Proud Times Magazine

Cyndi Lauper and Cher: Icons Take the Stage

Cyndi Lauper and Cher: Icons Take the Stage

Cyndi Lauper and Cher: Icons Take the Stage
September 26
15:35 2014

Icons Take the Stage

by Jeremy Price-Ballew & J Charles Ballew

 MODA Center

Charles and I got to see Cyndi Lauper and Cher live in concert on the D2K Tour in Portland, Oregon at the MODA Center. When I had originally let him know, he tried to play it cool—but a grin crept over his face that clearly announced, I am so excited I may die!

We road-tripped to Portland and got there early enough to see the sweaty, scruffy, and scrumptious road crew unloading Cyndi’s large black equipment boxes. The staff and security at the MODA Center were all polite and helpful. They gave us directions, showed us around when we got lost, and answered all of our questions. The inside staff was just as polite, chit-chatting with us as they showed us to our seats and answered all the random questions that kept coming to our minds as the excitement washed over us.

We were assigned great seats fairly close to the stage. As we began to sit down, we found on the seat bottom a postcard with a fabulous picture of Cher with her signature! The back of the card was all about a charity called Chefs for Humanity and Wholesome Wave, with a sweet message asking others to donate to this charity to feed hungry and malnourished Americans.

We settled in and our eyes were drawn to the stage where a giant curtain glowed with a light, bluish tone on which hung giant screens on each side of the stage—Cher’s smiling face next to “The D2K Tour.” A huge disco ball hung over the center of the stage and a feeling of excitement washed over us as we realized that a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience was about to unfold right before our eyes.

As people continued to file in, the excitement in the air only thickened as thousands of adoring fans prepared for an amazing night with two iconic musical powerhouses—who also happened to be prominent allies in the Out and Proud Community!

As the lights suddenly shut off and music started to play, everyone stared intently at the stage, waiting for one of the megastars to appear. Unexpectedly, the spotlight shifted to the back of the room as Cyndi walked toward the stage, followed by an entourage of fabulous drag queens! As the light hit their sequined costumes, they followed Cyndi to the stage before going their own way. She stepped to center stage and kicked off the show off with “She Bop.” The show had begun! 

Cyndi Lauper-Portland OregonCyndi’s voice is unforgettable—her range and control are legendary! She has an “I love you, but I won’t put up with your s***” attitude that one can’t help but admire. Her act included her holding a note perfectly while running around the rows and lying backwards across an elderly couple’s lap in the audience mid-performance (Kinky Boots?).  At one point, as Cyndi was walking back on stage from being among the audience, a rather loud heckler got to her. Without breaking stride she politely yelled out, “Hey Mister! Shut the f*** up!”

Though we couldn’t get enough of Cyndi, her performance eventually came to an end and she said her goodbyes. The audience didn’t stop clapping and screaming after she left the stage, but there was no encore (sad face)—intermission.

The lights dimmed and the crowd went wild with anticipation as Cher’s voice boomed over the sound system, “I know you’re out there. I can hear you!” The crowd cheered wildly as she asked, “Are you ready?” The noise from the crowd reached a deafening volume as the giant curtain dropped—the stage came alive with lights and color as Cher stood on top of a twenty-foot pillar dressed as a Mayan princess. Bedazzled in sequins and a huge pheasant feather headdress, she began her concert with “Woman’s World.” She continued with “Strong Enough,” before taking a break to welcome the 14,000-15,000 screaming fans of all ages—men, women, gay, straight, children and adults.

During her welcome and introduction she made sure to rip on herself about her age, asking “…and what is your granny doing tonight?”  At 68 she is, without a doubt, going strong and she even pointed out that she is still able to fit into her “Turn Back Time” video costume—her “Take that Katy Perry” comment got a huge laugh from the audience.

The show played out like a flashy Vegas or Broadway show with amazing dancers, contortionists, stage props, and elaborate lighting effects. The performance included videos and clips shown on the huge back screen and smaller screens around the stage.

At one point, a video played on the giant circular display from which a coffin rose. The camera zoomed inside on Cher’s face; her eyes opened and she grinned, displaying a set of vampire fangs. Rising from the floor on a giant silver chandelier with dancers hanging off of it, she sang gloriously!

An especially poignant moment came before videos of Sonny Bono were shown. Cher talked about him and shared that he was the love of her life. A highlight for me was her duet with Sonny via video of “I Got You Babe.”

When a performer has eleven—yes, eleven—costume changes in one show, time-fillers are expected. The band took one opportunity to show off their hard rock version of “Bang Bang,” and the backup dancers were able to perform front and center. There was also some silk ribbon acrobatics from one particularly captivating aerialist.

It’s easy to see how both Cyndi and Cher have such a widespread fan base, as they are both unique powerhouses.  “Amazing” is the best word I can think of to describe their show. Seeing two major musical icons who are staunch supporters of the Out and Proud Community was something we will never forget. We can only hope what we have shared has done justice to this amazing experience.





I Curse YouCyndi Lauper

Story of Cyndi’s birth

She’s So Unusual


All Through the Night (dedicated to Cher)

Cyndi walked around the front of the stage and interacted with crowd.

Sex is in the Heel

“Hey Mister, Would you shut the fuck up?”

Money Changes Everything

Girls just Want to Have Fun

True Colors (Cyndi Plays Dulcimer)

Good Enough




1st costume: Mayan inspired

songs: Woman’s World and Strong Enough


2nd costume: Vampire inspired

songs: Dressed to Kill and Little Man during video with Sony



3rd costume: Mod styling with the dancers in black and white check

songs: The Beat Goes On and I Got You Babe duet with Sony


4th costume: Traveling Circus/Side Show

song: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves and Dark Lady


5th costume: Native with full war bonnet

song: Half Breed

Video of her various movie clips


6th costume: Burlesque

songs: Welcome To Burlesque and Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me

Aerial ribbon acrobat


7th costume: Greek Army with a Trojan Horse

Sonny Bono Tribute

song: Take It Like A Man 

video about childhood and Elvis influence


8th costume: Off the shoulder Black pantsuit

songs: Marc Cohen’s Walkin’ In Memphis and Just Like Jesse James

Band interlude of Bang Bang


9th costume: the black fishnet costume from the Turn Back Time video

songs: I Found Someone and Turn Back Time

Tosses pink sequined navy hat into the audience

Band continues playing after she leaves the stage


10th costume: Techno

Cher Trojan

songs: Dancers interlude and Believe

Huge center video screen turned into giant rainbow display

Dancers power on after she leaves the stage


11th costume: Rhinestones!

song: I Hope You Find It

During song, Cher floats over audience in a silver ‘cage’, getting close to everyone

After returning to stage, takes bows, waves then leaves.




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