CherCyndi Lauper and Cher rock Staples Center
By Naughty Mickie
Photos by Dean Lee 

It was an interesting scene at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California Monday July 7. The crowd was a mix of seniors and teeny boppers, many of them together, ready to share what could be Cher's final tour.

Cyndi Lauper opened th show. Flanked by body guards and donned in a hooded cape not unlike a prizefighter, she entered through the audience. On stage, she began with "She Bop" and the audience cheered. Lauper's set was a fan-favorite countdown with "Time After Time," "Money Changes Everything," "Girls Wanna Have Fun" and more. 

At 61, Lauper still has a youthful look and attitude and her voice is still strong. The only fault in her performance was her between-song banter, which rarely addressed the music or memories, but rather had her telling fans to quit shouting that they love her because "You don't really know me." She tended to talk a lot, sometimes the talk was longer than the song that followed, which disappointed the crowd, who would have liked more music instead.

One of the most amazing moments was Lauper's take on the classic jazz number, "At Last." She started out rough and hit a few sour notes, but then seemed to relax and let her emotions take over. The end result was beautifully moving with a surprising show of Lauper's true vocal prowess. As my photographer Dean Lee commented, "Wow, she can sing."

Lauper wrapped up with "True Colors" to which the crowd sung along.

Cher's set began with a video montage showing her throughout the years, leading into "Woman's World" and "Strong Enough." Then, the charming songstress took a few minutes to speak to her fans.

"It has been 11 years since my first farewell tour and I was old then," Cher, 68, said with a grin.

CherShe counted off her long list of wild costumes, stopping to brag that she still can get into her outfit from "Turn Back Time"- "Take that Katy Perry," Cher said.

Cher chatted about a few other topics, including being an icon- "I used to be a diva, but I graduated." And then she said that she's too old to keep touring and that this would have to be her last farewell tour- "I can't come back, I'd be dead," Cher said and smiled broadly. She stated that this is her "farewell farewell" tour, but left the stage with her fingers crossed behind her back.

The concert was akin to a Las Vegas show, with lavish sets and costumes, top dancers with wonderfully choreographed routines, gymnasts and more. Almost every song had its own theme- "Dressed to Kill" Cher was a vampire, "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" was set in an 1898 circus, "You've Got to Take it Like a Man" boasted Cher emerging from a Trojan horse decked out in gold.

Cher remembered Sonny by singing with his videos for "The Beat Goes On" and "I've Got You Babe," which delighted the audience.

The finale featured Cher dressed like Mary the Madonna standing in a creche-shaped convenence that "floated" above the crowd throughout the arena as she sang, "I Hope You Find It." This was a unique way to give the entire audience a chance to see her closer up, although she and the piece sparkled so much it merely appeared as a glowing UFO in my photos....  

One of the best things about the concert was that it showed how older women - Cyndi Lauper and Cher - are still viable entertainers. They both looked and sounded fantastic. Perhaps they moved a tad slower and didn't perform as long as they might in the past, but they filled Staples Center and put on a show that will be remembered and talked about for years to come... or at least until they come back around on tour.

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