By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Cyndi Lauper is one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all-time!
She is one of the few artists that has received an Emmy Award (for her guest appearance on NBC’s Mad About You), two Grammys, and a Tony Award (for Kinky Boots’ Best Original Score). Several of Ms. Lauper’s hits, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “I Drove All Night,” and “True Colors” have become timeless classics. Also, Ms. Lauper has inspired generations of singer-songwriters to follow their dreams and champions various civil, human and LGBT rights throughout her four-decade career.
Earlier this year, Ms. Lauper released her eleventh studio album, Detour, which paid homage to country music pioneers such as Wanda Jackson, Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty, and Willie Nelson. In my April 27, 2016 interview with Ms. Lauper, she stated that the songs that were on the album: “The songs are a part of history. No matter where we are whether it is the Midwest or the Southwest, we are connected by our history. I thought that these were great songs to do to showcase country music history.”
Last night, Ms. Lauper brought her Detour tour to Kansas City’s Uptown Theater. But before she took the stage, opening act Charlie Musselwhite entertained the crowd with his trio. Mr. Musselwhite gave the Uptown Theater audience a masterclass in Blues. The audience was enchanted by his nearly 45-minute set as he electrified the crowd with some of his standards.
Ms. Lauper opened the nearly two-and-a-half-hour concert with “Funnel of Love” and then, immediately got the crowd on their feet with her 1983 hit “She Bop,” which the audience roared when she played her recorder solo. Throughout the evening, Ms. Lauper shared wonderful anecdotes about Detour including how she waited nearly 20 years to record with music luminary Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein and how he handed her Ray Price’s “Heartache by the Numbers,” which was one of Detour’s first singles. Ms. Lauper also shared memories of watching Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts with her grandmother and the disdain that she had with TV classic Queen for a Day’s grand prize: a household appliance. “You don’t see Queen Elizabeth doing laundry!” she stated to her audience.
Throughout the evening, The Uptown Theater audience fed Ms. Lauper and her band energy, as they weaved in-and-out of some of Ms. Lauper’s greatest hits such as “I Drove All Night” and “Money Changes Everything.” They also continued paying homage to country greats such as Skeeter Davis (“The End of the World”), Patsy Cline (“Walking After Midnight”), and Patsy Montana (“I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart”). However, one of the poignant moments of the concert was when she paid homage to the late music icon Prince with a touching rendition of “When You Were Mine,” a song that the Purple One wrote for her.
Ms. Lauper closed her impeccable concert with an encore that featured “Misty Blue” and three of timeless classics: “Time After Time,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “True Colors,” which she reminded everyone to vote in this upcoming election. This was my first time seeing the entertainment icon live, and she did not disappoint. Her vocals were superb, her energy was contagious, and proved that she still unusual after 33 years in the music industry.
Final thoughts & grade: If you are an 80s fan, country music lover, aspiring singer-songwriters and pop culture aficionados, you should see the Detour tour. Ms. Lauper puts on a show that will make you laugh, cry, think, and sing. Thank you for visiting Kansas City, Cyndi! Come back soon! A