TORONTO — She sang, she danced, she headlined. Oh and she bopped too.
The first True Colors tour made its lone Canadian stop at the Molson Amphitheatre last night, with Cyndi Lauper closing the five-hour, six-act show. And while she’ll be turning 54 a few days from now, the singer still wowed the crowd with a bevy of hits from her heyday as well as some new material.
Opening with Hole In My Heart and wearing an umbrella-like hat with an orange wig underneath, Lauper and her five-piece cast energized the already energetic crowd by dancing barefoot, shaking hands with those on the floor and going deep into the audience.
The tour, created by Lauper, is in support of the Human Rights Campaign aimed at bringing awareness and advocating issues facing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. A portion of the show’s proceeds also goes to Pride Toronto.
After thanking the crowd for coming, Lauper, who came on roughly 25 minutes later than originally planned, tore through songs such as the disco-tinged new tune Set Your Heart before dishing out When You Were Mine.
While fans enjoyed the early songs, Lauper left her best for last, with the punchy pop tune Money Changes Everything and the almost obligatory Girls Just Want To Have Fun slated for the homestretch.
Although she was the headliner on the bill, it appeared that Lauper might have been upstaged by British happy wheels demo dance faves Erasure. Led by the flamboyant dancing maven Andy Bell, the group’s electro-meets-techno pop was well received from start to finish.
Opening with Sunday Girl, Bell, keyboardist Vince Clarke and three female backing singers shone with Chains Of Love, Oh L’Amour and especially during A Little Respect which made the roughly two-thirds filled venue feel like a discotheque.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment was Debbie Harry, not for what she performed but more for what the lead singer of Blondie singer didn’t.
Although showcasing some new material from her upcoming album Necessary Evil, Harry never dished out a single Blondie hit, instead relying on basically unknown pop songs like Whiteout and the ballad-ish If I Had You. The result left many sitting on their hands.
While Harry didn’t go over so great, fans lucky to arrive early got an eyeful and earful from rock trio The Gossip. Fronted by the rather hefty but extremely dynamic Beth Ditto, the group’s dance-rock set closed with Standing in the Way of Control. Ditto also managed to rip off her dress for the song, wearing nothing but her undergarments and leaving little to the imagination.
Other opening acts included the cabaret-meets-rock duo Dresden Dolls as well as local band The Cliks, who seemed to take pride in the fact they were playing at home during Pride Week.