Live Review: Lady Gaga paints a love letter for classic Las Vegas glamour in final Jazz and Piano residency

Lady Gaga shone this week in the eighth and presumably final iteration of her Las Vegas residency Lady Gaga: Jazz and Piano.

Though garnering fame as a pop artist, Lady Gaga began her career singing jazz as a teenager, it was only a matter of time for her to produce a show like this. All that was missing was the setting, and what better place than Las Vegas.

The show is a love letter to the city, the jazz giants that performed here, and the glamour at the heart of it all. In its design, Gaga and her team captured the spirit of a classic Vegas residency, with a glitter backdrop, an incredible band, and of course, an insatiable wardrobe.

It came as little surprise, especially after her collaborations with the legendary Tony Bennett, that she would eventually return to her roots with a true Jazz spectacular.

The residency was announced in 2017 and started with two shows: Enigma, a surreal pop experience, as well as Jazz and Piano. It began development in 2018 as she was promoting her Academy Award winning film A Star Is Born. Enigma began in December of 2018, with Jazz and Piano following shortly after in January 2019.

This was Lady Gaga in her element, with her interpretations of iconic jazz songs, as well as stripped down versions of her own pop classics. It was a show for everyone, be they a die hard ‘Little Monster’ or a fan of Frank Sinatra or Duke Ellington. It’s impossible to not like this show, and she made no secret of the fact she had produced a show that was introducing her to a new audience. “I can’t wait for my jazz fans to come see a pop show”, she said to an audience from all walks of life.

This show also gave its audience a deep dive into the history of jazz – and live music more broadly – in Las Vegas. During costume changes, iconic montages of Gaga appeared on the screen, dressed in old Hollywood glamour as she schooled the crowd in the history of residencies in the city. It was fascinating to hear stories that she’d heard from Tony Bennett about the legends of that time coming together to essentially play jam sessions every night on the strip.

And speaking of legends, as usual, Lady Gaga was accompanied by the incomparable trumpet player Brian Newman, with whom she has been performing with since the age of 19. Featured performers also included Alex Smith (piano/organ), Steve Kortyka (saxophone), Donald Barrett (drums) and Daniel Foose (bass). Every musician on stage with her was incredible, and so highly valued by Gaga, as was clear as she shook each member’s hand at the end of the show.

Conductor Michael Bearman led the amazing five piece band accompanied by a 26 piece orchestra that elevated almost every song. Many of her own hits, however, were played solo and stripped back on the piano. Though some – like “Paparazzi” – transcended its original form by the added grandeur of the orchestra. There was a playful atmosphere between the band and Gaga, with tremendous solos by each member during the night.

Throughout the show, it was clear that Tony Bennett was with her in spirit. The venue’s house music was Tony’s discography, and there was also an intro from him to start the show as well as a beautiful tribute to him in the show’s Playbill. A highlight was when Gaga stood at the front of the stage without a mic belting “Fly Me To The Moon” in tribute of her late friend. She also performed Bennett’s song “Rags to Riches” (as Gaga bucks fell from the ceiling) and delivered a stunning rendition of “Orange Coloured Sky”, the track that caught Tony’s eye in 2011 at the Robin Hood Gala. To quote, that night Tony said “Lady, you’re a jazz singer”. It was clear how much he meant to her – and after two studio albums, as well as countless shows together, she misses him greatly.

Elsewhere in the set, songs from the Great American Songbook, by Nat King Cole, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin and more were given the Gaga big band treatment.

The show ended with a bang, literally, as gold confetti showered the audience while they sung “New York, New York” and brought the crowd to their feet.

I cannot stress enough that this is where you will see Lady Gaga in full force, completely at home, with her already booming confidence taken to new heights. This was my fourth time seeing her, and this was truly the best show I’ve seen from the accomplished artist. With only three shows left, you do not want to miss this Vegas spectacular.


If I could give more I would.

Lady Gaga: Jazz & Piano has three performances left at the Dolby Live Theater at the Park MGM in Las Vegas: July 3, 5 and 6.

For tickets and more details head HERE.

The author attended Jazz & Piano on 30th June 2024. While in Las Vegas, the author stayed at Circa Resort and Casino, as a guest of Las Vegas Tourism.