A vision in rhinestones, Cher brought her Dressed to Kill tour to Staples Center on Monday night for an evening of over-the-top (yet typically down-to-earth) grandeur from everyone's favorite 68-year-old disco diva. Pop & Hiss will have a full review of the show soon, but until then here are five instant reactions to the show.
1. The costumes were as fabulous — and as numerous — as you'd imagine. Cher took the stage wearing an enormous feathered headdress that suggested Brazil's Carnival set in ancient Egypt. But that was only the first in a series of elaborate get-ups that also included a sparkly red mini-dress, a bedazzled loincloth and a sheer black bodysuit, the last of which she wore while dancing inside a chandelier. Cher closed the show dressed as a sort of cross between the Virgin Mary and the queen of a futuristic space colony.
2. Imagine the casting notices for Cher's dancers. In addition to moving through some fairly robust choreography, they were expected Monday to handle Cirque du Soleil-style aerial work and engage in costumed stage combat — all while making Cher look like the superstar. During an extended circus sequence set to "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves," one dancer walked on stilts, another balanced his body on one arm and a third — perhaps the hardiest of all — hid her face behind a scraggly brown beard.
3. "Closer to the Truth," Cher's album from 2013, is worth discovering if you missed it when it came out. At Staples she peppered a handful of tunes from the disc among her classics, and they all sounded pretty great, particularly the throbbing "Take It Like a Man," which accompanied a set piece built around a Trojan horse, and "I Hope You Find It," a sympathetic power ballad previously recorded by Miley Cyrus.
4. Cher is nobody's mouthpiece. After the one-two punch of "Woman's World" and "Strong Enough" that opened the show with an athletic flourish, the singer took a restorative sip of her beloved Dr Pepper — then ripped into the makers of the soft drink for failing to recognize her status at a recent concert in Dallas, near the beverage's corporate headquarters. Look at this sad little cooler, she said (in slightly more colorful language), holding up a promotional item she said she'd been given backstage. "Is this an appropriate gift for an icon?"
5. Though she's been vocal about her distaste for "Burlesque" — "It wasn't a good film," she told me last fall — Cher wasn't above performing two songs from the 2010 movie musical: "Welcome to Burlesque," presented as it was on screen, and "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," which she called "the beast" for its demanding vocal leaps. You can guess who slayed whom.