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Lady Gaga Makes Surprise Appearances in West Hollywood Bars

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Lady Gaga is certainly craving a little "Applause."

Although the pop superstar has been absent from the scene for a while recovering from a hip injury and prepping her third full-length studio album "ARTPOP," she's ramping up her promotional comeback in a big way, starting with her base … the gay bars of West Hollywood.

In anticipation of Monday morning's release of her first new single in years, she surprised the crowds at two different bars both on Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday, her first stop was the popular Abbey bar, where she showed up for their afternoon Sunday Funday to party with the crowd. Gaga commanded a VIP booth in the center of the club's outdoors area, and was seen taking shots of Patron while dancing along with friends and fans alike. At one point, she handed her phone to resident DJ Dawna Montell and had her play her new song "Aura" for the crowd, which she then danced along to.

On Monday night, she took to Micky's on Santa Monica Boulevard to record the lyric video for her new single, "Applause." The popular "Showgirls" Drag-Stravaganza night, featured hosts Shangela (from "RuPaul's Drag Race") and "Australian Idol" finalist Courtney Act. Rather than performing "Applause" herself, she stood at the front of the stage videotaping the two well-known drag queens performing it.

Her appearance wasn't exactly a secret though. At 10 p.m. PT she tweeted the following to her nearly 40 million Twitter followers:

At 11:40 p.m., Gaga took to the stage.

"Gaga had a hand-held camera she was shooting the audience and drag show," said Tyler Rogers, who was in the crowd. "She interacted with everyone who approached her and seemed to be having a blast.

Yahoo! events manager Michael Perez was also there for all the action."When I got there, Lady Gaga was dancing on stage with a few of the drag queens during their scheduled song and dance. She was wearing all black dress with no sleeves and a high neck, and white face paint with two blotches of red and blue (almost like Heath Ledger as 'The Joker' in 'Batman'). Gaga was dancing up and down the catwalk with a hand held camera and a big attached light."

Eventually, Gaga did indeed sing, but not one of her new songs. "The highlight of the night was her singing 'Happy Birthday' to a group of about 20 birthday people who then took shots on stage with her," Rogers said. "The crowd outside was crazy, but inside the capacity was kept to a minimum so it wasn't impossible to move around."

James Moretti is one of the several folks to whom Gaga sang "Happy Birthday." "It's those experiences that money can't buy that typically are the best," he told omg! "Having Lady Gaga sing to me was beyond surreal and all I wanted to do was 'Just Dance'!"

Amanda Greene was another birthday patron in the house. "Despite my birthday being 10 days ago, when the security guard looked down at me, I (explained that) I have Lupus and (said) 'You have to let me go on stage.' Stepping through the throng, I made it. I was on stage with the other birthday people, and WOW! I am honored and grateful to have been a part of (the) incredible night."

However, there was a little bit of drama on her way out, due to the 250 people crowding the street when she was leaving. According to Perez, "My friend and I positioned ourselves on the street as several of her security guards tried to separate the crowd for her exit. She barely made it through unscathed, while receiving a swift accidental hit to the head from a female fan getting pushed out of the way by her security guard. As her car headed away, Gaga stood out of the sunroof with her camera and light to film the crowd gathered in the street surrounding the SUV — but fans were chanting her name as she drove off."

"Applause" has been released for download, and "ARTPOP" is now available for pre-order on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/Applause

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