red lights

Cher Fizzles
Lauper Sizzles

Cher / Cyndi Lauper
Bradley Center
Milwaukee, WI
July 13, 2002
Cher in full glitter.
Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper raches for the high note.

Review by Max Jensen
Photos by Phil Bonyata

Cher, the 56 year old cultural and musical icon, landed her high-heeled boots onto the stage of the Bradley Center Saturday night. Cher mixes the Vegas glitter along with enough costume changes to make the dressing room clerk at the Gap blush. She tries to out glitz the most beautifully tacky place on earth - Las Vegas. Forget about it.
Cher Cher is all style - no substance. Can she act? Not too badly. Can she sing? Only if she's left in the privacy of her shower. Her act is getting old. Looking still hot in a blonde wig, white fur coat and hat, she floated down in a gilded carriage over 30 feet above the stage. She smiled and waved to the nearly sold out audience and started singing U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Bad mistake. Cher's voice warbled a couple of times as she strutted and skipped to each end of stage. Her safe and predictable version might make some in attendance want to avoid the original. You know, when something great is so poorly copied it ends up soiling the original.
The queen of plastic surgery went for another makeover with a tattoo laden, tight fitting body suit. Her body still has game. She went jungle beat on "Bang Bang (You Shot Me Down)." It was a perky and slightly uptempo version showing that Cher can have moments of artistic clarity. Unfortunately, she created the sugary fluff and will now and forever be imprisoned by it. Accepting her fate and fat paycheck she turned songs like "Dark Lady," "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" and "Song for the Lonely" into a badly mimed Saturday morning cartoon on the verge of being cancelled. Let's hope Cher is an honest woman and this is truly her farewell tour.
In sharp contrast, opener Cyndi Lauper came out with both barrels blastin' away. Appearing from the darkness of the middle of the audience she charged the stage while darting away from over eager fans like Walter Payton in his prime.
Her beautifully angelic voice put the edge back into the 80s classics "True Colors" and "Time After Time." Cyndi was smartly dressed in a black and white striped blazer and vertically striped pants and shortly cropped blonde hair. She moved about the stage like a sly penguin bent on stealing her neighbors regurgitated fish.
Their is a genuine realness to her performance that is flamed by her passion for her music. Still punky and pouty with all the New York trash attitude still intact, Cyndi Lauper proved to be quite a refreshing prelude to an otherwise predictable evening.
Cyndi Lauper

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