She arrived just before 9:30 p.m. After greeting fans who couldn't make it inside, she ran through the crowd and onto the dive bar stage. "My name is Lady Gaga," she started. "I'm a singer-songwriter from New York and I'm coming through Nashville." In that moment, that's exactly who she was and who she's always been. After winning Grammys, touring the world, and becoming a global phenomenon—Gaga was finally returning to her roots just before the release of Joanne.
Rewind to Greenwich Village in early 2006. The Stefani Germanotta Band was performing at The Bitter End. The lead singer interrupted their cover of Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er" to announce, "You guys f--king rock." The 19-year-old was confident, authentic, and talented. More than 10 years separate these performances, but watch them back-to-back and you'll fail to see much difference.