One topic that can unify everyone at the Thanksgiving table this year is the lasting legacy of Cher.
During her Nov. 27 performance at the United Center in Chicago, Cher delivered a Vegas-style extravaganza celebrating the music and moments of her over-fifty-year career. Sparkling costumes, colorful wigs and magnificent choreography dazzled as the Oscar-winner’s heartfelt message cut through the pageantry, fueling fans with a side of inspiration to compliment the visual feast.
After descending from the heavens on a bejeweled platform to start the show with “Woman’s World” and “Strong Enough,” Cher addressed the crowd to reflect on her past, share her age – 73 – and give encouragement to all the ladies in the packed venue.
“I want young women to know they can do anything,” she said adding that she wants older women simply to “do anything.”
One grand entrance wasn’t enough for anyone at the United Center. After each costume change, Cher emerged from a new place of wonder including atop an elephant prop while singing “Gayatri Mantra.” The spiritual song perfectly segued into “All or Nothing,” giving Cher a chance to prove why the best cure for a broken heart is dancing.
The first portion of the show relied heavily on the manipulated vocal stylings of the Believe-era while later the purity of Cher’s powerful singing generated goosebumps on hits like “Walking in Memphis,” “After All” and “The Shoop Shoop Song,” all of which amounted to venue-wide sing-alongs.
Sixties nostalgia was on full display during the Sonny & Cher portion of the program. Donning bright hippy fashions, Cher performed “The Beat Goes On” before trading verses with a video of her late-ex-husband, Sonny Bono, on a tender duet of “I Got You Babe.”
Since the United Center stop was part of Cher’s Here We Go Again Tour, the music of ABBA was celebrated during a three-song interlude including “Waterloo,” “SOS” and “Fernando.” Like Ruby Sheridan, the character she portrayed in the Mamma Mia! sequel, Cher wore a platinum blonde wig to sing the infectious tunes.
The most dramatic costume change of the night came when Cher returned to the stage to belt out the ballad, “I Found Someone,” wearing a look reminiscent to her iconic “If I Could Turn Back Time” music video costume, complete with a black leather jacket and body-hugging tights. The 1989 hit soon followed and as Cher strutted across the stage it appeared that she has actually found a way to stop the clock.
Earlier in the night, Nile Rodgers and CHIC warmed things up with a funky collection of hits including “Everybody Dance,” “I Want Your Love” and “Le Freak.” Rodgers asked the crowd to hold up their cellphone lights during a soulful rendition of “Get Lucky,” his 2013 collaboration with Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams, creating a magical moment worthy of a headlining slot. “Let’s Dance,” “Rapper’s Delight” and “I’m Coming Out” – all of which feature Rodgers as a writer and/or producer – were other stand-outs of CHIC’s opening set.
As the holidays approach and another year comes to an end, we can all use something to “believe” in. By unapologetically representing who she is as a singer, actress, performer, icon and human being, Cher inspires others to do the same. There may only be one Cher, but everyone can be whoever they want to be.
Cher’s Here We Go Again Tour is set to continue through 2020. Tickets and more information can be found at Cher.com.