Written by Samuel Barker
Aug 21, 2002 at 08:00 PM
ImageAs she descended from the ceiling, people got the first glimpse of what they had been waiting for since the 11,000-plus seats for this show sold-out, the entertainer extraordinaire, Cher.

All the feelings of the show being delayed due to complications with the set melted in a single moment as Cher belted out a cover of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, which left the impression that maybe this would not be the end of Cher’s singing career after all.

Like a fairy, she was lowered from the ceiling atop a chandelier. With a stage show featuring video screens, dancers, acrobats and memories, the music ended up being the centerpiece of this experience, but far from the whole thing.

For a touch of humor, Cher asked what the audience thought of her entrance, then making the point to inform everyone that it had worked in every city except Cleveland. On this occasion the chandelier stopped on the way down, thus making Cher look like, in her words, “a drag queen piñata.”

In true diva style, Cher made 10 costume changes, each highlighting her elegance as she presented a composite sketch of her career from start to the inevitable finish that, for now, has arrived. On this night, the end seemed far away.

In order to display her multi-faceted career, Cher brought out a video documentary that showed in pieces between each segment of songs. The most touching segment was dedicated to her late ex-husband Sonny Bono, who died in a skiing accident. Clips from their duets and from The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, definitely touched a few peoples’ heart strings and displayed how, even four years after his death, Bono’s life still influences Cher today.

This also led to the strongest section of the set, which left most of the drum machine-style beats and keyboard driven melodies to go lo-fi and capture the nostalgia of Cher’s earliest hits. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves and Dark Lady definitely captured the memories of those who were there to witness the time and the imagination of those who try to see the pop divas of today, silicone and all, try to last through it all. Though it is almost certain few will make it as long, as gracefully as Cher.

In another segment of the video memoirs, the audience got an overview of the films Cher had starred in and footage from her victory at the Oscars. This was highlighted by the heart-wrenching After All.

Footage of Cher’s various interviews was one of the more interesting segments of the evening. It was well-planned culmination of questions asked of the star with candid answers leading to a final validation of Cher and her accomplishments.

Though she said there has been nothing positive in her growing older, Cher still shined with the radiance and sex appeal that most pop divas in their twenties fail to achieve. This was showcased during If I Could Turn Back Time, which saw Cher sporting an outfit nearly identical to the one she wore in the controversial video for the song.

For her final song, Cher performed her newer hit, Believe. The electronic effects took away from the strength of Cher’s voice, but as they faded near the end, the song came to life. In a shower of flowers, teddy bears and cards, Cher took a final bow and left the stage.

Interestingly enough, hours before the performance an encore show date was announced for the Houston area, November 17, so if you missed this, there is still one more chance to see the show, which was more than a mere concert, it was a amalgamation of music, performance art and video. Those who were leaving discussed a return trip as they walked through the parking garage; this is definitely a show to see more than once.

Set List: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Song For the Lonely, All or Nothing, I Found Someone, Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), All I Really Want To Do, Half-Breed, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, Dark Lady, Take Me Home, The Way of Love, After All, Just Like Jesse James, Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss), Strong Enough, If I Could Turn Back Time, Believe.