Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, April 24
It's tempting to write off Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga's Cheek to Cheek as a cynical ploy by Universal to trot out a few Great American Songbook warhorses one more time in the hopes many of her young Little Monsters had never heard them before (which is probably true), or at least a convenient way for Gaga to rebound after the letdown of her overly ambitious ARTPOP album. Nevertheless, Cheek -- this year's Grammy winner for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album -- rises admirably above its calculated origins.
Gaga is an old musical theater/cabaret hand from way back, while her ageless partner has been one of America's most beloved crooners since "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," and his voice remains as smoky-mellow as a fine bottle of Glenlivet. Besides, watch the YouTube videos of Bennett and Gaga bantering in-studio, and it's awful hard to fake the kind of fun they look like they're having.