Wizard Of Odds Weekly Update November 29, 2018
I saw Cher at the Park MGM on November 16. This was my first time in this venue. It seats 5,200 seats, which is pretty big, I'd estimate about the same as the concert arena at the Mandalay Bay, maybe a tad smaller. The entrance is inside the Park, which, if you haven't heard of it, is the renamed and re-branded Monte Carlo. I believe the actual entrance is where the Lance Burton theater used to be. Despite a full house, the line at security was only about five minutes and escalators quickly brought the crowds to wherever their seats were. I had seats in the upper-most of three sections, which were at a nice incline so everybody at least had a clear view of the stage and not the head of the person in front of you. This also seemed to prevent the audience from standing up, which I can't stand at any concert. Everybody has a much better view if you just sit down.
Let me preface the rest by saying that I have never owned a piece of Cher music. However, I've always rather liked Cher's self-confident and expressive personality. Once I was at Caesars Palace when a Cher concert just came out and the audience seemed to be very upbeat after having seen a great show. Since then it has always been on my mental list to see her. When our own Axel offered tickets to any MGM/Mirage show at a significant discount and I had friends in town to entertain, it was the perfect opportunity to go.
The show started about half an hour late but the audience was kept entertained with disco hits. The show finally started with an elaborate two-floor set with lots of lights and dancers. Her opening two or three songs I had heard before but couldn't name them. Then Cher stopped and spoke spontaneously for about ten minutes about various significant moments in her career, generally the bad ones. One story I especially remember is the first time she did the David Letterman show and told Dave she put it off for a long time because she thought he was "kind of an ass hole." I always like it when musicians engage with the audience or tell stories as opposed to just playing their music in exactly the same way as on their records (I guess I'm dating myself with that comparison).
The rest of the show went through several outfit and set changes. There were numerous themes, like Egyptian, Indian (as in with a dot -- not a feather), Disco, and the famous black afro. I think my favorite part was here three-song set of ABBA, which were Waterloo, SOS, and Fernando. I'm a huge ABBA fan and Cher totally did justice to their music, perhaps even improving upon it a bit, which is hard to do.
At another point in the show Cher revealed her age as 72. I've seen aging musicians before, but it is hard to call Cher aging as her energy and voice are that of people 1/3 her age. However, she was absent from the stage perhaps half the time. The audience was kept well entertained with clips from her very long music and acting career. Anyone, like me, who goes knowing only bits and pieces form Cher's career will leave with a much better knowledge and appreciation of it. There were also some instrumentals and what not, I suppose to give Cher a chance to recharge and get ready for the next set.
Meanwhile, her band, lighting, stage, dancers, choreography, and all the jazz seemed about as good as it gets. The entire show is very entertaining and the audience seemed to really enjoy it. I got the impression from outfits people wore they had seen Cher numerous times before. Suffice it to say I have Cher an enthusiastic thumbs up! If you ever get the opportunity to catch her, I would seize it.