Lady Gaga unleashed her massive pipes, as well as an oversized wig and footwear that was more stilt than shoe, at the Rolling Stones' final "50 and Counting" show on Saturday night at New Jersey's Prudential Center.
A minute and a half into "Gimme Shelter," Mick Jagger introduced Gaga, who proceeded to strut, mug, hop, swing and wave her arms in full gospel mode for the remainder of the "Let It Bleed" classic. If she was trying to respectfully harness the raw emotion of the song's original vocalist, Merry Clayton, then she succeeded.
Wearing a black-and-gold jumpsuit, Gaga shared verses and dance moves with the Stones frontman, who did his best to keep up with the clearly amped up pop star. [Watch a ripped version here.]
"Gaga sang with voice-shredding passion, and danced like she was possessed, but wasn't able to top the original, definitive version," wrote the Star-Ledger on their live-blog of the show.
Two songs later, Gary Clark Jr. and John Mayer joined the band for a blues guitar-off on "Going Down." The Black Keys soon followed with the Bo Diddley staple, "Who Do You Love," and later Jersey's favorite son Bruce Springsteen blew in for a rollicking version of "Tumbling Dice."
Jagger joked that Springsteen "walked to the show," which was also a pay-per-view special.
There was also a somber moment during the show when Jagger dedicated "Wild Horses" to the victims of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn, about an hour and 45 minutes away by car.
"I just wanted to take a minute and send our love and condolences to those who lost their loved ones yesterday," he said.
- Nadia Neophytou (@NadiaNeophytou) December 16, 2012
While this was their fifth and final date of the "50 and Counting" mini-tour (sixth if you count the Paris warm-up), it won't be the band's last. "This is our last show...of the 50th anniversary tour. Hope to see you again soon," Jagger said on stage. Former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who also cameo'd at the Prudential on Saturday, told Billboard this week that the band's reformation is about more than nostalgia.
"I think they just feel re-energized and possibly very enthusiastic about doing things in the future," he said. "I just have an intuitive feeling that if they want to do some more shows, they can. There's no reason why they shouldn't be able to."
At one point during the show, a source told Billboard that the Stones were averaging $37 per head in merch sales -- with the venue's capacity being somewhere between 15,000 and 17,000 and the lowest-priced T-shirt at $40, that's a substantial haul.
News broke Friday of mysterious tour dates temporarily appearing on the Stones' mobile app, which included a show at this year's Coachella festival. While no official tour dates have been announced, as the Magic 8 Ball might say, "all signs point to yes..."
Setlist From the Prudential:
"Get Off of My Cloud"
"The Last Time"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)"
"Paint It Black"
"Gimme Shelter" [with Lady Gaga]
"Going Down" [John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr.]
"Who Do You Love" [The Black Keys]
"Doom and Gloom"
"One More Shot"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Before They Make Me Run"
"Midnight Rambler" [Mick Taylor]
"Start Me Up"
"Tumbling Dice" [Bruce Springsteen]
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"