As the lights dimmed and refocused their efforts toward the glowing purple curtain that displayed a simple sans-serif “Cher,” the packed crowd at the KFC Yum! Center Monday night roared in anticipation.
Most were looking forward to catching up with a beloved icon of the music industry, but we’re guessing some were curious to see if the 72-year-old songstress still had what it took to razzle and dazzle a full house for nearly three hours.
If you want the quick answer: Yes. She does still have it — and much more.
When the first upbeat techno notes of “Woman’s World” began, the curtain collapsed to the floor revealing a massive stage with neon lights, doorways, ramps, screens and a handful of dancers. Cher, of course, descended from the ceiling wearing an elaborate headdress and a long, orange frizzy wig.
The theme of the first few songs appeared to be Spartan as many of the scantily clad dancers yielded shields and armor. Cher at first donned a long, sparkly gown, but as she transitioned into “Strong Enough,” she whipped that off, uncovering a similar Spartan armor outfit — but a little flashier and a lot sexier.
Cher interspersed her greatest hits with stories from her 50-year career, including many from her early years with Sonny Bono. She also performed “I’ve Got You Babe” alongside a video recording of him singing the duet and told the crowd she was somewhat reluctant to do that, but her audiences in Las Vegas really seemed to like it.
She also joked about her age, calling it unbelievable and a number that often refers to an uncomfortable temperature.
And she showed clips from her numerous films and mentioned one incident in particular — when “The Witches of Eastwick” director George Miller and star Jack Nicholson at first thought she was too old for the role. She had just turned 40.
Cher performed three songs off her latest record, “Dancing Queen,” her 26th studio album that spawned from her role in “Mamma Mia! 2: Here We Go Again.” Those songs were ABBA hits “Waterloo,” “SOS” and “Fernando.”
Naturally, Cher had numerous wardrobe changes between blocks of songs, but she kept them quick — most likely because the outfits didn’t consist of much fabric.
“Just ask yourself one thing,” she joked with the audience. “What’s your granny doing tonight?”
She saved the best songs for the final set, which included “After All,” “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss),” “I Found Someone” and “If I Could Turn Back Time,” the latter of which she donned the legendary black see-through-ish outfit she wore in the 1989 video. The encore featured but one song — the 1998 hit “Believe.”
Below are a few more photos from Monday night’s Here We Go Again Tour, Cher’s first in five years. Louisville was stop No. 10 on the 30-city U.S. tour, and she’ll take it to Europe this fall. She also has another Vegas stint from March 13-30.