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Paws up, guards down: Reviewing Lady Gaga's Jazz & Piano show in Las Vegas


JordanBreatheHeavy

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JordanBreatheHeavy

Hey GGD, I saw Gaga's jazz & piano show a few nights ago and wrote about it. Wanted to share it here and see what you thought. Love y'all :]

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“I love Las Vegas,” Lady Gaga said with a chuckle during her Oct. 28 Jazz & Piano show at Park MGM in Las Vegas. A well-intentioned heckler in the audience yelled something silly at her, breaking the performance prism for a moment and allowing fans in. It’s an endearing side of her stage presence I haven’t seen much over the years. I’ve attended one of Gaga’s shows from every tour and residency over the last decade in Vegas. Her past pop productions didn’t allow for too many moments to shoot the ****, and her intimate concerts alongside Tony Bennett felt like I was peering in on a platonic love story. This was the first time I can recall Gaga engaging with the audience during every spare moment (when she wasn’t belting out classic jazz standards or re-workings of her own mega hits). 

 

Running BreatheHeavy since 2004, I’ve openly shared my adoration for Britney Spears; an enigmatic figure whose ups and downs are documented onto my website for millions. Though she doesn’t consume the same amount of bandwidth on BreatheHeavy, Lady Gaga also shares a very special place in my heart.

In 2014 during the promo cycle of her first jazz record with Mr. Bennett, Cheek To Cheek, Gaga graciously granted an interview with me. Oblivious to jazz at the time, Gaga shined a light on it, opening my eyes to some of the most important music of all time. 

“I get to return to my roots,” Gaga told me in our chat. “I started singing jazz when I was 13… I’m very happy to talk to you on BreatheHeavy.com because this is a pop website, and I really want to express to all of the young people that visit your site that jazz once was the pop music of America,” Gaga continued. “These are the most famous pop songs in the whole world. They have been done over and over and over again… I really want to expose young fans as much as I can to jazz. It is something that healed my soul at a young age, and I hope they love it as much as I do.”

During her ornate costume changes at the Jazz & Piano show, two parallel big screens played black and white footage of a glamorous Gaga opening up about her eternal love of jazz. She reminds the audience we’re not just at a Gaga show, we’re consuming a re-rendering of history interpreted by one of the greatest artists of all time (my opinion, fight me). She says the beauty of jazz music is its chameleon-like ability to exist in various ways; it’s up to the musician and band to reimagine these classics in a way they see fit - but only after they’ve mastered understanding the originals. 

Needless to say, Lady Gaga is a wizard of jazz. Her power to effortlessly alter these timeless tunes to fit her mood was captivating. A few of the standards Gaga sang included  Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love),” “Do I Love You” and “You’re the Top.” She also sang “Mambo Italiano,” which was inspired by her starring role as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci, as well as Bennett’s “Rags to Riches.” Some of my personal favs included "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "New York, New York" and "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)."

In 2014, I asked Gaga about "Bang Bang." 

“An interesting backstory for ‘Bang Bang’ is that my ex-boyfriend, Luc Carl, was also the best friend of Brian Newman.” Newman is Gaga’s longtime trumpet player and is also a highlight of the Jazz & Piano show. Gaga continued, “we haven’t seen or spoken to [Luc] in almost two years, so that performance is extremely emotional for us. It was a romance, a goodbye… extremely painful.”

 

That pain Gaga recalled back then didn’t rear its ugly head at her recent show. Instead, Gaga kept the mood light, making jokes with the audience about prostitutes ("we pay for everything else so why not sex?") and receiving a fat check for her residency whether people purchased tickets or not (it was a sold-out show, and by the way I agree with her about the prostitutes thing). 

