Quite frankly, once I watch an artist / band perform once, I’m typically ‘good’ and don’t need to see another concert of theirs. However, with tonight’s performance, this marked now the fourth time I’ve seen her perform live in Orlando, and I’m looking forward to a fifth hopefully sometime within the next year. The first time I watched her perform, it was an outdoor performance at Universal Studios as part of their Mardi Gras lineup of concerts, for which my wife and I watched her dancing a lot, descending into the crowd to mingle with her fans, and many of the fans were able to watch this music icon, which for those of my generation brought us back to recollect fond memories of early childhood. But interspersed throughout her classics that evening, concertgoers were introduced to Cyndi’s interpretation of the Blues, a musical genre for which she received she was nominated for ‘Best Traditional Blues Album’ (Memphis Blues) only the year prior.
The following year at House of Blues, I watched Cyndi in a more intimate setting for which she was able to get closer to her fans as part of her 30th Anniversary ‘She’s So Unusual’ tour, where she focused her songlist on the very album that launched her career. 2 years later, I watched her co-headline a concert alongside Cher at our Amway Center. That night, Cyndi entered the arena from the back of the venue wearing a boxing hoodie as she processed through the floor toward the stage where she would later reference her Kinky Boots efforts, through which she went on to win ‘Best Musical Theatre Album’ that same year.
Now, tonight, I was able to watch her perform in a 4th Orlando venue, with Cyndi now introducing flavors of her new country music album – that’s right, 2016 marks Cyndi’s journey into Country music through the release of her ‘Detour’ album, the namesake under which her concert performed this evening.
When one looks at Cyndi Lauper, ‘country’ is probably not the first thought that enters one’s mind. However, was she able to pull off her being a bonafide country performer? This is Cyndi Lauper, folks: hell yes, she was able to pull this off!
As many different quirks and various paths Cyndi’s musical style has taken, fans can always depend on getting ‘Cyndi’ the night of a performance. From the originator of the ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ mantra, Cyndi is a constant reminder that one’s tastes and preferred methods of expression can change as frequently as the weather in Orlando, but her inner-self has always remained undeniably Cyndi. In four separate outings, I’ve enjoyed watching Cyndi perform each and every time. I love how she still sets the tempo at the beginning of every song, and that she still sings with such deep passion that her eyes are hardly ever open when she sings. I’m even digging when she whips out a recorder flute in the middle of her performance to play a solo, and it’s freaking awesome because when I go to watch Cyndi, and that’s exactly what I get.
Particular to this evening’s show, Cyndi transitioned the fans into ‘Country’ by easing them into the remembrance that when she was growing up, ‘country’ is what was on the limited television channels any of us were able to watch. She reminded us of the tough New Yorker that was inside of her ‘f-bomb’ dropping persona. But as she reflected tonight on the relatively recent passing of her friend, Prince before dedicating her performance of ‘When You Were Mine’(this song was actually Prince’s, and was initially written and introduced by Prince on his 1980 album, Dirty Mind), I found myself getting choked up as she reminded us to ‘let those around us know what they mean to us while we could’ before she emotionally and affectionately soared vocally to hit the high notes with this one.
Tonight’s concert performance was my favorite of hers thus far. She tied her songs together well tonight, and offered up just the right amount of conjecture in between a well-rounded setlist containing just enough ‘classics’, new ground ‘country’, while at the same time showcasing her unchanged vocal tonality which has defined her unique sound spanning her entire musical career. Perhaps the passing of Prince and Muhammad Ali this year reminded her of her own moral vulnerabilities, but it did feel like we had some wonderfully introspective moments with Cyndi tonight, and I plan on attending her shows again and again for years to come.
1. Funnel of Love
2. She Bop
3. Heartaches by the Number
4. I Drove All Night
5. The End of the World
6. Walking After Midnight
7. I want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart
8. You Don’t Know
9. When You Were Mine
10. Money changes Everything
11. Misty Blue
12. Time After Time
13. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
15. True Colors