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 ...