Cher’s still got it

EVERETT – There were flashing lights. There were feather boas. There were sequins. There was glitter.

And that was just the crowd.

Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

Cher starts off with a cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” in front of a packed Everett Events Center on Wednesday night.

Snohomish County’s finest – and no doubt some guests from south of here – made up the sold-out crowd Wednesday night for one of the allegedly final stops on Cher’s farewell “Never Can Say Goodbye” tour at the Everett Events Center.

Fans didn’t arrive late for fear of missing a chance to see the Village People open one of the most interesting tours circling the nation.

The arena was full when the cowboy, the Indian, the biker, the soldier and the policeman from Greenwich Village – an “American band,” if there ever was one – took the stage. Wasn’t there a construction worker in the mix?

The band dedicated its hit “In the Navy” to the young men and women who serve the country, a statement that drew a standing ovation from the Navy-town crowd.

It wasn’t long, though, before the quintet turned the show into the largest wedding reception Everett has seen. They first offered a quick lesson on the “YMCA” – the modern version of the line dance – because although it “should be very easy, a lot of people just don’t get it,” said Jeff Olson, the cowboy.

The “M,” by the way, is elbows spiked out to the sides with hands pointed in toward the chest. Who knew?

With that, 8,000-plus were on their feet and doing the “YMCA” in the only setting that wouldn’t have prompted anyone to simply roll their eyes.

But it was Cher they came to see. That much was clear when the house lights went down, sending the crowd into a frenzy as they watched a two-minute video montage that packaged her three decades in music.

Through hairstyles, colorful backgrounds and barely-there outfits, her career was framed into album covers that flashed on three screens on and around the stage before she descended while sitting atop a chandelier that swooped down from the rafters, singing U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

From the start, the pop diva joked about her ongoing tour. She said the Everett stop was the 292nd on the journey, which started in June 2002.

“I promise you this is the last time I’m going to see you, I promise you,” she told the crowd, drawing a chorus of boos.

In the waning days of her performing career, Cher said she’s been thinking to herself, “This is last time, you’d better leave them with something fabulous. You want them to remember you as something miraculous.”

From that moment, she set out to do exactly that.

With choreographed dances, including a little taste of Cirque d’ Soleil, and a flurry of costume changes that made one wonder how many trucks are required simply for her wardrobe, Cher put on a head-spinning show that thousands of locals won’t soon forget, babe.

Reporter Victor Balta: 425-339-3455 or vbalta@ heraldnet.com.

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