Cher returned to Sydney on Thursday night to perform the first of her three shows to farewell Sydney after her almost six decade long career. The Grammy, Emmy and Academy Award winner is the only artist to date to have a number one single in six decades consecutively on the Billboard chart. The Here We Go Again Tour is the singers first tour of Australia since her 2005 tour, Living Proof: The Farewell Tour. After appearing at Mardi Gras in Sydney earlier this year for the parades 40th Anniversary, a string of Australian tour dates were announced, with more dates added due to demand from fans.
Australian DJ Andrew McClelland got the crowd on their feet and dancing in the aisles before the superstar hit the stage. The DJ, comedian and writer played classic hits from Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody to Bonnie Tyler’s power ballad Total Eclipse of the Heart through to Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie and Jessie J’s Bang Bang. Fans didn’t miss a beat throughout his set, upping their dance moves whenever they appeared on the arena’s screens.
Cher kicked off the show descending from the roof of the arena in a golden cage dressed as a roman gladiator while singing 2013’s empowering anthem Women’s World followed by fan favourite Strong Enough. Cher then welcomed Sydney to the show before telling fans of the “two days it took me to turn 40”, which included details on the set of Moonstruck with co-star Nicholas Cage, her encounter with George Miller prior to filming Witches of Eastwick and her first appearance on David Lettermen’s show after years of knocking back offers. The 72 year old joked she didn’t know why fans cheered when she mentioned her age before asking them, “What is your grandma doing tonight?”. Cher returns to the stage atop a mechanical elephant while performing Gayatri Mantra before the elephant exits the stage and the singer performs All or Nothing. The second act of the show took fans back to the Sonny & Cher days with the pop icon performing The Beat Goes On and I Got You Babe, both songs she performed with former husband and entertainment partner, the late Sonny Bono via screens displaying original song footage. Images and video’s of the singers performing the songs together played on the screens throughout the performance. The stage then transformed into a circus with backup dancers performing tricks before the singer re-emerged on stage to perform classic hits Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves and Dark Lady. Another costume change saw Cher in Native American attire to perform her number one song, Half Breed.
The third act was introduced by an interlude showing Cher’s various roles in film. The stage then transformed into a burlesque club, with the Burlesque actress performing the films hit Welcome To Burlesque. Cher left the stage while two aerialists performed suspended in mid air against the arena set with stars lighting up the backdrop screens. The singer returned to the stage in 70’s inspired attire (and what we think are the pants she wore while performing Super Trouper in Mamma Mia Here We Go Again!) to perform songs from her ABBA covers album Dancing Queen. Cher treated fans to performances of Waterloo and SOS before delivering an awe-inspiring performance of Fernando atop a balcony with visuals of fireworks and shimmering lights across the stage. After All followed, with the singer having changed into a white and gold gown with a matching head piece.
The final act opened with a montage of Cher’s love for Elvis before she took to the stage in an all black ensemble to perform Walking in Memphis and The Shoot Shoot Song (It’s In His Kiss). Cher then left the stage only to return to perform I Found Someone and If I Could Turn Back Time, one could say actually turning back time, when she emerged on stage wearing her famous black fishnet look from the songs 1989 music video. The look saw the music video banned from MTV at the time, before being relegated to being played after 9pm, proving to be too controversial for television. However proven to be a fan favourite as the crowd erupted into thunderous applause and cheers. Cher returned to the stage one final time for an encore, performing arguably her biggest hit, Believe. The singer rocked a red wig and diamond ensemble as she gave Sydney one last farewell.
Whilst the singer apologised for her “hoarse voice” on the night, Cher hit each powerful note without flaw, owning the stage with her voice and her dance moves, never missing a beat. The show sent fans into a frenzy, dancing and singing their hearts out. Utilising songs throughout her career, the show was suited to fans of all ages, with something for everyone. The vibrant stage and lighting design only furthered the visual spectacle. Cher delivered an iconic show that will be hard to beat by her pop star successors, truly proving why she is the goddess of pop.