Pop & Hiss

Lady Gaga's Grammys tribute felt more Vegas than Bowie

The late, great David Bowie's torch is almost too big for any single performer to carry. But Lady Gaga gave it her best shot during a heartfelt but rushed tribute to the singer's legacy during the 58th Grammy Awards on Monday night.

Sporting a bright orange-red coif, a flashy white pantsuit and thick glittery makeup reminiscent of the Ziggy Stardust era, Gaga bounded through nine of Bowie's most famous songs backed by guitarist and Bowie collaborator Nile Rodgers in a very hectic six minutes.

The result felt more like Las Vegas dinner theater revue than a solemn yet joyful shout-out to one of rock's biggest icons.

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A heartfelt piano performance featuring Gaga's soulful voice might have served the cause better than the breakneck run through hits including "Space Oddity," "Changes," "Ziggy Stardust," "Suffragette City," "Rebel, Rebel," "Fashion," "Fame," the bass line from "Under Pressure," "Let's Dance" and "Heroes."

Nonetheless, the tribute earned a standing ovation and made waves on social media with outlets such as Billboard, Rolling Stone and MTV proclaiming it "astonishing" and "incredible."

Much of the hype surrounded Gaga's uncanny ability to pull off the superstar's glam look and her total devotion to his talents. But if only there were time for the sound to catch up to that vision.

jessica.gelt@latimes.com

Twitter: @jessicagelt

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