It was such a perfect, summer evening to see an outdoor concert in Bethel, N.Y. — on the same grounds hippies graced at the famous Woodstock the summer of 1969.
My husband surprised me with tickets because I love Lady Gaga. Now, mind you, I am not qualified to call myself a “Little Monster” as I do not have any of her CDs. BUT I won’t turn her off when she’s on the radio. And from day one I just liked her for her unique style and sincere personality. (It was always great watching her on talk shows). “Poker Face” is one of my favorite pop hits ever, as she sings in the same range as Cher and I’ve adored Cher since I was 7.
I figured a Lady Gaga show with Tony Bennett would be more my speed than a regular Lady Gaga concert, so when I heard about this, I hinted heavily that I wanted to go! But note, I don’t own any Tony Bennett records either. Still, it was thrilling to go see a man 88-years-old, that I was aware of since I was a little girl. The only older performer I ever saw was Les Paul who was in his 90s when I saw him perform.
So … going in not knowing what to expect except for the videos I saw on You Tube. I must say I was “wowed.” The show was phenomenal. The Bennett/Gaga duo was a perfect musical marriage. They did over 30 jazz hits together and solo. And during Tony Bennett’s solos, Lady Gaga went backstage for at least 10 costume changes. It was a fun show, kind of like a Las Vegas-y, burlesque, old school variety show. Their chemistry was fabulous, and I loved how Tony Bennett endearingly referred to her as “Lady” (instead of “Gaga” as her fans call her).
I had three favorite highlights of the evening:
1. When Lady Gaga sang La Vie En Rose (by Edith Piaf). It was moved to tears and gave her my own personal standing ovation for that one. What a voice!
2. When Tony Bennett sang his hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He got a standing ovation from me on that one. And what a voice on this one too!
3. When they ended the show with “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” and Tony Bennett brought out his little dog! Then Lady Gaga seemed to be personally thanking their back-up band, which was so heart-warming to see. Moments like that go to show the true personalities behind the stage persona.
When I saw the set list from one of the other shows, I was saddened to see that this go ’round Tony Bennett didn’t do “Fly Me to the Moon” which is one of the few Frank Sinatra songs I like.
But other favorites of the evening were: Lady performing,”Bang Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down,” (a Cher song!); Tony Bennett doing, “Smile Though Your Heart is Aching,” (a Charlie Chaplin song); and the two doing, “The Lady is a Tramp.”
After the show, my husband and I has our own little late night picnic on the grounds after getting the most amazing vegetarian spring rolls at “Hungry Hungry Hippies.”
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon in paperback version only: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X