AUBURN HILLS, Michigan On the first U.S. stop of her farewell tour at
the Palace of Auburn Hills Saturday, Cher offered living proof that she’s a Renaissance woman.
Cloaked in a closetful of different costumes during the course of the set, Cher belted out two hours’ worth of hits, celebrated her Oscar-winning film career and recalled
her TV appearances with former husband, the late Sonny Bono.
She kicked off her spectacle with a retrospective video that included vintage
photos and film clips, backed by a DAT version of “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
Cher, wearing a jeweled headdress and robe, made a stunning entrance, slowly
emerging from the rafters atop a gold-plated chandelier. She began the show
with her self-proclaimed “good luck” tune, a disco version of U2’s “I Still
Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Prior to “Song for the Lonely,” back-up dancers removed the headdress and
robe to unveil a revealing midriff-baring vest and beaded harem pants. More
dancers then arose from beneath the upper level of the stage.
She teased the audience by saying this wasn’t the “official” start of
the show. First, she needed to share a few stories.
“Well, I’m back here. I have Mr. Big with me. Somebody threw him under a
truck last time we were here,” she said before explaining that Mr. Big is her
“We have to have a small chat. What do you think about me coming down 40 feet
on a chandelier? I was laying in my bed and I thought a really cool way to
start the show would be for me to come down on a chandelier. But I’ve never
been 30 or 40 feet in the air, except for sometimes after sex,” she added as
members of the audience responded with catcalls.
Cher’s show had a Las Vegas-meets-Cirque du Soleil-meets Ringling Bros. feel
to it. Acrobats, wrapped in yards in fabric secured to the rafters, quickly
unraveled themselves to the stage through songs such as “We All Sleep Alone.”
Emphasizing the big-top vibe, Cher slipped on a ringmaster’s jacket.
“When I was little, I used to love to go to the zoo. I wanted to be a
ringmaster, but I thought that guys do that. I figured the hell with it. I’m
doing it. Now we’re getting to the ’official’ start of the Cher show,” she
said as the audience laughed.
“Ladies and gentleman, flaming gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all
ages, welcome to the Cherest show on earth.”
She then disappeared backstage and re-entered atop a puppet
elephant singing “All or Nothing.”
The set list for her Living Proof tour was a compilation of tunes from
her long career. Cher performed medleys of such older hits as
“Half Breed” and “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”
The retrospective video clips were a hit with the fans, who wildly applauded
scenes showing her with Elton John, the Jackson 5, Liberace and David Bowie.
She received a rousing response to clips from her films “Moonstruck,” “The
Witches of Eastwick” and “Silkwood.” As she recalled her film career via
video, she sang “After All,” from the Robert Downey Jr. movie “Chances Are.”
In her video montage, she showed an interview in which she said that there
were no benefits of growing old. Shortly thereafter, she
performed “If I Could Turn Back Time” wearing a skimpy black outfit similar
to the one she donned in the 1989 video for that track.
Cher’s opener, Cyndi Lauper, was an energetic stage presence, running up
and down the lower bowl, singing and dancing with the fans who arrived early
to see her. She began her set with “Shine,” a new song that has become so
popular that she is releasing an EP of the same name later this year to
Vocally, Lauper sounded like she did at the height of her career. Renditions
of “Time After Time” and “Money Changes Everything” were very well-received. Dubbing it a “self-help song,” Lauper served up a rockified “She Bop.”
During her hour-long set, she frequently acknowledged her homosexual fanbase. “It’s gay pride this month. Sorry I couldn’t be with you. Last time I was
here, I was wearing a macaroni crown on my head, swinging from a swing,
eating Greek soul food,” she said with a laugh.
In honor of gay pride, she wrapped herself in a rainbow-striped robe, while
singing “True Colors.”
For more sights and stories from concerts around the world, check out MTV News Tour Reports.