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Lady Gaga pops into Brian Newman’s late-night show on Las Vegas Strip

Updated June 3, 2019 - 12:27 pm

She had already sang her heart out in a soaring “Jazz + Piano” production at Park Theater, and apologized for the “five whiskeys” she’s tossed back throughout the night. Nonetheless, Lady Gaga turned in an unbilled performance late Sunday night in her longtime bandleader Brian Newman’s “After Dark” residency at a packed NoMad Restaurant.

Mentioning her long night as she took the stage in a low-cut, blue-sequined gown and matching headpiece, Gaga said, “Well, I sang for 2 1/2 hours, so this (expletive) we’re about to do is (expletive) irresponsible.” It was in fact, the song “Call Me Irresponsible,” the Oscar-winning tune originally, and appropriately, performed by Jackie Gleason in “Papa’s Delicate Condition.”

“I’ve been called irresponsible my whole life, but I don’t mind it,” she called out. As if to prove as much, she closed the song with, “Where’s my drink!?”

The band followed with a song it had not played with Gaga, a bluesy cover of Nina Simone’s version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” The superstar grinded on Newman through a duet of Billie Holiday’s “Anything But Love.”

Then Gaga turned to the band, in an off-the-cuff sort sort of way, saying. “How about we do ‘Orange. Colored. Sky!” She playfully puled up her dress, gyrating as her headpiece fell off, and filled the high-rising restaurant with her resonant voice. She sat for a cover of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye,” holding firmly to the night’s jazz theme.

In all, Gaga was onstage more than 30 minutes, and more than three hours counting her sensational “Jazz + Piano” show earlier in the night. Newman further stacked his “After Dark” lineup with none other than Scott Bradlee of Postmodern Jukebox, who rolled in with Vegas vocalist Jacklyn McSpadden. In the first set, Bradlee and McSpadden joined the band for PMJ’s version of “Creep,” and that, too, leveled the place.

PMJ headlines at 1OaK Nightclub at the Mirage and, similar to Newman’s show, is a throwback production that re-invents modern music.

Gaga closed out with a song she referred to as “iconic, and a singing challenge,” adding, “But I think I up up for the challenge.”

“Fly Me to The Moon” brought the crowd up, once more, as Gaga came off the mic to sing unaided. “Let’s dance, everybody!” she shouted.

This was the kind of scene Newman envisioned when launching “After Dark”: a star dropping in for a cool hang that spilled to the early morning hours. The hang starts at 11 p.m.; Sunday it ended at maybe 1:30 a.m. But who’s keeping track? This show goes on and on, through June 15, and it’s a beautiful Vegas thing.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.

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