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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 29, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 48
Cher rocks out at Portland's Moda Center with her best and most personal show yet
Arts & Entertainment
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Cher rocks out at Portland's Moda Center with her best and most personal show yet

She'll be back in the NW again May 4 at Angels of the Winds Arena in Everett

by MK Scott - SGN Contributing Writer

CHER
HERE WE GO AGAIN TOUR 2019
MODA CENTER
PORTLAND, OR
November 19


Northwest gays came together for an evening of nostalgic fun with Cher and special guest, Nile Rodgers with Chic at Portland's Moda Center on Tuesday, November 19.

Even before it eventually was announced that Cher would be adding additional concert dates to her tour this spring (including May 4th at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett), I had already decided to venture down to Portland for the second time in four years to cover a concert. (The last time was Madonna in October 2015.) Even after attending Cher's 2003 "Farewell" show and her 2014 "Dressed to Kill" show, thinking each show would be her last, in this case, at this time, it is needed. This show is a celebration and is her most personal and empowering show in decades.

This was the night that most Portlanders went all out, dressing like Cher, fancy jackets, lots of faux fur and feathers with guys in sheer outfits and full makeup.

I was also excited and inspired by Nile Rodgers of Chic who opened the show. I had previously seen Chic open for Duran Duran in 2016, and knew that if you wanted to dance and party, they totally fit the bill. Nile Rodgers is responsible for major gay anthems including, "I'm Coming Out", "Upside Down", "We Are Family", and "Let's Dance". Rodgers got personal about his two-year cancer battle that led to a decision to always keep working and then came the collaboration with Daft Punk and the Grammy-winning, "Get Lucky". Now cancer-free, Rodgers closed his set with Chic's Studio 54 anthems, "Le Freak" and "Good Times". Rodgers and Chic did a great job warming up the audience bringing the audience to their feet early in the concert.

Something amazing happened just before Cher was scheduled to begin her set. She appeared on my side of the stage (stage right) and waved to the crowd, with a response of roaring applause, and shortly thereafter she did the same from stage left. A few minutes later, the show began with Cher descending from a gold lift onto the stage for "Woman's World," surrounded by dancers resembling muscled gladiators.

One of the biggest gripes from Cher's 2014 show was that it was too scripted and gimmicky. Well, someone must have been paying attention because after a few sips of Dr. Pepper, Cher spent several minutes telling stories like from when she almost didn't get cast in Witches of Eastwick for being over 40, and how the director just didn't like her, and how she would only appear on "David Letterman" if he paid her a certain salary, which he did. Cher is proud to be in great, youthful shape for 73 and she ended her conversation by saying, "What is grandma doing tonight?" This was real, raw, fresh and totally unexpected and just what was needed.

After a quick costume change, Cher appeared atop a mechanical elephant for "Gayatri Mantra", which was swiftly followed by "All or Nothing".

A video montage came next with clips and photos of the 1960s and '70s from the Sonny & Cher years with Cher coming back looking flawlessly, as she did 50 years ago, singing "The Beat Goes On" and "I Got You Babe" with Sonny on the big screen. It was a huge hit from the 2014 show and there was not a dry eye in the house.

Then came two fast costume changes, one featuring her burlesque costume for "Welcome to Burlesque" and then a bright blue number for her tribute to ABBA: "Waterloo", "SOS", and "Fernando". Then another costume change for her song, "After All".

Cher's homage to Elvis and Memphis followed. The backdrop for this segment featured a montage projection of Memphis storefronts along with billboards that featured large photos of "Chelvis" (Cher's Elvis persona) as well as video footage from a previous concert when Cher performed as "Chelvis". This video segment included a pre-recorded voice-over narration by Cher talking about how she and her mother loved to listen to Elvis's music when she was growing up. Then Cher returned to the stage to perform her song "Walking in Memphis," and as she sang the backdrop began to move as though Cher and the audience were all walking through Memphis.

A tribute montage of her movies came next with another interesting pre-recorded voice-over by Cher. "I've never really been accepted by singers as a singer, and actors don't think of me as an actor," she says bluntly. "I actually succeeded at everything I ever tried, and yet I'm not part of any of the groups." Cher then came out singing "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)".

During the next costume change, her lead guitarist, who looks familiarly like her son, Elijah Blue from 30 years ago, played an incredible guitar solo until Cher came out in her 1980's sheer black bodysuit costume and a black leather jacket for "I Found Someone" and "If I Could Turn Back Time."

Then the encore, her 20-year-old hit, "Believe," got the whole audience up on their feet with two aerialists on stage. The show ended without a goodbye, like the last two concerts, but with an upbeat, "I will be back, if you believe."

We do believe, and can't wait to see Cher do this flawless show again in Everett in May and then again within 5 years when she'll be 78.

In all Cher performed 15 hits songs and had 8 costume and wig changes.

MK Scott is a Seattle-based arts blogger and publisher of Uniteseattlemag.com

Tell a friend:

Head Over Heels at ArtsWest is Go-Go fun
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Cher rocks out at Portland's Moda Center with her best and most personal show yet
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Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble, Pacific MusicWorks and Seattle Symphony present a brilliant production of Orfeo ed Euridice
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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2019 HOLIDAY EVENTS CALENDAR
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Striking Frozen II an emotionally mature sequel
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Sorrow and joy collide in dramatically introspective Honey Boy
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Satirically malevolent Knives Out a triumphant all-star murder mystery
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Mirren and McKellen are outstanding in otherwise disappointing Liar
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