Last night it happened. The summer’s gayest rock-n-roll tour kicked off in Las Vegas, as the Cyndi Lauper-organized True Colors tour had its premiere show at the MGM Grand Arena. The show was fun, I’ve got lots of photos and more detailed dish coming. But here’s a quickie…
The show featured Margaret Cho hitting the stage, saying “Hey!” and introducing the Dresden Dolls, who sang their freaky, fun cabaret rock with lots of theatrics and drama. They delivered their own hits like “Coin Operated Boy” and some other gems, like the boozy Jaques Brel tune “Amsterdam.”
Next came the Indigo Girls who always sound amazing, serving up their best, like “Closer to Fine”—a lesbian classic if there ever was one— and “Shame On You” and others. Their harmonies are always sublime, and it’s good to hear some fused with some political, liberal smarts, too. Plus, they have that whole lived-in jeans and T-shirt thing down. They’re great.
Deborah Harry delivered a set of her own tunes, and sounded in great voice. And throughout the show Margaret Cho served up killer comedy, linking all the acts.
Rosie O’Donnell took the stage (more on her to follow) to a big standing O, and dished Larry King and Trump, The View, and then came back to play drums later (really!). Erasure lead the arena in a big, fantastically gay dance party, playing some new tunes and fab classics.
But the total star of the show is Cyndi Lauper. Mainly because her good will, sense of humor and unstoppable voice and talent are the concert’s guiding force. She appeared on stage at first to introduce Rosie and a video about the HRC. But when time came for her real set, she delivered big-time.
Lauper emerged from the shadows in a rainbow-hued feathered hat, long black wig and a brilliant purple strapless dress and proceeded to rock out to her classic “Hole in My Heart.” As she did for the rest of the night, she charged all over the stage (she does this one sideways dance move that is a cool, little shimmy) and belted, her trademark voice stronger than ever. She included a few new songs, but also served up fun versions of some of her best-loved tunes, like “I Drove All Night,” the theme from Goonies, “She-Bop” (done in a groovy, slower-paced guitar-strummy version), “When You Were Mine,” “Money Changes Everything” and more. On “Shine” she was joined by Rosie O’Donnell on drums, which was kind of weird, but also kind of festive. Who knew?
Cyndi is amazing at interacting with the crowd. She ran out into the arena a couple of times, singing from the side sections amid the audience, and she’d run out to the end of the stage and ham it up with guys in the front row, and just chatted and joked throughout.
She also was fighting a rather fun ongoing battle with the bustline of her dress, with a constant hazard of spilling out of the bustier-styled top completely. As a safeguared, she had stripey heart pasties on underneath, fully ready for a wardrobe malfunction. And she even donned a big button-down that one of the guys in the audience tossed her, to cover up any possible boob spillage.
And yes, she ended her set with a blisteringly fab version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” And it was clear that Cyndi herself was having a blast! And so was the crowd.
Encore-time Cyndi bopped around onstage with all of the other acts joined in a big, giddy group version of Abba’s “Take a Chance On Me,” before ending things finally with a really sweet, almost poignant version of—what else?—“True Colors.”
Well done, Cyn. You rocked out, organized this tour with will raise gobs of money and awareness for gay rights causes, you look fab and you just don’t stop. You rule…