The nicest thing I can say about Lady Gaga's Grammys tribute to David Bowie is that I fully believe Gaga believes it was a tribute. She sang David Bowie songs. She dressed in David Bowie costumes. She sounded really good.
But still, the tribute felt a little messy and chaotic.
The main problem was that Gaga attempted to squeeze in too many songs. She started off beautifully with "Space Oddity," but as she segued from hit to hit — like when she began to sing "Rebel Rebel," for example — the changes in tone and her performance became distracting. She was running across the stage, vamping all over the place (she basically looked like an Elvis impostor while singing "Fashion"), and her kinetic energy made the performance feel more like Rocky Horror Picture Show or Monster Mash than a tribute to Bowie. Picture a drag version of a Bowie performance, as opposed to an actual Bowie performance.
That's not to say there weren't pockets of greatness, like certain riffs in Gaga's rendition of "Heroes," or her energy in "Rebel Rebel." But compressing all of Bowie's hits into one performance didn't allow Gaga to really do them justice, nor did it allow us to appreciate them.