CHER with Nile Rodgers at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY!
February 4th, 2019
Photos and words by Emily May
It’s not too often that one has the opportunity to photograph and witness the performance of a musical legend, but on February 4th, I was given the incredible opportunity to do just that when Cher stopped in Louisville, KY on her Here We Go Again tour. With a career that spans 6 decades, Cher has been dazzling and entertaining crowds over those many years. At 72 years of age, her long and successful career is a testament to her passion for and love of performing for her fans across the globe. Starting out the evening, and a legend in his own right, was Nile Rodgers and Chic. A Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee who has worked with some of music’s biggest names, such as Diana Ross, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga and David Bowie, he and his band delighted the crowd this evening with hits such as “Everybody Dance”, “Dance, Dance, Dance”, “We Are Family”, “Freak Out” and “Good Times”. They also performed his hits “Coming Up”, “Let’s Dance” and “Get Lucky” with Diana Ross, David Bowie and Daft Punk, respectively. Rodgers and Chic got the crowd dancing and in high spirits and ready for the evening ahead!
As the lights dimmed, signaling the start of her set, a spotlight illuminated Cher as she was lowered onto the stage on an intricate and ornately designed platform. Wearing a glittery costume, a large, curly orange wig and an ornate headpiece, Cher started out her set with “Woman’s World” and “Strong Enough”, which saw her surrounded by dancers donning gladiator costumes, complete with helmets and shields! The evening was broken up into acts, each one signifying a moment in her career and containing costumes that reflected the theme of the songs in each act. She then took the time to regale the crowd with stories about starting out in show business with Sonny Bono, the time she owed the government $278,000 in taxes, appearing on David Letterman, performing at dinner theaters in Windsor, her days at Studio 54 and many other stories that had the crowd laughing and rapt with attention. Cher is a born entertainer and in reflecting on her many years in the industry, delighted the crowd with her stories and memories, managing to inject a bit of humor into each one. She then got back to the music, starting her second act off with two of her greatest hits with Sonny, “The Beat Goes On” and “I Got You Babe”, which treated the audience to a duet when Sonny appeared on a screen onstage to sing his parts of the song with Cher. It was a moving tribute to such an iconic duo singing one of their most popular songs.
Cher and her dancers presented the crowd with many different costume changes throughout the evening, with each act starting out with videos of her and Sonny, of her movie career and her love of Elvis, as well as a moving dance solo from two of her dancers and a guitar solo, which allowed her and her dancers time to change into their next costumes for the evening. Act three was centered around the theme of her movie Burlesque, which saw her dancers dressed as burlesque sailors and Cher dressed in a leopard print costume, a jacket with coattails and her hair in curls, followed by three covers of ABBA songs. After a costume change, Cher and her dancers came on stage singing “Waterloo”, wearing costumes reminiscent of Austin Powers, with bright colors, flowers and bell bottoms. The dancers then left the stage and Cher sang “SOS” and “Fernando” solo. Act five started out with a movie montage on the screen followed by Cher walking out on stage in a beautiful glittery and gold floor length gown singing her hit song “After All” followed by a video of her love of Elvis and a cover of “Walking In Memphis”. Then after a quick costume change, she and her dancers ended the act on a fun note with her hit song “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)” from the movie Mermaids! Act five signified the rock portion of the evening, with Cher’s guitar player starting things out with an awesome guitar solo. Cher then walked out on stage with a shimmery and mostly sheer bodysuit, thigh high shimmery black boots, a black leather jacket and her trademark black curly wig, strutting across the stage while singing “I Found Someone”. She immediately followed this up by “If I Could Turn Back Time”, and judging by her performance, one could swear that she had! After a brief intermission, Cher came out on stage for an encore, singing her hit dance song “Believe”, giving an upbeat and energetic end to an incredible evening. She definitely lived up to her living-icon status this evening and gave her fans an experience they won’t soon forget!
Photographs of Cher and Nile Rodgers in Louisville, KY