With Lady Gaga’s rehabilitation from hip surgery apparently having progressed enough that the pop star is ready to contend with a grueling performance schedule, she’s about to kick off a world tour celebrating her third album. But with millions of eyes on Gaga, she needs an opening act with a fan base large enough to do justice to the scale and importance of the six-month event, dubbed ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.
Fittingly for a singer who’s made a name for herself with her provocative stances on image, perception, and reality, before Gaga takes the stage, concert goers will be entertained by a vocalist who doesn’t even exist in three-dimensional space: virtual idol Hatsune Miku.
With less than a month until the tour starts, Gaga herself made the big announcement through her personal Twitter account, when she tweeted the following on April 15.
“Hatsune Miku is opening The ARTPOP Ball,” wrote Gaga, who also linked a video of the aqua-tressed vocaloid performing “The World is Mine,” one of her most representative hits which was also used by Toyota in an American commercial for its Corolla sedan.
Two things are notable about the May 6-June 3 timeframe Gaga mentions Miku will be serving as opening act for. First, it doesn’t include the very first stop on the tour on May 4 in Fort Lauderdale. While this certainly detracts from the amount of international exposure Miku will receive, every venue within that span is in either the U.S. or Canada, so this is clearly not just a move to encourage fans in Miku’s native Japan to buy tickets. ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball doesn’t swing through Japan until August 13, when the tour makes its one and only stop at Chiba Marine Stadium, for which the opening musician has yet to be determined.
The collaboration is a gigantic opportunity for Miku to win some fans on just about the largest music stage imaginable. For any other singer in this situation, we’d be worried about her ability to perform under such intense pressure, but somehow we have a feeling the virtual idol’s vocal performance will be in keeping with the amazing consistency she’s known for.