It wasn’t even Easter, but on April 12 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, a deity was resurrected. Towering above her disciples on a pillar, and in a headdress that resembled the most glamorous peacock you’ve ever seen, Cher made a glorious return to the stage after she bid farewell 12 years ago. And then after she bid farewell again. And again.
But when you look as fierce and museum piece-y as Cher – and when you’re still relatively agile at 67 (the diva said recent foot surgery prevents her from keeping up with her background dancers) – you don’t sit back in your granny jams and watch these other girlies take the throne. You show them who reigns.
“The D2K Tour” (named after “Dressed to Kill,” a song from her latest album, “Closer to the Truth,” released in 2013) was obviously jaw-dropping, frilly and elaborately produced – because, duh, that’s what a Cher show is – but it also made every effort to secure the half-century legacy of its star. Between songs were snippets from Cher’s filmography, including “Mermaids” and “Mask,” and, to mark the moment she finally felt embraced by the movie industry, a clip of her accepting her Oscar for “Moonstruck.” Honoring her relationship with Sonny Bono, she sang alongside a video feed of her late ex-husband, turning “I Got You Babe” into a touching tribute to their time together. And though she’s since condemned her 2010 camp-musical “Burlesque,” the film’s cabaret set was still constructed for two of the soundtrack’s songs: “Welcome to Burlesque” and “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” the latter a solo showstopper personifying Cher’s survivor status. The gays lost their shit. Mothers wept. It was as holy a moment as watching Jesus rise from the dead.
Really, though, the whole show was divine, from the iconic biker getup she resurrected for “If I Could Turn Back Time” (“I can still get in my ‘Turn Back Time’ outfit and I’m almost 100,” she joked) to the neon-bright hip-hop dance party of “Believe,” when the diva donned a white wig and a nude bodysuit. With her stream-of-consciousness about Dr. Pepper, the time she was here and her wig fell off – and how her cat was rescued from under a tour bus during a previous Detroit show – even Cher’s banter delivered. It was as awesomely crazy as her Twitter page.
For the remainder of the nearly two-hour extravaganza, “D2K” impressed with loud shifting sets, fancy acrobats and, naturally, an abundance of costume changes to honor Cher’s transformative eras. She did her ’70s hippie thing with the “Dark Lady”/”Half-Breed”/”Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” trifecta, saluted Elvis during “Walking in Memphis” and sang “Just Like Jesse James,” though she admitted to absolutely hating the song. To exercise her dancey divaness, Cher had a ferocious troupe twirling and flipping around her during “Woman’s World,” “Dressed to Kill” and “Take It Like a Man,” all songs from her club-banger, “Closer to the Truth.”
It was gay heaven that night, and Cher was the golden goddess. Descending upon her children during the sweet send-off “I Hope You Find It,” Cher floated above them like an angel returning to bless her followers. I mean, why not? After all, she’s as eternal as one.