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Review: Cher holds nothing back in Pittsburgh stop

| Thursday, April 3, 2014, 12:53 a.m.

One of Cher's songs most popular songs, “Strong Enough,” features the lyric “This is our last goodbye, it's true.”

To a packed house at Consol Energy Center Wednesday, the icon promised the crowd that was the case, as the “Dressed to Kill” tour, or what she calls the “Farewell Farewell,” tour is certainly her last.

Then she winked.

Cher, 67, whose career has spanned six decades and produced dozens of hits, held nothing back during her stop in Pittsburgh. She opened and closed with songs from her latest album, “Closer to the Truth,” getting the crowd up and dancing in the aisles with “Woman's World,” then closing by soaring over their heads on a glittery floating prop and belting out the bittersweet “I Hope You Find It.”

Cher's signature voice soared over thumping bass featured in dance tracks like “Strong Enough” and “Take it Like a Man.” Classics like “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Dark Lady” and “Half-Breed” satisfied diehards while songs like “I Found Someone” reminded everyone how strong her voice truly is.

Cher treated the audience to some rare moments, admitting “Just Like Jesse James” is not her favorite song to perform before delivering it gorgeously. She also sang two tracks from her film, “Burlesque,” “Welcome to Burlesque” and “You Haven't Seen the Last of Me,” the latter which she said the crew calls, “the beast,” as she either pulls it off perfectly or not. For the Pittsburgh crowd, it was perfect.

Perhaps the most endearing moment was when she sang alongside a video version of her late ex-husband Sonny Bono to “I've Got You Babe,” a part of the show she admitted it took her some time to be able to do.

Her signature costumes also did not disappoint and consisted of oh-so-many sparkles and sometimes little else, like the silver plunging piece she donned for “Believe.” She even sported a version of the “If I Could Turn Back Time” bodysuit, complete with leather jacket and cascading black curly wig. That song prompted easily the biggest pop from the crowd with nearly everyone there belting out every word.

Her sets were elaborate as ever, changing from a circus scene to a Trojan horse the singer emerged from as dancers pulled it front and center stage. Their upbeat choreography throughout the show kept the energy up and occasionally incorporated aerial elements, eliciting applause from the awestruck audience.

Pat Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo, celebrating 35 years of making music and 32 year of marriage, opened to an already packed house with their minimalistic set (though anything would be minimalistic compared to Cher). From the moment Benatar launched in the first words of “Shadows of the Night,” she had the crowd hooked and showed them how well her signature vocals have held up since her heyday, plowing though hits like “We Belong,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love is a Battlefied.” Giraldo wowed the room with his impressive guitar riffs.

During her set, Cher shared horror stories from the road, including a tragic case of chipped nail polish fixed in a rush and subsequently coated in toilet paper after a quick bathroom break. She told the story of a foot injury that's kept her from doing much skipping across the stage.

No one would blame Cher for wanting to put her touring days behind her. She already teased fans with retirement once. Her “Living Proof: The Farewell Tour” spanned three years and included more than 300 shows in the early 2000s.

Yet, judging by the reaction from her fans Wednesday, it's clear no one's ready to say goodbye.

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