Quick, go get a barf bag. Good you're back - are you ready? OK, now breathe deeply a few times, close your eyes, and get centered. This punker/power popper is about to give you the Big Reveal on his latest concert. Here we go.
I know, right? What the hell? Did you fill the barf bag?
How did BRP end up at Cher? It's a bit of a story. I send out a quarterly email to my concert buddies with a list of shows that I'm thinking about attending. As a sort-of joke, one of the last ones included Cher. I said that, while I knew she had been dead for the last 5 years, I was still interested in going if anyone else was. Of course, my friends have taste, and no one bit. Until the week of the show. Then, I got a call from a friend who couldn't attend himself, but who had some tickets that he would give to me gratis. I took him up on it, and voila! I went to see Cher.
I could say a lot about Cher, her history, and the what not, but I won't - her history is long and well documented elsewhere. I do admire her as she is 73 years old and still out working and shilling for the bucks. And she sold out the WFC, which is a big arena and not easy for anyone to sell out these days. She did a pretty long monologue during part of the show, and told of harder times where she needed the money. It included a significant diss of David Letterman ("I always thought he was a bit of an asshole"), and was revealing in other ways. Cher is what she is, and I appreciated her honesty and feistiness.
Cher still looks like, well, Cher. She admits to having a bunch of surgeries to keep herself looking that way. The show had a bunch of costume changes and huge, elaborate sets, and it couldn't have been easy for her to run through that performance at her age. The show is more like a Broadway performance than it is a concert. Cher is a singer and an actress (an Academy Award winning actress), and her show does a combination of the two. She is using all of her talents, for sure.
Let's get with the show a bit more. Cher came out in some pseudo-Roman costume with a ton of dancers and background singers. Later, she rode in on an animatronic elephant, with a ton of dancers and background singers. There was a Buddhist-inspired theme for a song or two, complete with a ton of dancers and background singers. Trapeze/acrobatic background performers on another song.
And then she did some Chelvis stuff (an Elvis cover of Heartbreak Hotel) and a Memphis inspired tune. Oh, and there were the three ABBA covers in the middle of the show (ABBA? Ugh, yes, it included Waterloo). And there was a tribute to the Sonny and Cher days with I Got You Babe and The Beat Goes On. That was a little creepy because she sang the duets with a video of Sonny - think Natalie Cole doing the duet with her late father, Nat King Cole and you get the drift. And she finished with her big hits, If I Could Turn Back Time and Believe. Here is the setlist:
There was a lot of staging, a six piece band (and the lead guitarist came out at one point and did a big solo which I thought sucked), and many many singers, dancers, etc. If you think Broadway musical, you sort have an idea. It was definitely a show, not a concert per se. Oh, and Cher does not dance. This is not like seeing Tina Turner or someone like her. Cher didn't move around that much, and when she did, she basically walked to one side of the stage to sing and bask in the adulation.
The fans were fun. There was a couple dressed like Sonny and Cher circa the 60s, and there were a lot of middle aged women and men who were really into it. It was an entertaining evening. It's not exactly the show I would normally go and see, but anyone who has been at it as long as Cher and can still pack the place to its rafters and entertain you for 2 hours is doing something right.
However, I do have a quibble. Maybe it's political correctness, but for whatever reason, Cher did not play two big hit songs from my youth: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves and Halfbreed. How could she neglect them? Those songs are hilarious, and I was singing them loudly going into the show. I was bummed that she bowed at the alter of political correctness and left them on the scrap heap.
I wouldn't have the story of the Cher complete with telling you about the opener. Nile Rodgers and Chic. This guy wrote some HUGE songs: Le Freak, We Are Family, Everybody Dance, Upside Down, Get Lucky, Let's Dance and Good Times. He and Chic were pretty entertaining and it was a great start to the night. I won't say that I like all of these songs, but I will say that I knew them all, and yes, I even danced to a couple of them. He told a story of getting cancer, deciding to fight it like the devil and be super productive in the meantime, and then beating the cancer and going on with his life. Inspirational? Yup. Bigtime respect for Nile.
Onward and upward. I'll be back with a review of the Steve Earle show at AMH and yet another live review. Yes, I haven't forgotten about my photo montage of Texas (and I even have a couple of Floriduh pictures to throw in, too). And more! C'mon back when you get bored with your day-to-day because it's always fun and playful here at BRP. See you soon, rockers.
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.