From The Movie Snob
I first became aware of current pop music in or about 1983, and my earliest favorite artists were performers like Huey Lewis and the News (Sports), Billy Joel (An Innocent Man), Bruce Springsteen (Born in the U.S.A.), and, yes, Cyndi Lauper (She’s So Unusual). I was convinced that she had way more talent than that Madonna tramp and would come out on top. So maybe I didn’t call that one right, but I have still always wanted to see Cyndi in concert. (I had tickets to see her in a free outdoor-festival concert a few years ago, but it got rained and flooded out.) Tonight I finally did so, at Dallas’s Lakewood Theater. It was an entertaining evening, although not quite what I expected. I had heard that her song “True Colors” has become something of a gay anthem, but I was a little surprised at the extent to which the concert was more like a gay-rights rally. The opening act was a woman whose name I have forgotten, and she wore her very blue-state views on her sleeve the whole time—to the crowd’s delight. Although I could not embrace her politics, she had some talent, and her songs were catchy enough. I did think she kind of missed the mark with one song that I think was intended to skewer Texas for its comparatively frequent use of the death penalty; the theme was basically that you’d better not kill in Texas because you’ll get killed yourself, which probably is not going to offend anybody in the pro-capital-punishment crowd.
Anyway, Cyndi did a set that was almost 90 minutes long and included just about every hit song of hers that I ever knew of: all five singles from She’s So Unusual, plus “Change of Heart, “True Colors,” “I Drove All Night,” and an abbreviated a capella rendition of the theme from the movie The Goonies. Her voice is pretty much the same as it was back in the day, and although she really changed up the instrumentation and tone on some of her hits (I’m sure she has to, to keep from going crazy from repetition), they were still quite recognizable and enjoyable. She didn’t hesitate to speak her mind about things, either. At one point, apparently a Hare Krishna in the front row gave her a lei, which she accepted, but not without commenting on some experiences she had had with the Krishnas and criticizing some sexist practices she observed. Anyhoo, I had a good time, and I can finally quit wondering whether I’m ever going to get to see Cyndi Lauper in concert.