LONDON, Ont. – It was Cher-well and farewell at the John Labatt Centre last night. With the arena packed with fans adoring the diva, Cher said her final goodbye for the second time to London.
“How important is your life compared to your audience’s happiness?” Cher joked after sharing a few death-defying details about the spectacular entrance she uses on the tour.
Last night, she descended from an enormous chandelier to her version of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For without any danger.
Sometimes, Cher’s been left dangling during that entrance.
But the Cher show always goes on. How else are the fans going to know how fabulous she is?
There’s no question about that. Even if last night’s show contained many elements of her previous London stop, it was still more Cher madness and over-the-top fun. When it was time for the end, it was Believe, the encore and a song that sold millions for the diva. For that entrance, Cher descended again from what looked like a giant glitter ball on the half-shell.
By that time, the wig was Cher red. The gown was white and glittering. There was a red heart in a sequin-like material right about where Cher’s ticker should be.
This diva doesn’t just wear her heart on her sleeve, like any other star on a farewell tour might do. She has it out there on her Cher-self.
A few late-set songs were like that, too. Cher went back to a past hit, Love Hurts, and including Marc Cohn’s Walking in Memphis, with video of her in Elvis drag.
When she was growing up as a dark-haired kid in a world that worshipped blondes, Elvis Presley and Jimmy Dean were her heroes. So her rocking take on the song was her homage to Elvis. Well after she approached the 70-minute mark, Cher ended the main show with If I Could Turn Back Time. She was in leather for that, looking glam, tough and hot enough to be back in any era she wanted to rule.
This was Cher’s 315th gig on the Farewell Tour. The first time she hit London, on Oct. 23, 2002, she wasn’t even at the 100 mark. The tour ends — and Cher says farewell to live performances forever — at the Hollywood Bowl on April 30 with show No. 325.
There were about 8,400 Cher fans in the house last night, down from about 8,800 the first time around. Both shows filled the arena to capacity, but not as many seats were available for last night’s show because of sight-line issues apparent in 2002.
Cher jokes she better stop the tour this month, before it’s too late and too much for even her uber-enhanced anatomy. Other stars may have come back for other finales. Not Cher, the 58-year-old insists. She’d be in a motorized scooter if she ever came back, so she won’t.
As Cher said goodbye, she couldn’t resist a final, maybe friendly snarl at the younger divas who think they have what it takes.
Last time, it was J. Lo and Britney Spears who were targets for Cher and her fans. This time, she’s just pretending to call Britney, J. Lo and
Jessica Simpson — the newest Cher-lite since 2002 — “a bunch of hos” early in the set. “It’s a show. It’s pretend. Get over it,” she said she told J. Lo and Britney after they complained. Only pretending? Of course.
What a start. By the half-hour mark, Cher had been in three different costumes. She had made yet another spectacular entrance, emerging from a faux magic elephant in a harem-worthy outfit.
The costume changes numbered about 10, there were six dancers — often working on wild Cirque de Soleil-styled routines — and eight musicians and mega film and TV clips. Cher’s movie career was saluted and so was her ability to spar with David Letterman.
For what it’s worth in Daveville, Cher’s last wig was a shade of red Letterman was salivating for in one of the clips.
One sign the second farewell wouldn’t be entirely serious arrived with the opening act, the disco-era Village People. When you’ve seen 8,400 Londoners on their feet following the People’s YMCA instructions on how to make the right gestures to the letter, you’ve experienced the perfect warmup for Cher.