Lady Gaga shares no-makeup selfie

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gaga, Bennett concert stoked by chemistry.

And her stage presence, whether she was strutting or spinning, made you think of those old Jimmy Cagney movies, when he would refer to a woman as a “dame” – or a “broad.” For all her shape-shifting, for all the outfits she changed into between songs and for all the famous ladies of stage, screen and music she made you think of, there was no mistaking on Saturday night, on the piece of property that hosted the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, that there is only one Lady Gaga.Despite all of the celebrity-endorsed beauty products out there and the subsequent commercials advertising foundation colors that “fit just for you” or “bring out your inner beauty” (gag), there really are very few ads out there encouraging you to take beauty into your own hands and make it completely unique to you, whatever that may mean. Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett – who have released an album of jazz standards called “Cheek to Cheek” – performed Saturday night at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, Sullivan County. Bethel Woods sits on the land that in August 1969 welcomed hundreds of thousands for multiple days of music from dozens of bands and musicians that included The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Richie Havens and others.

The revelation of Lady Gaga as the celebrity spokesperson for the Japanese brand isn’t exactly brand new information; she took over fifty selfies for her campaign (all of which, unfortunately, were never used outside of Japan) at the top of the year. Monday night at Meadow Brook Music Festival, Gaga left all of her antics behind during her toned-down pairing with Tony Bennett, part of the duo’s Cheek to Cheek Tour. Outside of a few skin-baring gowns, Gaga was all restraint and elegance during the 95-minute show, where the two tag teamed a few dozen jazz standards and put the focus on the music, not the flash. It was an easygoing night at the Rochester Hills amphitheater, with a polite, respectful crowd — more of a Tony Bennett audience in age and demographic than a Gaga one — on hand for pop’s May-December team.

It begins with her regular ol’ (and by “regular ol’”, I of course mean “ridiculously stunning”) makeup-free face, then transitions to her putting on her makeup, and we even see her switching wigs toward the end of it. On paper, they’re a wacky pair: Bennett, a few days shy of 89, is three times the age of Gaga, the most boundary-pushing pop star of the modern era. Sure, beauty companies very rarely come out and say, “You need to use our products in this specific way to conform to a certain standard of beauty” anymore, but they certainly tend to tout a very particular look, perpetuating specific trends, color, products, what-have-you.

Gaga was never far from an outfit change, and she wore a series of glittery gowns and one pasties-and-fishnets number that seemed designed to make Bennett’s eyeballs pop out of his head. In this ad, just as Lady Gaga’s lyrics always do, Shiseido is sending out a strong positive message about self-acceptance and individuality rather than conformity. They wrapped their arms around each other and slow danced, making for an odd couple. (In an alternate time line, the tour would have been Bennett and Amy Winehouse, given the late singer’s idolatry of Bennett.) Bennett was on stage alone for more than a third of the show, which turned out to be a few songs too many. (Nobody puts Gaga in a corner.) Bennett has hardly slipped over the years; his voice is still warm and robust, though his phrasing was at times rushed, especially during his quickie take on “Steppin’ Out With My Baby.” Gaga, tasked with both calming down her Little Monsters and holding her own with a legend, was even more impressive. (A front row fan mugging for her attention all night finally got it, with Gaga kneeling down and telling him frankly, “I’m gonna let you take one selfie, and then you’re going to listen to the music.”) Typically showy, Gaga showed remarkable restraint during “Nature Boy,” servicing the song rather than letting her big, Broadway-style instincts overpower the moment. She abandoned her propensity to shock, which she seems to enjoy doing on a regular basis, with outrageous outfits and an enduring presence in the media thanks to members of the paparazzi who can never seem to get enough of her. She instead embraced a musical identity that revolves around a singing voice that bleeds with emotion, tickles your funny bone and soars to such sonic heights that you just might forget how much energy she puts into inflating her image.

The simple lighting cues and sparse production matched the tone of the evening, where an unlikely couple showed what can happen when two worlds collide.

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