Entertainment superstar Cher began her latest farewell tour in Auckland last night. The multi-talented icon seemed determined to accomplish one goal… make sure that every one of the 12,000 or so fans that came to see had fun.
All I can say is, “Mission accomplished!”.
With a career spanning six decades, it doesn’t matter what age you are, chances are you have a few favourite Cher tunes, or at least guilty pleasures.
Children of the sixties could hully-gully to The Beat Goes On and I Got You Babe, while eighties aficionados could thrill to the hair-metal stylings of I Could Turn Back Time and I Found Someone.
And there was plenty more. My personal faves were the string of 70s hits…Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves, Dark Lady and Half Breed.
So, yes, we all know that Cher has an impressive legacy to draw from, but how was the show?
To be honest, I was a little worried at the start.
Opening tunes Woman’s World and Strong Enough were cool, but for those of us relatively close to the stage, it was obvious that Cher’s vocals were not completely “live”.
Then the music stopped and she spoke to the audience for an extended period… about 13 minutes… telling us how she celebrated her 40th birthday. While it was great to get a little personal insight from her, I was afraid she would gonna pull a Stevie Nicks on us and talk about herself all night, at the expense of the music.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
Cher and her huge troupe of dancers and musicians then got down to business serving up the hits, starting from the sixties and working her way to the 21st century.
The Beat Goes On and I Got You Babe featured her late husband Sonny duetting with her via archival film clips. And no, it didn’t seem weird or exploitative, it felt perfectly natural.
We then moved on to the seventies and that string of hits I mentioned earlier.
I should mention that there were regular “interludes” between every couple of songs allowing Cher to change into another jaw-dropping outfit and the stage sets to transform to various motifs. During that time we were entertained by the band and the dancers, who, it turned out, were quite accomplished acrobats as well.
And the waits were worth it.
We got to see Cher ride a huge mechanical elephant. We suddenly found ourselves on the street in Memphis (during Walking In Memphis) and, what was possibly the highlight for many of the fans, we watched as Mama Mia! came to life, complete with three ABBA songs performed.
Speaking of Cher’s film career, its was clear that she is very proud of the work she has done, and also feels that she has been unfairly maligned over the years. And so, we were treated to a montage of her finest film moments along with a clip of her Oscar win.
By the time Cher got around to singing If I Could Turn Back Time, it seemed that she had indeed done just that. Her vocal performance was noticeably stronger and, yes, she was wearing THAT outfit.
If you were there and you didn’t have fun, you might want to check to see if you were actually alive.
Radio 13 thanks and credits Garry Brandon for all the articles featured in this article.
Cher performs her second and final show at Auckland's Spark Arena tonight. Tickets still available here!
Cher set list:
- Woman’s World
- Strong Enough
- All Or Nothing
- The Beat Goes On
- I Got You Babe
- Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
- Dark Lady
- Half Breed
- Welcome To Burlesque
- Lie To Me
- After All
- Walking In Memphis
- The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)
- I Found Someone
- If I Could Turn Back Time