It was a concert totally out of left field from my usual penchant for roots type performers, but the Cyndi Lauper extravaganza at The Palais Theatre on Friday evening was great. Vive La Difference!
The Palais Theatre is one of Melbourne’s premier venues. It’s an elegant old lady of a theatre in St Kilda, the present building existing since 1927, originally as picture theatre then later as a concert venue. It’s next door to the even more elderly Luna Park, which as you can see from the photo I snapped is looking rather the worse for wear and quite sinister with only one eye lit and the grin shining as a grimace.
As I was unable to get a seat in the stalls, I ended up in Row E in the Lounge area upstairs. Photos from the distance would not be suitable for my Canon G10, so I decided to take my old Panasonic LZ1 which has served me well in the past as far as distance shots were concerned, it having a larger zoom capacity. The below photo turned out quite well, considering. (click to enlarge)
Anyway, back to the concert, the opening act was former Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan. She wasn’t bad at all. She has a fabulous very powerful and expressive voice and was simply accompanied by a single guitarist.
Cyndi Lauper is of course a famous pop princess, well known for her pop songs Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Time After Time and True Colours. She sang them all, but also spent a majority of the show showcasing her latest CD, a blues album called Memphis Blues,
She was accompanied by an excellent band comprising a guitarist, a bass player, a pianist and organist as well as a drummer. Also playing in the band was Charlie Musselwhite, the famous harmonica ace. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the names of the rest of the band, who no doubt are well known session players and a search on Google was unable to enlighten me.
You couldn’t call Cyndi Lauper a dull performer. She is extremely energetic, prancing from one end of the stage to the other, falling to her knees, jumping down to the front stalls and directing her band flamboyantly. Not bad for lady in her late 50s.
It was a thoroughly engrossing and entertaining show and Cyndi’s numerous fans engaged with her whole heartedly, singing along to the iconic pop songs and according her a standing ovation at the end.
I was delighted that she included the song I’m Gonna Be Strong which I first heard and loved many years ago on her 1980 Blue Angel LP, of which I still retain a copy.
Set List (found on the web)
- Just Your Fool (Little Walter cover)
- Shattered Dreams (Lowell Fulson cover)
- She Bop
- How Blue Can You Get? (Johnny Moore's Three Blazers cover)
- Early in the Mornin' (Louis Jordan cover)
- All Through the Night (Jules Shear cover)
- Lead Me On (Bobby "Blue" Bland cover)
- Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
- Down Don't Bother Me (Albert King cover)
- Don't Cry No More (Bobby "Blue" Bland cover)
- The Goonies 'R' Good Enough
- Change of Heart
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun
- I'm Gonna Be Strong (Frankie Laine cover)
- Time After Time
- Mother Earth (Memphis Slim cover)
- True Colors (with Casey Donovan)