Few performers can still pack arenas at the age of 72, but Cher has proven tour after tour that she really has found a way to “Turn Back Time” and win over new generations of fans. On Jan. 19, Cher brought her impressive collection of wigs, outrageous ensembles and crowd-pleasing hits to BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Donning a bright orange curly wig, viking warrior princess-worthy head piece and a barely there gladiator costume, Cher floated down onto the stage standing on a blinged out goddess perch. Belting out her 2013 women’s empowerment hit “Woman’s World,” Cher never missed a beat or a note as she inspired the more than 20,000 fans inside BB&T Center to leap out of their chairs and groove to her club beat.
As Cher effortlessly moved onto “Strong Enough,” her 1998 disco-inspired ear candy and then proceeded to speak about the early days of her career with Sonny, the money they once owed the IRS and how she felt about turning 40 and facing rejection in Hollywood as a leading lady, it was instantly clear that this show was going to be one for the true Cher fans.
Cher has always talked a bit at her shows, but during the “Here We Go Again Tour” show, she gets much more intimate with fans offering them a more candid look into her past, present and future and in true Cher style, she doesn’t hold back. Whether she’s revealing her time clubbing at Studio 54, her love affair with “Bagel Boy” Rob Camilletti [yes, she actually goes there during the show], it’s impossible not to fall in love with something about Cher. Whether you appreciate her velvety vibrato, celebrate her bold, one of a kind style or appreciate her chops as an actress, Cher is so many things to so many people.
In her “Living Proof: The Farewell Tour,” Cher sang “Gayatri Mantra” while riding a mechanical elephant. She resurrected this elephant and song for her current tour, which was mesmerizing to behold and also stirred up sparkly memories from Cher shows gone by. While the largely than life mechanical elephant and elaborate Cirque du Soleil inspired-dance routines add to the wow factor of Cher’s shows, it’s just another element of entertainment. Her voice and her showmanship continues to stand on its own. Cher is just as entertaining with a microphone, a long evening gown and a single spotlight.
This was my eighth time seeing Cher live in concert. It all began in 1999 when I scored a ticket to her “Do You Believe?” Tour. The show changed my life. From that point on, I made a mental commitment to never miss a chance to see her when she was coming to an arena near me.
Here is a shot of my collection tickets from Cher shows I attended:
And so, the magic of Cher went on as I experienced her “Living Proof Farewell Tour” in 2002 and another Farewell Tour the following year. When ticket sales opened up for her 2004 Farewell Tour, I was so scared this might be the last time I would see her live that I immediately bought tickets to that too and traveled to Daytona Beach to see her in September of 2004. That December she was coming back to Sunrise so naturally, I had to get tickets for that. And then, that was it for a while. I didn’t see Cher perform again until 2008 when her residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas kicked in. I truly thought that would be the last time I would get to see the incomparable Cher skip across the stage in a leather onesie singing “If I Could Turn Back Time.” As the show ended that night, it was bittersweet for me. I was beyond thrilled I got to travel to Vegas to see her again but a part of me feared I wouldn’t get to see her again unless I traveled back to Vegas.
But much to my surprise, Cher was back at BB&T Center for the “Dressed To Kill Tour” in May of 2014. I was five and a half months pregnant at the time and my swollen feet were not going to keep me from wobbling up the steps of BB&T Center to get to Cher. As I sat there that night in total bliss watching this legend deliver a flawless rendition of her stoic ballad “I Hope You Find It,” she floated over the entire arena like a magical pegasus dripping in diamonds. My pregnancy hormones kicked in and I sobbed off my MAC mascara.
As the confetti cannons shot out one last time for her finale, I thought, surely this was the very last time I would see Cher live in Fort Lauderdale. And then, I broke down later that night feeling thankful for the seven times I got to see this iconic performer one more time.
So flash forward to 2019. After thinking the impossible would never happen, Cher goes and shocks us all with the only logical tour title at this point one could fathom and “Here We Go Again!” Yes, the “Here We Go Again Tour” is much more than a tour to me. It’s a metaphor for how we can live our lives if we truly “Believe.” For women, especially, it’s essential to realize that age really is just a number. Pop culture wants to put an expiration date on us. Like after a certain age, we have to chop off our hair and start shopping at Chico’s, and popping our perfectly pressed white collars, but Cher is “Living Proof” you don’t have to buy into societal stereotypes. At 72, Cher can still do a five minute plank, sing her heart out “After All” and take risks that women half her age would struggle to pull off.
She has reinvented herself and grown as an artist so many times, she has evolved into this super human being who is “Strong Enough” to take whatever life throws her and turn it into a party that can’t stop and won’t stop.
While her “Here We Go Again Tour” features her beloved hits such as “The Beat Goes On,” “Walking In Memphis,” and “I Found Someone,” she also demonstrates she can continue to offer something kicky and new covering “Waterloo,” “Sos” and “Fernando” by Abba. And Cher covering Abba? It doesn’t get more deliciously indulgent than this.
If you’ve never seen Cher live in concert, see her. If you’ve seen her 20 times in concert, see her again. While the old me would’ve been crying into my new Cher concert t-shirt thinking this has to be the last time I’ll see her live, something tells me she’s far from stopping. As long as Cher continues to build her empire, the fans will come.
For the latest on Cher’s tour, visit Cher.com.
Check out these shots from Cher’s Jan. 19, 2019 BB&T Center concert shot by world-renowned photographer Larry Marano: