With Mark Ronson on guitar by her side, Lady Gaga returned to SNL tonight (October 22), marking her first appearance since 2013. Performing “A-YO,” the second track off her fifth studio album Joanne, which dropped on Friday, she belted out the lyrics in a twinkling and tassled two-piece western look that was accessorized by the pale pink fedora now synonymous with the album. Unlike past SNL performances, Gaga forwent a team of backup dancers and precise choreography—instead opting to channel the organic feel of the song through her own movements. She wrapped the energetic number, by grabbing the large Gretsch guitar she’s been playing during her dive bar tour, and rocking out with her band and Ronson, with whom she executive produced the album.
For her second appearance of the evening, she took a more somber approach. Playing at a piano that she would ultimately climb on top of, Gaga belted out “Million Reasons.” With the spotlight on her and the pink fedora clutched against her chest, the ballad proved a stripped back but deeply emotional moment for the artist.