Cher’s ‘Dressed To Kill’ tour in Nashville

CHER-D2K01
CHER-DTK03
CHER-D2K02

I saw Cher in concert for the 9th time Monday evening. Her “Dressed To Kill” tour stopped in Nashville, TN, and I was lucky enough to score three front row seats during a presale in October.

Honey, Amanda, and I headed down Monday afternoon, checked into our hotel, grabbed some Chipotle, and got dressed. We arrived at the arena and got to our front row seats about five minutes before the opening act, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, began their set. What followed was an hour of amazing classic hits, such as “Love Is A Battlefield” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” So good!

Around 9:15, we heard Cher’s voice over the speakers telling us we were in for a treat. She also mentioned that she would be telling a story about almost being arrested in Nashville several years earlier. The house lights dimmed and the screams began. A fast-paced video was projected on the curtain that hung in front of the stage, which showed various Cher photos and clips set to remixes of her biggest hits. It was a fantastic way to build anticipation, which was evident in the delight of the crowd when the curtain dropped and Cher appeared in all her fabulousness (is that a word?) high atop a gold column.

The set was beautiful and constantly changed as Cher sung her way through a long list of greatest hits and four songs from her latest album “Closer To The Truth.”  Although Cher’s longtime costume designer, Bob Mackie, was unable to create the clothing for this tour, her outfits were fantastic. Everything was colorful and over-the-top, just like one would expect from a diva of her magnitude. The troupe of dancers accompanying her were top-notch, including two male dancers who performed a lovely, yet death-defying, interlude while hanging high above the stage from nothing but strips of fabric.

Being a big fan of “Game Of Thrones,” Amanda squealed with delight when a huge Trojan horse was wheeled out on stage and opened to reveal Cher in a gladiator-inspired getup. I was astounded at her Native American-inspired headdress while she performed “Half-Breed.” She was beyond beautiful, hilarious while telling stories about Dr. Pepper and joking about her age, and her voice was in great shape (she was definitely singing live).

After about an hour-and-a-half of hits and costume/wig changes, she finished the show by floating over the audience like an angel as she sang “I Hope You Find It.” It was gorgeous.

While I still prefer The Farewell Tour (better intro, better costumes, better setlist) over this one, it was absolutely one of the best concerts I have attended. It was theatrical, colorful, and thoroughly entertaining on every level.

Cher is my favorite living performer, so I would watch her even if she was just sitting on stool singing or talking. Thankfully, she gave us so much more than that.

Setlist

  1. Woman’s World
  2. Strong Enough
  3. Dressed to Kill
  4. The Beat Goes On
  5. I Got You Babe
  6. Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves
  7. Dark Lady
  8. Half-Breed
  9. Welcome to Burlesque
  10. You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me
  11. Take It Like a Man
  12. Walking in Memphis
  13. Just Like Jesse James
  14. Heart of Stone
  15. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
  16. I Found Someone
  17. If I Could Turn Back Time
  18. Believe
  19. I Hope You Find It

Hypocrisy abounds over ‘Duck Dynasty’ star’s comments on gays

Earlier this year when Paula Deen admitted to using the “N” word thirty years ago, the public reacted in anger. Social media erupted with negative comments about her weight, her intelligence, and even the part of the country she is from. Virtually every single chain stopped carrying her merchandise. She lost her show on The Food Network. People were determined that she pay a huge price for her apparent racism.

Yesterday, after reading the remarks made to GQ magazine by Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame, I wondered what price he would have to pay for comparing homosexuality to bestiality.

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.

It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

I was pleasantly surprised to learn this morning that he had been suspended by A&E, but I quickly realized he wouldn’t pay for his homophobic remarks in nearly the same way Deen had to pay for admitting her use of a racist word. People seemed to be downright celebratory.

Apparently, this man is viewed as a god to rednecks, right-wingers, Christians, and even members of the Tea Party. Sarah Palin released a statement supporting him and decrying the loss of freedom of speech. The governor of Louisiana even proclaimed his pride in the “Duck Dynasty” family. Since Robertson’s comment was steeped in biblical references, one has to wonder what has happened to the separation of church and state in this country.

As far as freedom of speech goes, most of the American public doesn’t seem to comprehend what that even means. Robertson exercised his freedom of speech when he made his comments to the reporter. Nothing prevented him from making those remarks, even if they were asinine. There is also nothing to prevent others from responding to those statements with disbelief or even jubilation.

My main grievance with this whole thing is how people who label themselves “Christian” are the first to get in line behind something hateful. Sure, some of them truly believe homosexuality is a sin and worthy of hell, but why would they celebrate a statement that talks about how much better a vagina is than an anus? It’s absurd. He could have worded his beliefs in a clear manner without stooping to descriptive references of anal intercourse.

Also, where in the Bible are Christians commanded to single out one sin over another? Nowhere that I can recall, but for some reason modern-day Christians like to pick on members of the gay community. How many of the other sins in the Bible are they ignoring in their pursuits – like fornication or adultery? How many couples do you know – Christian or not – who didn’t have sex before they were married?

We all grew up hearing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” but I can’t help but wonder how many people are going to be mentally and even physically wounded by Robertson’s words. A quick look through social networks reveals a seething anger against members of the LGBT community, and one can only speculate whether those folks will put their words into action. I also wonder how many young people will commit suicide rather than reveal their true selves to parents who are sitting around the dinner table this week spewing hatred toward other human beings simply because of who they love.

On the plus side of things, we are at least talking about this. It is no longer okay for someone to slander the gay and lesbian community without getting at least some level of retribution. It may not be anywhere close to the price Paula Deen had to pay, but I don’t suppose we can expect people to care as much about homophobia as they do about racism.

Not yet.

Shelter

This now ranks as one of my favorite LGBT films. There are plenty of parts of the movie that aren’t perfect, but what is perfect are the feelings expressed between the two main characters as they fall in love. The desire and desperation are downright palpable. It also doesn’t hurt that the soundtrack is so full of great music – like the luscious “Lie To Me” by Shane Mack.