Review: Cher Tells a Story with Her Sold-Out Twin Cities Show
The Goddess of Pop delivered jaw-dropping vocals and costumes for the Here We Go Again Tour.
A giant curtain dropped. Behind it was Cher, floating high above the Xcel Energy Center stage. As “Woman’s World” blared over the speakers, dancers busted out complex routines on the stage below. The sold-out crowd roared. Such is the magic of Cher, the multi-hyphenate icon who has had a number one hit in each of the past six decades.
After descending to the stage for the electrifying “Strong Enough” – and a sip of Dr. Pepper – Cher slowed it down with a fifteen-minute monologue about standing up to powerful men in the entertainment industry throughout her storied career. It was a warm and hilarious introduction, albeit select audience members were restless by the end.
A slightly problematic “Gayatri Mantra” and “All or Nothing” twofer featured Cher in a sari, a traditional Indian garment. Cher rode in on a giant mechanical elephant, and dancers flanked her with their interpretation of Bollywood moves.
The crowd-pleasing moment of the night was the Sonny & Cher section, which featured Cher singing along with videos of her departed ex-husband Sonny Bono. Their 1967 hit “The Beat Goes On” had the mostly-Baby Boomer crowd on their feet, as the dancers led them in simple, ‘60s mod choreography. The touching “I Got You Babe” duet not only showed off Cher’s voice, but how much it has improved since her career began; her live vocals greatly improved upon the original recording.
For the North America leg, Cher brought this tour’s 18-song setlist down to 15, with the removal of “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves,” “Dark Lady,” and “Half-Breed.” Although classics, the songs were not missed. Their omission allowed for more time for her to speak to the crowd, and the svelte setlist helped big moments and costume reveals stand out.
Somehow Cher managed to don a whopping nine Bob Mackie costumes throughout the evening. Every couple of songs, she would disappear to do a quick change, while the dancers or video screens kept the crowd busy. It felt excessive at times, but that’s the spectacle of a Cher show.
The show felt very Las Vegas. This makes sense, as it is a slightly modified touring version of her Classic Cher residency. Another very Vegas moment was Cher’s standalone, standout performance of “Welcome to Burlesque.” It vibrantly brought the 2010 cult classic film Burlesque to life. The best interlude of the night followed this, with two aerialists performing on drapes high above the stage, to the tune of Cher’s Closer to the Truth album track “Lie to Me.”
Although in support of last year’s ABBA covers album Dancing Queen, Cher only performed three songs from it; “Waterloo,” “SOS,” and “Fernando.” This quality-over-quantity move exemplified the spirit of a tour focused on big moments rather than formula. The electrifying, pure camp dance number “Waterloo” was the standout. Cher and her dancers dressed the part in bright and eclectic ‘70s inspired outfits.
Cher’s final two costumes were jaw-droppers, including the original “If I Could Turn Back Time” music video look. Like the multi-hyphenate icon herself, the semi-transparent black catsuit and motorcycle jacket never get old. After removing the jacket mid-song, it became apparent something is in the water in Malibu, California; at 73-years-old this coming Monday, the toned Cher is in the best shape of her life.
After a brief fake-out ending, dancers emerged in dayglo nightclub outfits doing backflips and 2010s dance culture-inspired choreography. The diva emerged in her final - and most revealing - costume of the night, simply comprised of pearl strands and pasties. In the words of Cher herself, “What’s your granny doing tonight?”
Nile Rodgers & CHIC
Legendary songwriter and musician Nile Rodgers led his iconic CHIC band through an expansive opening act complete with several of his #1 hits over the decades. From Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Rodgers warmed up the crowd and set the mood well for a dance-heavy show like Cher. The impressive range of sounds and genres CHIC has created and influenced cannot be understated. A highlight was Rodgers telling the crowd he is “100% cancer free,” which got a big, warm reaction.
What’s your favorite Cher song? Tweet me: @DerekPlease