Well, it’s been a week of FIRST TIMES for me. Monday night I saw Roseanne Cash (click HERE to read about that) and Thursday night I had another first time (seeing Catch Me If You Can, click HERE to read all about it) but my birthday month REALLY began in E(a)rnest last night (inside reference there) when I went to the Verizon center to lose my CHER VIRGINITY.
The tickets were a gift from a dear, dear friend. A dear, dear friend who has a shoe fetish. And so, to honor her — and Cher — I dug out a pair of genuine leather, Italian designer shoes I have not worn for years. I bought them AGES and AGES ago, when I still had delusions of de rigueur; they were pricey and they are difficult to walk in and I have NOW — counting last night — worn them maybe three times in my life. But, I did it for A (well, and A).
My niece (another of the glorious A’s in my life) and I took off from Frederick for DC at 3:30. Friday traffic is famously AWFUL and we did not arrive and get parked until 5:30, which was the time of our reservation at Proof, a “wine-centric restaurant” featuring the menu of Chef Haidar Karoum [Click HERE to visit their website]. I was sharing Cher with A, and she was taking me out to Proof as my birthday gift. Again. WOW. The food was glorious and they brought me a dessert with a candle in it. And the urinals (and most everything else) were black. I took pictures. LOL.
After a decadently delicious meal and fabulous wines at Proof — where, oddly enough, we were seated next to a couple who own a local winery just a few miles from where we live — we walked the half block to Verizon Center for the concert. The tickets were 2nd row center. Yes. I am not kidding. AMAZING. Approximately five minutes after we arrived, Pat Benatar took the stage and did a forty-five minutes set. A was OVERJOYED. She likes Cher, but she LOVES Pat Benatar, so the fact that she was opening for the Queen was an unexpected bonus. I wanted her to do Wuthering Heights, but, alas, she did not. Whatever. I was waiting.
Benatar finished. Lights up. I went to the bathroom. As you MIGHT imagine at a CHER concert, I was hardly the only one in line for the men’s room sporting overly expensive Italian shoes and other accoutrement made of leather. Again. WOW. The bathroom was a HOTBED of meet and greet and peek and such, the likes of which I have not been involved in for many a long year. I really felt as if the guy next to me at the urinal should have bought me a drink, we were that close.
I made my way back to my seat and soon enough . . . well, at 9:30 or so, the lights dimmed and it began. She arrived! And when she did – by way of a large screen on which an opening video had been show DROPPED to the ground, there she was, right where she should be, high above the stage, exalted, atop a pillar. OH MY GOD. It was really and truly grand. Just grand. The evening was pretty fucking fantabulous with everything from the expected costume and wig changes to a chorus of beautiful and often nearly naked young men and women to a kickass band to men flying through the air (almost naked, natch) and finally, for the last number, Cher, herself, in a sort of Glinda-esque get-up, floating around the entire auditorium so EVERYONE (not just we VERY SPECIAL folks in the first few rows) could have a chance to see her close-up and personal.
Here are the pics I took – and, see, the thing is – I missed a lot of outfits because I was crazy with diva-lusting and half-weeping and reaching for the stage and being hypnotized by her beauty. I mean, she really truly honestly does look fucking amazing for anyone any age, but the fact that she is 67 years old – jeesh – and, too, she looks WAAAAYYYY better in person than she does on TV. WAYYYYYYYYY BETTER. Look:
It was taken while she was singing You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me, from the classic film, Burlesque, which has a LOT OF MEMORIES attached to it for me for reasons into which I will not go – but I loved that movie and saw it six times in the theatre with four different people and … look, I know it’s no Valley of the Dolls, but it’s STILL a classic.
After Cher’s final number and wave goodbye – by which point it was after 11pm – she left the stage, the lights came up, and the crew descended in a terrifying attack — like dance moms at the posting of a cast list — and started ripping that stage down. Despite its HUGENESS and VAST set pieces, the technological miracles and projections and flying that take place – she is in a different city almost EVERY NIGHT. In the words of Cher — I found someone — I developed a relationship with one of the roadies.
It may not LOOK like it in the pictures, but, he smiled (or, maybe, smirked) at me and I smiled (or, maybe, looked away in shyness) at him AND IN MY BOOK – that means we are engaged. And look at him — just my type. I mean … once again … WOW!
Okay, so, I didn’t come home with the Roadie in tow, and Cher didn’t wish me a happy birthday (I’ve been Tweeting her for days, what the fuck?) And I cannot for the life of me get my videos to transfer from my phone to an email or Tweet – so I am too technologically backward to share those – but, I had a wonderful dinner, a wonderful time (thanks to two of my delightful A’s) and I got the t-shirt: