Cyndi Lauper and Cher rock Staples
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
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"
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
She 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
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
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.