As the elaborate curtain still shrouded the massive stage with the lights still on, the unmistakable voice of Cher echoed through the BOK Center.
“Is this on?” she asked. Realizing it was, she went on talking about her blush and telling us to enjoy the show.
That was Cher’s carefree way to say hello Saturday night. And for her final, final farewell tour (wink wink), it was a preview of a wild, ornate and carefree show, spanning her long and storied career.
Then, the curtain fell and on a pedestal, bathed in gold light with an enormous Vegas-style headdress was Cher, looking like the Goddess of Pop she is.
Cher has always been know for that distinctive singing voice, owning the lower range with remarkable power. After all this time, she’s still got it. In fact, I don’t think it ever left.
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That vocal range was in full force Saturday night. It was impressive, especially considering how early Tulsa is on the tour, which opened last week.
That said, there still were a few awkward issues to work out. Syncopation was off on a few songs, they turned the microphone on too early (though that was probably on purpose).
I expected and was glad to see Cher still own her vocals and expected the stage show to be remarkable, which blew me away.
She went through four costume and set changes in the first six songs.
But Cher’s humor between songs was incredible. She went from ripping on Dr Pepper to talking about her idea for a Perrier water commercial to the troubles of nail polish and toilet paper. She was carefree and irreverent and hilarious.
“I kind of make it up as I go along because that’s how Sonny and I used to do it,” Cher said.
The songs performed spanned her career, but every song no matter the era fit. Especially the new songs from her latest album, “Closer to the Truth.” “Woman’s World,” which started the show, and “Dressed to Kill” could rival any pop song out there. Performed live, it was done incredibly well.
Pat Benatar opened the show and was a powerhouse, her rock ’n’ roll voice still with a grit and range that made her songs so popular in the ’80s.
It was the 35th anniversary show, marking the time since she and guitarist Neil Giraldo first got together to make their huge hits.
“Love is a Battlefield” was a star of her set for the band and for the fans. Her voice was remarkably strong, no sign that it’s been more than 30 years since she took off.
And Giraldo’s guitar work was also impressive. His solos rocked hard. He weaved in covers when he could, showing how much he controls the instrument.
Benatar’s hits thrilled the crowd, even calling for an encore.
“Heartbreaker” turned into a hard rock cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” It was a great opening for Cher and capped a great performance with a tender display between Benatar and Giraldo, who celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary this year as well.
As many times as Cher said this was her farewell tour, it was hard to believe. She just looked like she was having too much fun.
After Saturday’s show, it’s safe to say Cher could say farewell again if she wanted. Her fans would eat it up.