Saturday, April 12, 2014

Indianapolis Star: Cher's Concert Was A Smashing Success Bar One Unexpected Train Wreck

Cher in Indianapolis on her Dressed To Kill Tour
Cher's curtain call tour arrived in Indianapolis last night. Indianapolis Star's David Lindquist reviewed the 'Dressed To Kill Tour' stop, giving it all - bar one segment - a huge thumbs up:

Cher brings comfortable charm to flashy Indy show - Star balances state-of-the-art production with doses of self-deprecation

For someone who's won an Oscar, a Grammy and and an Emmy, Cher has no problem poking fun at herself.

Before she even arrived onstage Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Cher set the tone for an evening of self-deprecation.

"I'm on my way, and let's hope I'm good," she said, using a backstage microphone (and no video) to address her fans while the arena's house lights were still on.

Everyone in the estimated audience of 15,000 knew a state-of-the-art production was about to unfold, but this simple gimmick to start the show re-introduced the irreverent voice and personality that first captivated the mainstream in 1965.

Cher performs on stage Friday night, April 11, 2014, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  (Photo: Doug McSchooler/for The Star) View Fullscreen

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Once the concert was under way, Cher disarmingly introduced 2010 "Burlesque" tune "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" by saying her vocal performance likely would be a hit-or-miss affair.

Credit her for truth in advertising, as Indianapolis heard both the sublime and sketchy in this power ballad written by Diane Warren. Without question, Cher nailed a climactic segment featuring the lyrics, "There will be no fade out; this is not the end."

Performing in Indianapolis for the first time since a 2002 tour billed as the "Farewell Tour," Cher paused early in the show to recite a mission statement: "Sing in ridiculous costumes and be fabulous."

Aside from one unexpected train wreck, Friday's "Dressed to Kill" show proved to be a smashing success. In the wardrobe department, Cher cycled through themes of Egypt, Greece, swinging '60s, leather '80s and more.

The concert's presentation of "Believe," however, was anything but fabulous. Cher's questionable costume choice for this 1998 hit -- a nude-colored bodysuit draped in strings of rhinestones and accented by a red, heart-shaped pastie (singular) -- wasn't the primary problem.

All of the art direction for "Believe" called for a do-over. During a dubstep intro phase, Cher's dance squad bounced around in tacky neon threads that made the performance seem like a "Power Rangers" reboot or a car ad's interpretation of what the "now'" rave scene is all about.

Thankfully, this rendition of "Believe" was the only time "Dressed to Kill" seemed out of touch. Cher is 67 years old (and she'll be 68 before the tour the tour ends in July), yet two selections from 2013 album "Closer to the Truth" -- the show-opening "Woman's World" and "Take It Like a Man" -- sailed as fine examples of modern electronic dance music.

It's no crime that Cher paced herself and spent extended time offstage for costume changes. The crowd was treated to an intense demonstration of aerial acrobatics from a male duo, as well as a video retrospective of Cher's acting career (huge cheers for "Mask" and "Mermaids") and a look at her variety-show days with late ex-husband Sonny Bono.

Video and audio technology allowed "duets" between Sonny and Cher on "The Beat Goes On" and "I Got You Babe." The latter may have been a sentimental favorite, but the former delivered a timeless, authentic groove.

The North American tour will play in Detroit tonight - its last date to feature special guests Pat Benatar & Nick Geraldo - before taking an 11-day break. It will resume on 23 April in Buffalo with special guest Cyndi Lauper.

Short share: Cher's 2013 single 'Woman's World' was certified Gold in Venezuela. See a list of 35 certified Cher records over on Cher News' offspring The Hits of Cher.