her.”
Watch the film above and listen to The Cure below.
Follow Emma Hope Allwood on Twitter here @emmahopeall