Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett Make Perfect Dance Partners as ‘Cheek to Cheek’ Tour Rings in New Year

Cheek to Cheek: Lady Gaga, Tony

In one of the more unusual examples of a match-up of old and new media that pays off, Tony Bennett has found the perfect dance partner in Lady Gaga as their “Cheek to Cheek” tour rung in 2015 in Las Vegas.

The fanbases for both singers filled the Cosmopolitan resort’s Chelsea theater for a two-hour show that proved charmingly effective in showing off the talents of both artists on a stage simply decorated with crystal-studded curtains.

Bennett, 88, can still belt out the lyrics as he always has, especially his performance of “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” and a sweet, memorable version of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.”

But it’s Gaga who stood out perhaps the most, gamely taking on jazz classics as she shimmied across the stage or around Bennett in a variety of sequined flapper dresses, feathered boas and headdresses during her many costume and wig changes, some of which invoked Liza Minnelli.

Backed by the Brian Newman Quartet, her explosive rendition of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” as she wore a shiny silver jumpsuit, was the highlight of the evening, although her sassy approach to “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” and “Lush Life,” came close.

Yet it was their duets of songs like “I Won’t Dance,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” that audiences clearly came to see, and showed off the chemistry between the two.

Gaga never tried to upstage Bennett, often showing restraint and making sure to pay respect to the iconic crooner. That, and her confident performance, surely went over well with the older crowd in the audience, and could pay off in the future as she releases new albums.

Suddenly, she’s no longer the risque pop singer who pushes the boundaries for headline-grabbing sake, but the approachable talented young artist (she’s 28) who can stand alongside the best of them — and actually sound as they do in their songs when they perform live, something many pop artists struggle to do.

In their setlist Bennett and Gaga smartly held off on featuring too many duets during “Cheek to Cheek,” giving each of them equal time to shine with solo numbers. But the energy in the room always lit up once Gaga took the stage.

Given the stature of its two stars, “Cheek to Cheek” needed to launch in Las Vegas — and from inside the New York-themed Chelsea. The album was recorded in Gotham and has been a top-seller worldwide since its release in September. The tour’s first ticketed performance was held Dec. 30, also inside the Chelsea.

The show also is a win for the Cosmopolitan, which built the Chelsea in order to regularly attract bigger music acts to a large theater that isn’t devoted to a single artists like Britney Spears, across the street at Planet Hollywood, or Celine Dion in Caesars.

With a sold-out crowd, the Cosmopolitan easily competed with the hotter nightclubs in the area (even inside its own property), with Drake performing New Years Eve at Marquee, Iggy Azaliea at Drai’s, Robin Thicke at Foxtail and Macklemore + Ryan Lewis at 1 OAK.

Gaga is hardly a newcomer. But if collaborations like “Cheek to Cheek” are the future and will give Hollywood an idea of how established artists can work with younger artists — especially those emerging on YouTube and other digital platforms — as a way to speak to a broad audience, it looks like 2015 could be a very good year.

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  1. Shirley Dorrity says:

    Tony Bennett I grew up listening to his music amazing. Who would ever have thought Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett could make the perfect duo. Wonderful when you listen to the two of them together it brings you back to another era.

  2. Francisco Pavon says:

    They were amazing! All the big confetti at midnight was the icing on the cake. Bravo and Brava!!

  3. David Hahn says:

    I think your hopes expressed in the final paragraph are unlikely to come about. The synergy of the Bennett & Gaga effort is unlikely to foreshadow similar success between other established/younger collaborations. Lady Gaga is unique. Her talent and personality are what makes this work.

  4. Mike says:

    This is the 6th review I’ve read and they all say the same thing as this review. Gaga’s solo renditions of Bang Bang and Lush Life really highlight her amazing voice. Peter you are the minority.

  5. PETER says:

    Gaqa sucked last night on the New Years Eve show. There was no musical connection between her and Tony Bennett, she tried too hard, and yelled out her song. What were they thinking?!

    • John says:

      PETER SPECSAVERS BUY ONE GET ONE FREE,YOU MUST HAVE BEEN WATCHING ANOTHER SHOW .I MYSELF THOUGHT THAT IT WAS FABULOUS.

    • james says:

      Peter must have been watching someone else. I saw Tony and GaGa the night before at the same venue. She was fantastic and absolutely kept the show together.

      Haters gonna hate.

    • Derek says:

      That’s funny cause every review so far of the concert says the complete opposite. I’m gonna assume your just another troll. Please spread your negativity elsewhere.

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