Losing My Rock 'n' Roll Bonafides
Uh oh, your humble rock blogger just committed a rock 'n' roll boo boo. Yes, I committed the equivalent of rock harikari. Time to fall on my sword and tell you: I saw Cher for the second time in one year.
Heresy! How can someone call themselves a rock blogger and go see Cher twice in less than 12 months? Well, free tickets certainly helps explain some of it (make that all of it). But let's not get carried away with that. I actually had fun at this show, as I did at the earlier one. And I guess I'm dumb enough to admit it.
Before I go any further: how about those two pictures above, huh? First, you have to remember that Cher is 73 years old. Can you imagine any other 73 year old looking like Cher in that top photo? Yeah, she admits to surgical help, but still. I think the proper word for it is "damn!" And the second picture, well, Cher ain't no saint, but she looks like one of those Catholic school saint cards that they used to hand out. Pretty funny, actually.
Here's the thing about the Cher show: it's not really a concert. Well, the opening act comes out and plays nothing but music - Nile Rodgers, a dude that wrote a number of big, big hits.
But once Cher comes out, it's a musical theatre production. There are acrobats, dancers, stage props (and big ones, like the animatronic elephant), background singers, videos, lights, wig changes, and even a few musicians. It's Broadway-esque, but features the music of Cher's career. Not all of Cher's career - there still is no Gypsies Tramps and Thieves or Half Breed, two songs that always make me laugh, but I guess are no longer politically correct enough to perform live. There are, of course, songs from the Sonny and Cher days - including a kind of weird sing-along with the dead guy via video - and songs like Turn Back Time from her solo career. And there are covers, like Walking in Memphis.
There are lots of costume changes and interludes that feature recorded music and all the accoutrements to her stage act, like the acrobats. It's kitchy in some ways and funny in some ways, but it's also pretty entertaining. So is the crowd. There was some guy sitting in the first row who was dancing, swirling a sweater, and throwing flowers on stage. You don't see that at too many punk shows, although I have seen a wedding proposal at a Menzingers concert (she said yes). (Hey, as an aside, don't you think it's odd when people do the stadium proposal on the big screen? I'm always of mixed feelings when I see it - the nice guy part of me, which is a very small part of me, is pleased when she says yes, but the mean guy part of me, which is sizeable, hopes for her to say "um, no." I always want to see that - maybe it's the Philly in me. How about this one: I think it would be hilarious for a dude on a first date to pull that stunt and see what happens.)
Check out Grandma Cher's blue hair above. What do you think of that? She was kind of plugging it for women of a certain age - meaning old - to continue to strut their stuff and be cool. I'm all for that, but no blue hair is needed in my opinion. Anyway, I'm sure that the costumes are historically accurate in their Roman-meets-slutty style.
Hey, the last time we saw Cher, we were struck by how little she moved about the stage. She wasn't like poor old Elton John, who looks like he's about ready to enter assisted living, but she wasn't dancing or even grooving too much. Flash forward a few months, and Cher is bopping and strutting quite a bit. That was good - as Cher asked at one point, what's your Grandma doing tonight - and I can guarantee you that most 73 year old women are not dressing and performing like Cher. Maybe she found the fountain of youth again.
I don't really feel like doing a proper concert review - not that I ever really do that - but the experience of seeing Cher is decent enough. I wouldn't feel good about it if I had dropped $150 per ticket, but I didn't, so it was cool. One of the best parts was that I got a great parking space and got out of the lot really quickly and only sat through 1 traffic light. I was home from the sports complex, the strange asphalt and stadium jungle deep in South Philly, in a minimum of time, like 40 minutes from the time I left the arena to the time I pulled into my garage.
One great thing about the Cher show is that it is not the Omega bookend for my 2019 concert experiences. It would be kind of disappointing to end the year at a sports arena watching Cher. But that is not to be. Nope, I've got two, count 'em two, great rock 'n' roll redemption shows before the year closes out. I'll be back soon to talk to you guys about them. In the meantime, why don't you check out some of the archives and relive some of the great BRP experiences of the past.
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.