Cher at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Wednesday October 3, 2018
Words | Luke Sutton
The curtain drops, and Cher, standing beneath an archway, descends from the roof (seriously) before stepping on stage to huge cheers and applause.
Dressed like Wonder Woman and ready for battle flanked by her armoured dancers, the icon wasted no time in getting down to the business of greeting Melbourne after 13 long years, beginning with the double of Woman’s World and Strong Enough.
Something I’ve come to love about seeing celebrated artists like Cher is the stories they tell between songs; the vocalist spent a good five-to-ten minutes at the show’s beginning sharing with us her history, detailing her formative years, and revealing what it felt like to “take two days to turn 40.” It was simply fascinating to hear about her incredible life.
Cher is 72, and is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon: “What’s your grandma doing tonight?” she asked us, before leaving the stage to move into the next act of the performance.
The show’s production was impressive, offering us glimpses into Cher’s film and musical career, and of course her work with Sonny Bono. Performing I’ve Got You Babe with Sonny on pre-recorded backing vocals and accompanied by projected imagery was a special moment, while the spectacular circus stage set-up for Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves was simply thrilling.
With her new ABBA covers album now released, we were also lucky enough to hear three songs from this collection: Waterloo, SOS and Fernando. I lost count of the many wardrobe changes, but each time Cher re-emerged, it was like seeing her walk on stage for the first time – and for the record, she pulled off each new look flawlessly.
A two-part finale of If I Could Turn Back Time (complete with iconic fishnets and leather jacket) and Believe ended the night on the highest note possible, and left us wishing that we could turn back time and do it all again.
What a show, what a woman. Cher is truly iconic.
Special shout out to warm-up DJ Andrew McClelland, who got people out of their seats and dancing in the aisles with a great mix of pop songs from all generations, and a Beatles track thrown into the mix for good measure, too. You got the party started!
Cher is currently touring nationally, and tickets are available from the Live Nation site.
The remaining dates are:
Friday October 5 @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday October 6 @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Tuesday October 9 @ Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Friday October 12 @ Perth Arena, Perth
Tuesday October 16 @ WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong
Thursday October 18 @ Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Saturday October 20 @ Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Sunday October 21 @ ICC Sydney Theatre, Sydney
Dancing Queen by Cher is out now via Warner.