Standing on the steps of the KFC YUM Center, amidst throngs of people piling in every entrance, sparkles flying & bell bottoms bouncing through security, I knew this would be an experience like none other.
It was my first Cher concert &, to say the least, I wasn’t fully prepared.
My boy besties from Eastern Kentucky were coming into town to see her [AGAIN] so I expected a few thousand more like them, loyal fans following the immortal queen into the glittery beyond.
What I did not expect was a multi-generational gathering of bedazzled bliss, bonding across the aisles, not at all concerned with differences, freely singing along.
I was given a last minute ticket by my boss here at Yes Louisville (shout out to Jason – @socialmudd) & had just enough time after work to inhale some food with my boys & dear friend Ashley before hustling over to YUM.
The guys who had my ticket were caught in crazy traffic & got there just under the wire. While some hate waiting, I love it when good people watching passes the time. I saw fully costumed Cher impersonators, festive wigs, shiny jumpsuits, & even our own Derby City Sisters!
But, not everyone was channeling the Goddess of Pop in a literal way. The majority of fans weren’t costumed at all, but their faces wore the best flair there.
One woman stood out from the crowd. She wore a simple black sweater & white shirt. Her crossbody purse dangled from her thin frame, balanced carefully on a blue metal cane. Her smiling cheeks propped glasses higher than their normal perch, & her eyes beamed upward as she approached the escalator. She was flanked by two other women, chirping away excitedly, helping each other figure out how to selfie on their smartphones. Despite the buzzing of her friends, she remained fixed on the steps ahead of her, gazing at them like they were a literal staircase to Heaven.
She was on a mission. Ready for the music to turn back time. I wish I could’ve seen her during the show. I have no doubt her cane was in the air & she was grooving with her friends to Dark Lady.
Once inside the venue, we caught opening act Nile Rodgers & CHIC just in time to “Freak Out”! Around us were men & women of all ages. All dancing, all singing, all laughing. All happy to escape reality & for just a few hours be gypsies, tramps & thieves.
A few minutes before the main event, Cher peeked out from behind the curtain in her larger than life red curly wig & waved at the few of us who could see her. A woman next to me said, “She does love to tease…the crazy old broad.” Seconds later the lights exploded & we were ushered into THE woman’s world.
Rocking Louboutin booties & a gold bustier, Cher worked the stage while kicking with her dancers, proving she was strong enough to rise above for at least one more farewell tour.
After her first monologue she turned to us & asked a question that told us we were in for a wild & wonderful musical ride…
“What’s your granny doing tonight?”
We went on to rock the night away, carried on the wings of timeless songs that left us believing in life after love and wanting to walk in Memphis.
Before this night I loved several Cher songs & I wanted to see her live so I wouldn’t miss another legend the way I had with Tom Petty & Prince. By the end I had become a full fledged fan. Because of her showmanship, yes, but beyond the lights & jewels & costumes, because of the way she brought people together & reminded us to live every day in an all or nothing way.