Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cher in concert in Nashville - part 1

First I would like to thank all my blogging friends who visited my last post on my 5th year anniversary of blogging.  I appreciate your comments - I do not answer each comment on my blog because I rather spend the time going to your blogs and read your posts.  I know that "virtual" friendship is not the same as traditional friendship and that it takes commitment and time to stay connected so I am very appreciative of your visit.  This is an eclectic blog - it is easy with a virtual friendship, when one reads a remark not to our liking, to click to the next blog, so I am pleased that many of you have kept reading my blog and I am grateful.  The 5th year anniversary of my blog coincides with my birthday.  It was for my birthday in 2009 that we visited our eldest daughter in California where she helped me create this blog.  This year, for my birthday which is March 26, our youngest daughter bought, as a birthday present, tickets for the March 31st Cher Concert  "Dressed to Kill Tour 2014" in Nashville.  Below is the poster for the Concert.

So we drove to Nashville, Tennessee, and first we enjoyed the birthday cake ...

Then on Monday March 31, 2014, my daughter, husband and I drove to the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.  On the way there, while she was driving down Broadway, I took photos from the car window.  We passed the historic Union Station, opened in 1900 and now a hotel.  Then we passed by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts which is housed in the historic US Post Office, opened in 1930 to serve as Nashville main post office.  Finally we drove by a massive building - the historic Customs House and old post office built in 1898.  (Click on collage twice to enlarge.)

As my daughter was driving it was difficult to take the whole buildings, I was only able to take snippets of them.  Below are vintage postcards of the same buildings.

It was a lovely evening, warm with a beautiful sky.  You can see the roof of the arena below.

There is a large indoor trade show area around the arena.  My daughter (below in the white dress) waited to buy some water and we stopped to look at the Cher souvenir booth.

I remember watching the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour on television in the early 1970s - Cher already wore outrageous costumes.  I found out then that, just like me, Cher is half Armenian - her father, Garabed Sarkisian, was the son of Armenian immigrants.  She was born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946.  Actually my Armenian childhood friend in Paris looks a lot like her but not so tall.  The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, a variety show, was broadcasted from 1971 until they divorced in 1974.

In an interview, an Armenian reporter from Massachusetts said to Cher "Eench bes es?" which means "how are you?" (one of the few Armenian expressions I know.)  He was totally amazed when she answered in fluid Armenian.  Her large Armenian father family in Fresno, California, taught her the language and the cuisine.  She likes Armenian food and can cook specialties like "kufta" and "sarma."  Below, as a blonde, Cher is interviewed by Lusine Shahbazyan for US-Armenia TV. (Photo courtesy US-Armenia TV.)

Cher did travel to Armenia on a humanitarian mission - she was surprised to find that many women looked a bit like her - I think she was her natural brunette then.  My father had cousins named Sarkisian, but then many Armenians say that they are all "cousins" as they believe they are related through ethnicity.  The country of Armenia has less than 3 million inhabitants, which is less than Metro Atlanta, Georgia, with over 5 millions.  Below is the map of Armenia - I made a circle around it, below Georgia and adjacent to Turkey.

Cher has been a red head, platinum blonde and uses many wigs.  I like her in the 2014 photo below, on the right.  It is hard to believe that on May 20, 2014 she will be 68 years old - she seems ageless.

In addition to philanthropy in Armenia she has been involved in anti-poverty initiatives, veteran rights and charities, and Habitat for Humanity.  She actively support children with craniofacial conditions and is the National Spokesperson for the association CCA.  She supports the Peace Village School in Kenya and many other charitable programs.  Cher has been in the public eye since the late 1960s.  She has been successful on television, on Broadway (with Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean) in the movies, with an Oscar for Moonstruck and as an exercise video guru.  She also sold her line of perfume and skin-care products and diet guides.  Between 2002 and 2005 she performed a record-breaking 325 concerts for her "Farewell Tour" - which was not a farewell tour after all.  She is the only recording artist to have a No. 1 hit in every one of the past six decades.  She has sold more than 100 million records and her latest 25th studio album "Closer to the Truth" was sent to each person upon the purchase of a ticket to attend her 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour - here is mine below.

