with Jill Sobule
Orlando, FL • Nov. 30, 2005
Thirty years have passed since she first invaded mainstream pop radio with her cartoony punk looks and squeaky Brooklyn-ized voice, but no one told Cyndi Lauper. She may dress more “adult,” and she did tour with ultimate diva Cher last year, but Cyndi is and will forever be just a girl who wants to have fun.
The Cyndi Lauper audience of today is diverse and, surprisingly, a big party crowd. Between all the drinking and heavy petting they still managed to not only welcome, but honestly enjoy opener Jill Sobule. You remember her for “that annoying ’90s hit,” as she referred to it, “I Kissed A Girl.” A song that she jokingly (I assume!) revealed as being written about her secret love affair with morning show nazi Kathie Lee Gifford. Sobule was charming, funny, and treated the large crowd with small coffee shop intimacy. When playing a new song she invited a girl from the crowd onto the stage to hold a laptop for her to read lyrics from while she sang. She ended her set by inviting the crowd to join her at her merch table where she’d be signing t-shirts, “because I’m so desperate.”
When the curtain parted next a blond, busty woman in black walked onto the stage and up to the microphone, and I thought, What is Drew Barrymore doing here? Take a look at Cyndi and then go back and watch Never Been Kissed or The Wedding Singer. The ’80s popstar is Drew in about 20 years, and the future looks good for her!
Starting strong with some classic stand- bys, “All Through the Night”,”I Drove All Night” and “Change of Heart” (for which she pounded out the begining beats on the stage floor using a hammer!), Lauper alternated between arranging the songs in the style we all grew up hearing, and her newly reworked acoustic renditions. She is touring to promote The Body Acoustic which premiered these acoustic mixes so I’m not surprised when she plays “She Bop” as a slowed down, bluesy folk tune, but come on! It’s “She Bop!” I wanted some more energy and so did most of the crowd, on whom the acoustic numbers fell flat on. When she stayed true to the original recordings, her performance soared, as on “Money Changes Everything” and “Time After Time.”
Jumping, twirling, and often crawling to the edge of the stage to reach out to her fans up front, Lauper showed no signs of having grown out of the orange-haired, newspaper-skirted strange little girl of yesteryear. And her unique set of pipes have only strengthened as the years have passed. Cyndi Lauper can never be imitated, for her style and voice is as unique as she is.
Cyndi Lauper: www.cyndilauper.com