The iconic Cher has returned to tour Australia for the first time since her ‘Living Proof: The Farewell Tour’ in 2005.
Being an icon means you have nothing left to prove and her latest show has the relaxed polish of someone prepared to put in the work, but happy to enjoy the moment too. As the great entertainer acknowledges early in the show, the last tour was the farewell tour so why not have fun while you’re at it.
Fun was in the air at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre last night (28 September), quite a few audience members wore glittery gowns or glitter on their beards; killer heels and fishnet stockings were in abundance and that’s before you get to those who came in costumes.
The stage burst with bright lights and even brighter colours, as dancers sashayed across it. With a grand sense of showmanship, Cher would often saunter off stage after a song before reappearing via an elaborate prop (an animatronic elephant for one) in a brand new costume.
There were at least a dozen outfits worn, and Cher looked sensational in all of them.
As a celebration of Cher’s entire career, the concert featured a number of extra components to help the 72-year-old pace herself through the two-hour performance.
Interlude video montages played on a big screen of her film and television career. Two songs were done without her, one featuring a beautiful acrobatic routine and the other having the lead guitarist and his long hair play to the crowd.
For some songs, the singer kept the dancing to a minimum surrounded by her back-up troupe moving at speed as she sang. There were even some moments when Cher, as all consummate live performers will do, couldn’t quite hit a high note and so levelled off.
Yet for the most part that distinctive contralto rang out and she remained as nimble as ever on her feet, dancing with particular abandon and joy in her encore number ‘Believe’.
While a deep affection for such a performer that has endured will buy a lot of good will, it will also demand higher standards and Cher was not found wanting in making a connecting to her audience.
As a popular artist who has always been shunned in some circles, she has remained likeable for her ability to speak her mind and stay true to herself while retaining a sense of humour. This was on display as she spoke to the crowd telling a few stories; in fact a whole show could have been made out of this, but she kept building.
Halfway through with the ABBA songs from her new album and movie, she started to have the audience in the palm of her hand as the energetic dancers disappeared and the legend just sang every lyric with meaning.
'Waterloo’ had the crowd on their feet and ‘Fernando’ had them swaying and swallowing heavy lumps in their throat. By the time she sang her ‘80s power ballad ‘I Found Someone’ the music was really resonating.
There was only one way to top this all off and you could feel the excitement building for the inevitable appearance of ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, which did not disappoint.
Nobody can turn back time or even hold it in place, but one woman has stood the test of it. As she noted at the end of her monologue: “What’s your Grandma doing tonight?” If she has any sense, she is going to see Cher.
Cher continues her Australian tour with shows still in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Wollongong and Sydney. Click here for more information.
29 Sep - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Cher Australian Tour Dates
3, 5, 6 Oct - Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne)
9 Oct - Adelaide Entertainment Centre
12 Oct - Perth Arena
16 Oct - WIN Entertainment Centre (Wollongong)
18, 20 Oct - Qudos Bank Arena (Sydney)
21 Oct - ICC Sydney Theatre