Tony Bennett stole the show on Wednesday night at Tivoli – no mean feat given he was up against Lady Gaga and her outrageous outfits.
But she couldn’t compete with the gravitas of a performer who has known and seen and sung them all. And with the poignancy that this could be the last time he visits there shores.
Someone I know once told me you should see the great musicians live in concert before they die, and he was definitely right.
Bennett was born in 1926. That’s a completely different era – he lived through World War II as a teenager – and to see him on stage just a few metres away and take all this in was a prodigious honour.
At 88 years old his voice doesn’t cease to please the audience. He rocked the stage with every song, but there were perhaps three highlights.
I visibly shivered during his Sinatra tribute ‘Cheek to Cheek’ (also the name of the album they both did), his signature song ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’, and most of all ‘Smile’, the magical song written by Charlie Chaplin himself (you might remember it as it closes the Robert Downey Junior movie).
Every time he sang I was floating, as if my heart was singing itself: “Heaven, I am in heaven and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak …”
So what can one say about Gaga? She knows how to catch an audience’s attention – every dress she wore was super-elegant and worthy of such refined music, until of course she had to do one of her stunts and appear in one of Tony’s suits.
Her voice, though, is beyond compare. Her performance on ‘Bang, Bang (my baby shot me down)’ for example was splendid, and also ‘Lush Life’.
Despite the 59-year age gap, they still manage to click as a couple, but there were still times when she appeared supplementary and looked out of place.
Bennett got together with Gaga with the aim of making a collection of the best jazz songs so they are accessible for all generations. And it really works.
“Look at all those young people in the crowd listening to jazz,” Gaga says to Bennett during the concert. And she was right – I was not even one of the youngest.
And you can’t deny they’re accomplishing their goal of introducing these magical old tunes to the youngsters. Classics like ‘The way you look tonight’, ‘Stranger in Paradise‘, ‘But Beautiful’ and ‘Anything goes’ need to be enjoyed by every generation.
Reliving all that music after a rainy day in the city of Copenhagen felt like being in an old romantic movie. It is a night I will treasure forever in my memory.