In between these streams of consciousness and sips of whiskey, Gaga performed a few of the jazz standards featured on a followup record with Mr. Bennett tilted “Love For Sale.” She also took the opportunity to breathe new life into some of her most iconic hits accompanied by the orchestra, including “Born This Way,” “Paparazzi,” “Bad Romance” and “Poker Face” (Gaga replaced “poker face” with “**** her face” and said the song is about ****ing a guy while thinking about a girl). I was grateful Gaga sprinkled in a few of her own hits as jazz renditions; it reminded me of the unforgiving grind she found herself entangled in when she first started out.

“When I moved to Los Angeles, the music became much more dance-focused because the publishers were really excited about this young, quirky New York song-writer who was making these sort of electro-clash influence dance songs,” Gaga told me all those years ago. “Once ‘Just Dance’ took off, I didn’t do anything but put my head down and get to work, and I never looked back. After many years of doing that, I began to really burn out. I mentioned many times to people around me how I needed to slow down, how I needed more time to be creative, to spend more time and focus honing in my craft, build myself as a vocalist, continuing to study as a musician. You don’t just learn about music in the beginning and then you’re set for life. You’re constantly learning. I was feeling as though I couldn’t continue to grow because I was just on this endless money making machine.”

That’s behind her now. What I noticed most throughout the evening was Gaga innocently bursting into laughter in between sets, covering her mouth to stop the giggles as if she suddenly realized some of the things she was saying might be better left for the afterparty. These genuine moments felt like it was Gaga and a bunch of her friends (all 5,200 of us) out for a night on the town, talking ****, and listening to great music. It was a reminder that at the end of the day she’s not solely this untouchable figure with an immense amount of talent and cultural influence. She’s an Italian girl from New York who loves jazz; a brilliant creator with a rare gift to translate vibrations into melodious magic. For one special night, Gaga spun a wondrous web of possibilities, allowing the audience to set our troubles aside and plunge into a world she tailor-made for us. That’s the beauty of jazz music, she said. And that’s the beauty of Lady Gaga. 
 

 

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HuffsAhoy

Wonderful review, thanks for sharing!! :applause:

21 minutes ago, JordanBreatheHeavy said:

we’re not just at a Gaga show, we’re consuming a re-rendering of history interpreted by one of the greatest artists of all time (my opinion, fight me).

The taste and tea is immaculate :giveup: :nooo:

You remind me that it's such a wonderful thing to love.
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Marilyn MonHoe

This was a great read! The part of the review where Gaga talked about Luc Carl and how he influenced her Bang Bang performance was also very interesting and shed some light on one of my favorite Gaga performances of all time. Thank you for this beautiful review :pawsup:

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JordanBreatheHeavy
15 hours ago, HuffsAhoy said:

Wonderful review, thanks for sharing!! :applause:

The taste and tea is immaculate :giveup: :nooo:

 

 

Haha thanks for the kind words!! 

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JordanBreatheHeavy
15 hours ago, Marilyn MonHoe said:

This was a great read! The part of the review where Gaga talked about Luc Carl and how he influenced her Bang Bang performance was also very interesting and shed some light on one of my favorite Gaga performances of all time. Thank you for this beautiful review :pawsup:

Thank you! I'm stoked there was a gem of info unearthed for you! Thanks again =] 

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JordanBreatheHeavy
2 hours ago, Glamourpuss said:

I didn't know Brian Newman and Luc Carl were best friends. 

When I watched them perform it the other night – I remembered this backstory and was like 😳 

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Mother of Puppies

Beautifully written. Thank you 🙏🏼 

 

I didn’t know GagaDaily has verified accounts :stalkga:

You can call me Lady MOP
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JordanBreatheHeavy
23 hours ago, Mother of Puppies said:

Beautifully written. Thank you 🙏🏼 

 

I didn’t know GagaDaily has verified accounts :stalkga:

Thank you thank you!!

 

Admin hooked me up 😉  

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Alannah

Jordan, this was beautifully written! Thank you for sharing it with us. Huge fan of your work in supporting the female icons of our lifetime. :sara:

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