i should clarify that this wasn’t technically a “concert” per se, but rather a “show” in the most lavish, over-the-top, entertaining sense. this is what i mean. it wasn’t at a stadium; it was at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
so why, then, in the most extravagant, decadent, blatantly campy environment (possibly in the world) do the most heartfelt feelings emerge? who knows. maybe it was the $15 “gladiator” drink (probably much more complicated than the recipe i’ve given you). maybe it was the sensory overload of lights, acrobats, and costumes. but something hit me pretty hard when i saw these huge projected images of sonny and cher laced into a vintage musical montage. these may have been bathroom break cues for some but i held it and gladly viewed a few entertainment gems. and i’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but i got pretty damn sentimental.
i saw this undeniably real love between the two of them, something that transcended stereotypes, something that was real (albiet fleeting) in the very fabricated hollywood forum. and i honestly don’t know if i could do what she does every night. cher signed a hefty three-year contract with caesar’s and aside from the physicality of the show, i think it would be painfully impossible to relive such moments of precious chemistry night after night, to go on the emotional roller coaster over and over, and to be reminded that the love of your life is gone. but after seeing this show, i’m pretty confident that cher is one of the few people who could face that challenge.
this woman is multifaceted and timeless. that’s largely due to the nose job(s), liposuction(s), private trainer(s), facelift(s), breast augmentation(s), makeup artist(s), and Photoshop, but above all that, she’s a magnificent entertainer. under sonny’s guidance, of course, she took a little talent and stretched it into a 40-year musical career and an ever-growing posse of adoring fans. to me, her greatest talent is her humor. her opening monologue, which was supposedly ad-libbed, was biting, brutal, and unrestrained. she is honest, she does not take herself seriously, and she milks her 2-octave range and her unabashedly white-girl rhythm for all it’s worth. it must be worth a lot, because she is raking in the dough. seriously. my favorite comments reduced her opening outfit (one of about 20 she appeared in during the show) to a pipecleaner contraption and imitated a group of crotch-grabbing teamsters.
she covered marc cohn, pat benetar, and U2; she remixed her favorites; and she strutted along to the classics, all while sharing the stage with some wicked acrobats and fierce backup singers. she even sang live and croaked a few times without shame. it’s just a pity that “believe” is so dependent on studio enhancement – it would have been cool to see the whole thing live instead of just the chorus.
maybe even more valuable is her ability to make people happy. although the expected gay crowd was not out in full force (instead curiously replaced by a geriatric audience), there were two (well, one) that stood up for nearly every song from their front-and-center seats. they were so happy that they basically passed seventh heaven earlier that day. my mom and i were trying to figure out why she’s such an idol fr the homosexual community, and it’s still kind of a mystery to me, but i guess it’s not even relevant. what’s important was the cloud that guy was floating on for about 90 minutes. that’s amore, through and through.