‘Paparazzi’ at the 2009 VMAs
This is the performance that truly put Gaga a step above other artists in terms of live music. Celebrities looked absolutely stunned as Gaga emerged in a wheel chair, hobbled across the stage in a lacy outfit, and exploded into furious dance, all the while, her vocals remained completely flawless. The golden touch was when she clasped her hand to her torso and, upon removing it, began dripping with blood. Her eyes turned furiously bloodshot and she ascended into the heavens, twirling madly as blood dripped from her midriff. Audiences were enraptured, and the applause she received was deafening. She had now truly arrived.
‘Speechless’ on 2010’s Royal Variety Show
As the curtain rose, the Queen’s eyes must have been popping out of her royal head. Gaga sat atop a hovering piano bench in a flowing red leather smock with a matching eye mask. She plinked away at a piano that was equally as high in the air as she. The funny thing about the scenario was that, apart from her eccentricity, there was no need for the stunt. Her vocals were incredible, as she belted out one of the best live performances of her life. With her proud father watching from the stately audience, Gaga sang the ballad to the nines. It was majestic in every sense of the word.
‘Telephone Medley’ at 2010’s Brits
Gaga delivered an emotionally raw performance after the death of her best friend and frequent design partner Alexander McQueen. The first and only television performance of “Dance in the Dark” is electrifying and dynamic. Kicking things off with a slow-tempo version of “Telephone” sans Beyonce, Gaga quickly changes the pace as she slings a giant heart shaped guitar/synthesizer over her shoulder and wails in front of a giant rotating statue of her with a piano for a torso. Her vocals are stunning and vulnerable, her hair teetering dangerously in a foot-high wig.
‘You and I’ on the Today Show
Rocking away on the piano as rain battered her captivated audience, Gaga premiered her new song on The Today Show last summer, delighting fans across the world. Peppered with bits of Elton John, Billy Joel, and Judy Garland (to whom she paid tribute earlier with a thoughtful version of “Someone to Watch Over Me”), the song was ferocious and insightful. Gaga showed off a more tender side of the previously impenetrably mysterious celebrity with simplistic aplomb. If audiences hadn’t yet fallen in love with the Gags, they surely found this new side of her instantly charming.
‘The Sun is Down’ with Yoko Ono in 2010
Adorned in a sparkly see-through jumpsuit and halo-like headband, Gaga seemed uncharacteristically subdued as she joined Ono for a performance of The Plastic Ono Band’s “The Sun is Down.” When she opened her mouth, she sang with all the oddities of Ono and the rejuvenated vocal prowess of John Lennon, for whom the concert was in remembrance. Towering above the petite Ono, Gaga prowled and shimmied around the stage and immaculately upstaged the headliners as if the night would be her last. It was remarkable.
‘Born This Way’ on the Grammys 2011
Decked out like Yo Landi Vi$$er, the androgynous and pint-sized half of South African rap-duo Die Antwoord, Gaga emerged from an egg shaped vessel and proved to the world that she doesn’t need all those theatrics to deliver a stellar performance. It was probably the most vocally spot-on she has ever been. Audiences complained that there was no real shock to the performance, but that was shock all in its own. She walked on stage, abandoned all gaudiness, and shook the song to its core.