“Hello? Can you hear me?”
Cher’s voice resonated from behind a curtain at a packed American Airlines Center in Dallas. Due to audio difficulties, the pop legend had been standing in costume for 25 minutes waiting for the show to start, and she didn’t seem enthused.
The fans, on the other hand, were anxiously squirming. That Wednesday night show was, most likely, the last opportunity they would get to see Cher in concert on what she would later call her “new and improved farewell, farewell tour.”
Cher's costume changes included circus woman, glamorous Indian chief, burlesque dancer, byzantine goddess and gladiator. Among others. (Matthew Busch)
Celebrating 35 years on stage, Benatar and Giraldo impressively rocked the highlights of their catalog, including “Shadows of the Night,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Heartbreaker,” which included a mini reprise of Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin, and the White Stripes songs. Amazingly, Bentar’s gritty and powerful voice hasn’t wilted.
None could upstage the queen diva, however. From the moment Cher arrived on stage in a dazzling pharaoh outfit and feather headdress for “Woman’s World,” the concert was a non-stop sensory feast with no less than 10 eccentric costume changes, including a variety of styled and colored wigs.
After “Strong Enough,” Cher swiftly morphed from Egyptian pharaoh to devilish temptress, emerging from the stage floor on a sparkling chandelier for “Dressed to Kill,” off 2013’s Closer to the Truth. She then jetted back to the ’60s with a red sequin dress and feather jacket for “The Beat Goes On” before becoming: the star of her own circus (“Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves”), a glamorous Indian chief in floor-length headdress (“Half Breed”), a burlesque dancer (“Welcome to Burlesque”), byzantine goddess (“I Hope You Find It”) and gladiator (“Take it Like a Man”), among others.
In what the singer said was a first for the tour, Cher performed “I Got You Babe” as a duet with a video of Sonny Bono, who seemed to be looking directly at her.
Ornate set pieces constantly flew on and off stage between songs, much like I’d expect to see at Cher’s recent Las Vegas residency. And a team of skilled dancers and aerial artists entertained during the gaps for wardrobe changes. Just watching the spectacle was exhausting.
The performance was most explicitly an homage to Cher’s career. Intermittent video montages chronicled her work both on stage and screen.
And age is clearly just a number: At 67, she wowed the audience with exact vocal execution, and she looked fabulous doing it. She can even still pull off her outfits of yesteryear — like a costume Wednesday night that was strikingly reminiscent of her black, barely-there leotard from the “If I Could Turn Back Time” video.
If this really was goodbye, Cher went out with a bang. Though it’s obvious her followers would welcome a third chance to dance her out the door.
Thanks to the success of her current tour, Cher's latest album 'Closer To The Truth' is back on the Billboard 200 this week, at #127 (chart run: 3/8/11/8/13/24/33/15/36/122/130/118/154/200/-/-/36/176/80/-/-/-/80/-/-/127). Also this week, the album's third Billboard chart hit 'I Hope You find It' found a new peak of #18 on the publication's Adult Contemporary chart (chart run: 24/20/22/18).