Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cyndi Lauper with David Rhodes

I had previously seen Cyndi Lauper on The Body Acoustic tour at Sunset Station Amphitheater, September 22, 2006; I knew how talented she was and was greatly looking forward to seeing her again. Since my mom had somehow made it through life without seeing Cyndi Lauper, I decided she should have the chance. To thank me, she reserved a cocktail table and bottle service for us, which was actually the second table from stage left on the floor. I knew this was going to be a night full of girls who wanna have fun!
Tonight opening for Cyndi was David Rhodes, who is known mostly as studio musician, has experience working with many artists (Peter Gabriel, Roy Orbison, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant), over the past 25 years. It was quite clear that he was a very talented songwriter and musician, however the music seemed hollow and it made his performance reflect similarly. I truly felt for the guy when he apologized and said he, "Couldn't afford to have my bass player or drummer with me." I guess that just shows the cut-throat nature of the music industry, even with years of experience and talent, still traveling broke on tour.
I was excited to see a different side of Cyndi, as she is promoting her latest album, Memphis Blues (8 weeks as #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart). Regardless of her song selection, I remember being impressed with how funny, energetic, and beautiful she sounded and appeared on stage. Although the show was off to a late start, we hardly noticed, the bottle and table made the time fly by. Cyndi came out with big curly pink hair, wearing a black lingerie slip, and chatted with the audience a minute before kicking it off with Just Your Fool and Shattered Dreams. She stopped for a moment, and took another minute to "Introduce the band cause they're pretty badass."
Cyndi Lauper was just as bold and beautiful as I remembered her. She didn't need anything fancy to put on a great show; she rocked it all evening, just her and the band against the plain House of Blues backdrop. Cyndi completed an incredible blues set: Early In The Mornin', Romance In The Dark, How Blue Can You Get, Down Don't Bother Me, Down So Low, Crossroads, Rollin' And Tumblin' (Muddy Waters cover), Don't Cry No More and Who Let In The Rain. Even after completing quite a set, Cyndi and her band returned for an extensive encore, including her 80s hits only played more mellow with blues undertones: Change Of Heart, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, She Bop, Time After Time, Mother Earth, and True Colors.
Although I am sure a few pop fans were heavily disappointed in the mood of Cyndi Lauper's show, I really think she proved herself as a talented blues singer; not an easy accomplishment. I must also take a moment to emphasize the incredible talent of her "badass" band. They were so good, at times I could hear the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan in the guitar. I believe in rock and roll, and at it's heart you will find blues. This evening, I think Cyndi proved herself beyond that of a pop star or humanitarian, but that of a true rock-n-roll singer and songwriter.

If you are interested in hearing more about the new Cyndi, she will be on The House of Blues Radio Hour the weekend of September 25th.

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