So I thought I would be real modern and hip and post tweets from the show (I did a few) and blog a report right afterwards. Like last Saturday! Needless to say, that did not happen. I blame my old age primarily. But also the fact that I had to race to Phoenix and back on little sleep in the midst of covering a Singapore meeting for ICANN's website (which means I've been on a night shift since last Thursday). I'm exhausted. Mr. Cher Scholar drove us to Phoenix Friday afternoon. We got in late and literally slept in our clothes.
Saturday we got up early to do a Chastity movie location tour with Cher scholar Robrt Pela. Robrt is not an arena Cher fan; he's a 1960s Cher fan and an obscure-stuff Cher fan. He had just written about it in the Phoneix New Times and in a story for NPR. It was great to meet Robrt after all these years. Although we don't agree about every aspect of Cher product, we do connect on many intellectual aspects of being a Cher fan. Robrt has been doing Cher scholarship on the movie locations for Chastity and was very generous to give us a tour of all the locations he's found so far. Mr. Cher Scholar even expressed interest in watching the movie again. It was serendipitous that we randomly found a hotel (near the venue) that was right in the filming hood for Chastity.
Afterwards, we hooked up with my bff from LA and her boyfriend. We went to dinner at a St. Louis style place in Scottsdale (Julie and I both grew up in STL) and had toasted ravioli, St. Louis-style pizza and ooey-gooey buttercake. We got to the venue an hour ahead and crowds were milling outside because they weren't letting anyone in yet.
We killed time standing in line to get a group photo with Cher impersonators. We then stood in line to get in. We then stood in line to get swag. There was no lunch box there yet so I'm glad I ordered mine from the online Cher store. There was mostly t-shirts and posters. Some small kitch: mugs, keychains and a lanyard for $20! There were no buttons or magnets. Phooey. I got four tshirts, two tour shirts, the 60s-style one and the shirt with my favorite Norman Seeff Cher photo on it. That picture was also available in poster (sweet!) and there was also a tour poster and one of those funky posters that changes when you move in front of it. I have it sitting on its side now and it shows Cher half-blonde-half-brunette. There's also a program, colorful and high-quality per usual but no intro text inside. However, the back of the book does have a funny Cher message full of mea culpas for returning with another tour after her farewell shows.
It took so long to get everyone in the venue that Pat Benetar didn't start until about 8:30 or later. She kicked ass, by the way. She made a believer out of Mr. Cher Scholar who always thought she was sub-par. Her mercilessly made fun of Neil Geraldo before the show. Said if I ever did poetry readings, he wanted co-billing. But their show made him a changed man. It appeared even Pat Benetar and Neil Geraldo were a bit surprised at how supportive the Cher fans were. We knew all the songs.
When I was a kid, my brothers were into Pat Benetar and disparaged my Cher obsession. This was back when Cher didn't even have a slot in the local record stores and Benetar was filling arenas. How surreal then it was to see Pat Benetar open for Cher. It was a perfect opening act, full of energy, hard rocking, highlighting both Cher's love of rock and serving as a tasty raw contrast to the spectacle of Cher's show.
Benetar opened with my favorite song of hers, "Shadows of the Night" and did all my favorite hits, "We Belong," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "Heartbreaker."
Then it was almost another hour (it seemed) more waiting for Cher! The old people around us (and there were quite a few) were really sweatin' it out.
Mr. Cher Scholar at the show. Blurry pic of an impersonator walking around.
Apparently, according to Cher, she was having a meltdown back stage because nothing fit. She started at 10:20, finally coming on over the loudspeaker, asking, "Can you guys hear me?" She made a Hoveround joke and said, "If you’re gonna grade the show, grade it on the f*cking curve."
And here is the spoiler alert. If you don't want to see pics of the show and a set list, do not proceed.