My daughter had purchased good seats, on the side, not too far from the stage.  It looked like the Nashville Bridgestone arena was full - as a stage concert hall it can seat about 20,000 people.  All the cities on the Tour so far have been sold out.  The Dressed to Kill Tour or "The D2K Tour" (named after a song in her latest CD) started in March in Phoenix, Arizona, and is stopping in 50 cities across the US and Canada.  The show opened with Pat Benatar and her husband, guitarist and pianist Neil Giraldo.  It is their 35th anniversary tour and celebration of their 32nd wedding anniversary.

Benatar and Giraldo went through some of their 1980s classic rocks with a high-energy sound.  The crowd loved the two performers - Giraldo, playing his guitar in the Jimi Hendrix style, went well with the four-time Grammy Award winner Pat Benatar's strong and crisp voice.

After this first hour of hard-driving rock we waited for Cher.  It was fun looking around at the audience which was a diverse group of all ages.  Some were wearing Cher-type outfits - sequined, feathered, etc.  There was a large gay audience as well.  I was surprised to see teenagers next to seniors older than me.  When Cher show started many on the ground floor stood up, and stayed standing up - I was happy we were seating on the side with a perfect view of the stage.

This post is becoming too long, so I'll finish it next time.  More to come ...

30 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Happy belated birthday. I too prefer her as a brunette, and admire the way she was looked after her body, her voice, her soul - and even more admire her for the way she has contributed to the safety and welfare of people she will never meet.
I am looking forward to the follow up post on a woman who lives life to the full.

Patricia said...

What a fantastic trip and how lovely to have been gifted tickets for a Cher concert. Oh I so remember those far off days of Sonny and Cher too. So glad you had a great time. I'm way behind with my reading and so I guess I missed your five year anniversary. Many congratulations as well has belated birthday greetings. Blogging is a great community isn't it.
Patricia x

biebkriebels said...

Many of those artists of the sixties are still performing, isn't it amazing? I always feel the vibes of those times again when I hear the music.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Cher is an interesting icon and has been in the public eye so much longer than her contemporaries. I used to love her show back in the 70's. She also proved to be a very capable actress. I seem to remember her doing her farewell tour some years back. I guess you can't keep a good singer down.

DJan said...

I didn't know Cher was involved in those humanitarian activities. I am so glad to have been one of your original blogging fans, VB, and I think the fact that your audience has increased so much is testament to the care you take with each post. I look forward to hearing how you liked the performance. :-)

La Table De Nana said...

Fun trip and show..
I was a regular watcher of the Sonny and Cher show.. I remember Chastity ..so cute on stage..
I am not fond of anything plastic surgery for looks enhancements....but she's done it well if that can be said.She looks amazing..I remember seeing her mom and she looked great too..

Margaret said...

I have always liked Cher a lot and remember watching her on TV. I've watched past interviews of her recently and what struck me is she is smarter than I thought - Yes, outspoken, but I can tell she has a huge heart and again, her "persona" hides a very real, family oriented woman underneath. And I have always enjoyed her unique vocal sound. Nashville, TN is a city I really want to visit soon - and your driveby photos are great! BTW, thank you for the kind comments on my poetry :)

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Oh your post brings back memories! Sonny and Cher on TV was fun to watch and I loved her long hair and nails...she has managed to stay ahead of the trends and keep her fans happy.
I never knew about her Armenian background and all her philanthropic work. Thank you for filling in those details.
Sounds like a wonderful event and look forward to reading more next time.

David said...

Vagabonde, It sounds like you had a great birthday! You have a very thoughtful daughter... I really like your use of old postcards. I collect them...mostly 1912 or earlier...and I probably have a couple hundred in albums. As for Cher, she is amazing...almost ageless! Both my wife and I loved her in the movie Moonstruck which came out in 1987. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Nadege said...

Happy belated birthday! Cher is talented and generous and put on an amazing show. She is also very loyal to her staff.

rosaria williams said...

I enjoyed knowing that both Cher and Pat Benatar are still performing in big arenas. They are both icons.

Enjoyed the pictures of your grandchildren; thanks for sharing them with us.

Down by the sea said...

That is a wonderful birthday gift!It was interesting to read about Cher, she is a remarkable women. I am looking forward to seeing more in your next post. Sarah x

Frances said...

Dear Vagabonde, I wish you a very Happy Birthday...and hope you will forgive me the belated delivery of this wish! I am so fortunate to know you not only as the writer of fascinating blogs, but also as a dear lady with whom I have had the great pleasure of chatting in person.

I have been delayed in catching up with your recent posts, and think that this one and its two immediate predecessors are perfect examples of the variety that we can expect to find right here. Many thanks for each and every one of your posts!

