Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cher in Concert in Nashville - Part 2

This is the continuation of my post of April 15, 2014.  As the Cher Dressed to Kill Concert started there was a montage of video clips on a large screen on the stage.  In addition two large television screens were hanging up on each side of the stage, also zooming the scene from the stage.  When the curtain dropped, Cher, wearing an elaborate peacock inspired feather headpiece, was standing on a giant pedestal and started singing "Woman World" from her latest CD.  (Click on collage twice to enlarge.)

She sang a second song "Strong enough" without her headpiece.  I took pictures with my new small Nikon Coolpix S9700 - it has a wide angle lens and a 30X zoom.  I tried to take some videos with it, for the first time, but I moved the camera too much, only a small video is acceptable and I'll show it later (if I can figure out how to do it.)  But the 30X zoom worked very well as you can see from the close-ups below.  The picture in the center is from the video screen above the stage.

It is hard to sum up a two hour show with singing, dancing, acrobats, video clips and more.  It was not a concert really.  It was a spectacle as performed in Las Vegas.  Cher sang 19 of her hits and changed outfit ten times with assorted wigs.  It was an electric atmosphere with people standing, jumping, clapping and making noise between sets - a non-stop sensory show.  I had never seen anything like it.  She sang "I Got You Babe" in front of a video feed of Sonny Bono, her late ex-husband.  It was very touching.  Then it was a circus style stage where she appeared as a gypsy in a colorful dress, all the while smoke, lights and dancers were moving all around her.

For her song "Half Breed" number she appeared in a glamorous native Indian costume complete with floor-length headdress around a nude body stocking - a great visual effect.

In between sets there were video montages illustrating her life and performance both on the screen and on the stage.  Next came the number for the song "Welcome to Burlesque" but this was my favorite, so I'll show it at the end.  A dramatic set, with bonfires and drums was next.  Aerial acrobats performed high over the stage.

A giant gilded Trojan horse was pulled to the stage.  Cher emerged from the horse wearing a gold mini dress aka gladiator armor with blonde curls gushing all around her head and singing "Take it Like a Man."

Next came a salute to Elvis Presley in a video clip showing Cher as a child, in an Elvis-like costume, and going with her mother to an Elvis concert.  Cher then emerged on the stage wearing a black jumpsuit and singing "Walking in Memphis" with gospel style sounds in the background.

The audience stood up to watch Cher wearing an outlandish biker leather jacket, thigh-high boots and a sheer body stocking, looking like a reincarnation of her 1989 video.

In her penultimate number she burst on the stage wearing a very revealing outfit - a dress made of diamond-encrusted fringes over a nude colored body suit complete with nipple pasties.  She let the audience sing along her hit "Believe" with her and her backup singers. I took a small video and will try to place it on this post, below.


In between numbers she would talk to the crowd, entertaining them with stories - such as the time she was almost arrested in Nashville, and the crowd loved it.  For her last number she appeared on a platform, similar to a religious figure with her circular gold headpiece, strapped into a harness that slowly went up and glided over the arena as she was singing "I hope You Find It."  The audience was standing and most were taking photos with cell phones, cameras, and videos.  It was quite the theatrical gesture and very "Cher" - her fans cheered widly.

Along the years I have attended numerous live shows - the last ones were operas and jazz concerts.  I also attended symphonies and tango shows in Paris.  Years ago I saw live concerts in Paris too - Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour and Georges Brassens.  But I can't recall a show like this one.  Even the Joan Baez or Bob Dylan concerts I attended were more reserved, and the Monterey Pop Festival of June 1967 now seems so sedate.  This is not the type of shows I usually go and see but I found it quite fascinating.  This Cher concert was a non-stop sensory feast and a two-hour extravaganza.

Her contralto voice sounded better than on her CDs.  Cher is certainly a professional performer with great talent and a strong presence.  She appears to have found the secrets to eternal youth - her voice and looks seem frozen in time.  It had been a fast-paced, colorful and fabulous performance.  As we were leaving the arena I could hear fans exclaiming with enthusiasm at how fantastic, amazing and awesome the show had been - more adjectives than I can remember.  It certainly had been lavish, fast paced and camp.  We were energized as we went back to the parking area, passing numerous limousines.

I almost forgot my favorite piece, which was the "Welcome to Burlesque" number.  I don't know why I preferred it - maybe because the tune is catchy, and the backup musicians have the right sound, or maybe because as I was growing up we lived close to the naughty Pigalle area of Paris and Cher wearing a corset and pink satin-lined jacket among scantily clad dancers remind me of France.  As a teenager my parents took me along several times to the Folies Bergeres and the Moulin Rouge when they were entertaining friends from out of town or cousins from Egypt and Syria.  I did not make a video this time, but Steven Hannah of Nashville made a good one.

 Show a little more, show a little less
Add a little smoke, welcome to Burlesque
Everything you dream of but never can possess
Nothing's what it seems, welcome to Burlesque

Oh, everyone who's buying, put your money in my hand
If you got a little extra, oh well, give it to the band ...


DJan said...

Whew! I was worn out just reading about this event, VB. And thanks for your video, and the final one as well. It put me right there. I am a neutral Cher fan, but I would have enjoyed this spectacle, no doubt! Thanks for such a detailed post about it. And Happy Earth Day! :-)

La Table De Nana said...

