Only in Lady Gaga’s world would a performance where she is shrouded in dry ice and playing a clear-top grand piano be considered subdued.
Momma Monster appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” Tuesday (19) night, following U2’s appearance on Fallon’s inaugural show on Monday.
Dressed in all white and sporting a long, platinum blonde wig (doing her best Donatella Versace impression), Lady Gaga performed a piano-based version of “Artpop,” the title track to her current album, atop a flight of stairs. As you can see in the clip below, she trickily navigated climbing down said stairs even though they were obscured in the fog, which was, perhaps, her greatest feat of the evening.
With much of the synthesized bleeps and beeps of the recorded version gone, the emphasis was on the words and Lady Gaga made sure she pronounced certain statements very clearly, including “I tried to sell myself, but I am really laughing because I just love the music, not the bling.”
While she is certainly fond of all the bells and whistles, Lady Gaga excels when it is just her at a piano performing the songs with the barest of accompaniment and showing off her strong voice. The song later brings in the electronic elements and a full band, but the stark opening is the best part.
This performance continues her career rehab following a stunning letter Lady Gaga posted on the LittleMonsters.com website in early January in which she blamed her former management for the album’s poor performance and vowed to relaunch the album, but a new single hasn't emerged (unless this was her way of telling us that "Artpop" is the new single).
A few weeks later, she performed a stunning version of Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” at the annual MusiCares Person of the Year dinner that stole the evening. That’s not a bad thing to do in front of a roomful of journalists and industry execs and fellow musicians. That night, it felt like everyone who had been willing to write Lady Gaga off was ready to embrace her again.
Her performance on Fallon isn’t going to advance her cause much, but it is a reminder that her talent isn’t going anywhere.
Fallon plugged Lady Gaga’s forthcoming Artpop Ball Tour, which starts May 4 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.