How marvelous to see Cher in Nashville. I have always been a fan of hers, and think that she's inspired many other performers. They know who they are.

Pat Benatar is also a gifted singer, of rock and also jazz music.

I am already looking forward to your next post! xo

Cynthia said...

What a great birthday with your family and Cher, too! Wishing you happiness in the year ahead.

Magic Love Crow said...

How exciting ;o) Happy Birthday ;o) I never knew those things about Cher! Thanks for sharing ;o) She is such a talented and fun person!

Kay G. said...

I didn't know that much about Armenia until my son started dating a girl from there just last year! I read as much as I could and of course, Cher was one of the biggest names that people would know. Armenia sounds like a fascinating country with a strong and proud culture. I am happy to see you write about it here!

katy gilmore said...

Happy happy birthday! And what a great treat to see the indomitable Cher! Thank you for this post - I love the way you take us by the hand and travel through a whole event or city!

EG CameraGirl said...

What a great birthday treat! Yes, Cher is truly amazing, isn't she?

Jeanie said...

I'm always impressed (and relieved) when prominent people support humanitarian causes -- their support brings about more interest, awareness and hopefully more help. Good for Cher! I knew she was involved in some things, but knew less about her commitment to her heritage.

How wonderful to get your own copy of the CD -- that's a very generous thing to do for your audience. So glad you had a wonderful time!

Willow said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us .
I have loved Cher from way back when I was a kid and watched her shows on Tv right up to present times.
I always thought she was so witty and fascinating !
She is a wonderful entertainer.

Glenda Beall said...

Very interesting post, VB. I always have enjoyed Cher. I loved the Sonny and Cher show and wished they had stayed together.
Thanks for all the information on Cher. I didn't know all this.

Retired English Teacher said...

I can't wait to hear about the concert! I love Cher. Your daughter gave you a wonderful gift when she gave you these ticket. Thanks for this interesting post about one of my all time favorite entertainers.

Pat said...

I have always had a soft spot for Cher; she has her own unique style and quite a distinctive recognisable voice. How great to have the Armenian link. I hope the troubles out there are peaceably settled.
You are lucky to have such an exciting birthday trip.
Many Happy Returns:)

Arti said...

I know every time I come here to your blog I'd get detailed, informative and interesting coverage, visuals and text. Never thought I'd read about Cher, though. These photos are amazing. Thanks again for a richly researched and first-person narrative post.

claude said...

Je suis nulle, j'ai encore oublié ton anniversaire. Sorry !
J'aime bien Cher, elle a une voix chaude ; c'est sans doute à cause de ses origines. Mon Chéri l'aime bien aussi. Je lui avais offert une K7 pour la radio de sa voiture, mais maintenant c'est un lecteur de C. Je l'aimais bien en duo aussi avec Sonny.
Que de monde à ce concert !

Le temps passe si vite que je n'ai pas l'impression que cela va faire bientôt 8 ans que je blogue.

Bonne continuation, Joyeuses Pâques et bises.

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

How interesting. I've always admired Cher, mostly for her ability to reinvent herself. I had no idea she was involved with philanthropy and anti-poverty in Armenia or anywhere for that matter. And in Kenya where they need so much assistance. Good for her and thank you for sharing this with us.

Wishing you and your family a very blessed Easter.
Sam






Perpetua said...

Belated birthday greetings, Vagabonde. Your birthday trip to Nashville looks so enjoyable and I've enjoyed learning so many things I didn't know about Cher and am very impressed by her philanthropic work. I simply can't believe that she and I are the same age! She looks so very much younger than I know I look. :-)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Such an interesting background and so involved with so very many important Charity's. I've always heard that Cher was her own person and I admire that a great deal! Not afraid to be who she is---and considering she has been in the public spotlight in such a huge way for so many decades---She surely is a Legend, yet down to earth, too!
It sounds like this was a lovely way to spend your Birthday!

Kay said...

Cher is 68? That is amazing! She looks absolutely fabulous. I used to watch the Sonny and Cher show all the time. I would love to see her in concert someday. What a wonderful birthday present. Happy birthday!!!

livininlb said...

The cake looks delicious. Where did she get it? Love the white dress on her...it was given to her as a gift from a very special person. Very interesting facts about Cher. Had no idea she was fluent in Armenian! I saw Pat Benetar and husband at the Foc a long time ago. I just love her. Have her autobiography but haven't read it yet.