Tony Bennett showcased his rich, baritone vocals on “Stranger in Paradise” and “Sing You Sinners,” while backed by his quartet. After singing “Nature Boy,” Bennett resumed his solo vocals on “Watch What Happens” and “The Good Life,” all of which resonated well with the Radio City audience.
Lady Gaga’s solo set began with “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” where she paid homage to Cher, and equally noteworthy was her crisp version of “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered,” where her vocals were hypnotic. The Brian Newman Quartet accompanied Gaga for her solo performances.
Bennett went on to sing a series of a few solos such as “Smile,” “When You’re Smiling,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “For Once In My Life,” the latter of which were fan-favorites of the evening.
Following their “I Won’t Dance” duet, Bennett sang “The Lady’s in Love With You” and “Solitude,” and “Mother Monster” herself joined him on “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby.”
Most impressive about Gaga’s set was that she dedicated “Lush Life” to her vocal coach, and her rendition was poignant and tender. It was followed by two solos from Bennett including “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” and Gaga soared on her superb cover of the Edith Piaf classic “La Vie En Rose,” which she performed in French and English.
Bennett continued with “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” and Gaga nailed “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.” Equally spectacular was when he sang “Fly Me To The Moon” in an unplugged fashion, without microphones, and it afforded the audience the privilege to enjoy Bennett’s voice for its simplicity. That was a very brave move on his part, and it was well-received by their fans.
While their set was impressive in itself, Bennett’s stellar rendition of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and their collaborative event “The Lady Is a Tramp” stole the show, prior to their closing number “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”
Overall, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett soared on their classic jazz standards at Radio City Music Hall. They gave New York City a nostalgic evening of music to remember. Both iconic musicians have great musical chemistry together, and this show was a substantial indication that Lady Gaga could sing the phone book and make it sound good. Their show garnered 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information on Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s Cheek to Cheek album, visit its official website.
Photo Credit: Sarah Ackerman from New York, Wikimedia Commons