I think she' s an icon..love her voice..
Cleverly maintained..my husband begs to differ on the latter.
I must admit..I love the look of a woman..man..aging..naturally..more...than cleverly maintained.
Had to say.
We become a caricature I find when we don't.

Elephant's Child said...

A high energy post to match the show. Thank you so much.

Margaret said...

Thank you! I enjoyed the whole post - I always find Cher fascinating.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow! Cher the Showgirl, live from Nashville. She's six months older than I am, and working as if she were still in the 1960s.
How wonderful that you compared her show to the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergere.
Thanks for sharing all the photos with us. Just fabulous.

David said...

Vagabonde, Cher is like the Energizer Bunny...she just keeps going and going... Looks pretty good for her age and she can still sing, which is unusual when you look at many of our other music icons. Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

bayou said...

Wow, Vagabonde that must have been a very special evening, indeed.
J'avoue que je ne connaissais pas grand' chose de Cher mais tu lui a bien rendu hommage :-)

Ginnie said...

OMG, Vagabonde. How fun that you were able to take all these pictures and put together such a post.

I saw Cher in concert at Philips Arena years ago and can absoultely agree with you that it was very Las Vegas! Your concert sounds better/longer. I recall that after the warm-up act (I do think there was one but can't remember who) and with all the outfit changes, Cher may have been on stage only one hour. And yet, you're right, I've never seen anything else like it.

Mae Travels said...

The photo collages seem to capture the excitement of this event very beautifully!

Perpetua said...

Wow, spectacular seems almost an understatement from the images and description in your post, Vagabonde. This was an evening you won't forget for a very long time.

Dee said...

Dear Vagabonde, many years ago Cher was a favorite of mine--as a singer and also on the television variety show that she and Sonny Bono hosted. I've always enjoyed her in the movies. But the truth is that I haven't thought about her for several years and so I was glad to see all these photographs and the video and to read your "take" on the concert. I so admire people who continue to use their talents and skills--their gifts--as they age. She is a wonder. I probably would have truly enjoyed the concert although I wouldn't have heard much of the lyrics because of my deafness in my left ear. But I bet her fans had heard and memorized the lyrics on her CDs. She is such an inspiration for those of us aging. And aren't we all!! Thank you once again for an intriguing presentation of her concert. Peace.

Patricia said...

Great post Vagabonde and it looks like it was a funtastic concert. Thanks for sharing. x

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow, wow, wow! What an amazing show! I love all the pictures you were able to take! I love all the outfits! She is such a great singer and performer! Thanks so much for sharing! Big Hugs ;o)

Nadege said...

She puts on a fabulous show and is a true pro! Thank you for the beautiful photos.

Retired English Teacher said...

Thanks for the great review of the show and for your photos. They really turned out well. I would love to see Cher in concert. As I said previously, she is one of my favorite performers. I think of how much those wigs and costumes must weigh and marvel at what shape she must be in to sing and dance like she does. She is an inspiration. Truly ageless.

Carol Crump Bryner said...

I feel as though I've been to the concert! And as we were driving into downtown Portland, Oregon two nights ago from the airport, there was a big neon sign on the Moda Center (used to be the Rose Quarter) for Cher's upcoming concert here in June! I felt very privileged to have had an insider's report and your wonderful photographs to make this incredibly and almost outrageously flashy show come alive.

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)

Down by the sea said...

What amazing number of costumes, it sounds that it was a night that you will remember. Sarah x

Cergie said...

Quelle merveilleuse série de photos ! Une vraie performance que tu as aussi accomplie et que je serais incapable de réaliser. Le dernier spectacle que je suis allée voir avec mon fils c'était "Stomp" au casino de Paris :


Thérèse said...

Comme dit Cergie: magnifique realisation basee sur ce concert de Cher!
On en peut avoir mieux.
J'aime, merci.

Kay said...

I saw Sonny and Cher when I was a teen in Hawaii so very long ago. I can't believe she's still performing and she looks amazing. Thank you so much for this post. I loved it!!!

Cynthia said...

Wow, what energy, at her age. You took some great photos, and now you have fun memories. Thanks for taking us along. :-)

Friko said...

Some woman!
I’d have loved to go to the show with you. It’s not what I usually go to but I love spectacle, all spectacle.

I have only one Cher CD, perhaps I’ll dig it out and listen again. It has most of her great hits on it.

Jenny Woolf said...

How glamorous! And isn't Cher amazing. I just cannot believe the way she looks. I am so envious! OK I am sure she spends a fortune and all her time on it but still.....!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Cher is just amazing and this sounds like an over-the-top performance from her. I had no idea her shows were on such a grand scale.

Enjoy your time off. I hope you get a chance to rest and relax and enjoy spring.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

She certainly gives you your money's worth, as they say.....Great Pictures,my dear.....
Looking at all the "production" stuff--Costumes, Lights, Dancers, and other special effects--this show has to cost a fortune to put on! But obviously she sells out everywhere and gives her all!
I cannot say I have ever been a big fan of Cher's talent, but I admire her tremendously and like I said---She sure knows how to put on an extravaganza of an evening!
GOOD FOR HER!!! Thanks for sharing this, my dear.

Geo. said...

I found no place to comment on your next blog entry, announcing spring hiatus, so I wish you a pleasant and refreshing break here, and look forward to the pleasure of your renewed company. Best wishes,