The Yarkon park in north Tel Aviv where Lady Gaga opened on Saturday night, as part of her “RAVE the ARTPOP ball” tour, was decidedly not packed with fans, a much cooler fan response than in the singer’s previous appearance here, back in 2009. This despite the fact that Lady Gaga defied the pressure from anti-Israel BDS activists who are ever at the ready to deprive Israelis of their share of honest to goodness crazy ass pop and roll.
So, tickets sales were not nearly as great as had been hoped for, but the Israelis who did show up had a ball with the most outrageous singer this side of Istanbul (which is where Gaga is headed next).
She started the concert with a reasonably well pronounced Hebrew statement of love to the audience: “Ani oh-hevet etchem.” She also took the song “Manicure” into the audience, which was a treat.
Then there was this huge surprise, when another fearless friend of Israel, Tony Bennett, also here for a gig—tonight—in Tel Aviv, popped on stage and they sang together “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.”
What else? Outrageous dresses, naturally, and a, huge emotional presence, especially when, in the end, Lady Gaga burst in tears, after singing “Gypsy.”