Cher opened the show standing atop a 20-foot pillar; she ended it riding an enclosed platform high over the arena floor, waving to fans regally, like the icon she is.
Cher is not shy about putting herself on pedestals, and during Saturday’s lavish show inside a nearly sold-out Sprint Center, she justified her eminence with a 95-minute spectacle that showcased her career in music, television and film and showed off her physical endurance, which is still impressive, especially for a 68-year-old.
Like previous Cher extravaganzas, her Dressed to Kill Tour is a bombardment of sights and sounds. Almost every song featured its own set and theatrical theme. There were costume and wardrobe changes galore and a flashy light show.
And there was an abundance of dancing, acrobatics and aerial feats from the 10 dancers who were part of a supporting cast that also included a five-piece band and two backup singers.
There were plenty of videos, too, many of them nostalgic montages of photos and video clips from nearly every phase of her life. None was more poignant than the footage from “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour,” when she was in her mid-20s and married to Sonny Bono. For their signature duet, “I Got You Babe,” Cher sang along with his recorded vocals to video clips of his performances.
Cher has said this will be her final tour, though her Living Proof Tour, which lasted from 2002 to 2005, was officially billed as a farewell tour. At times this show felt like one long and lavish valediction.
The set list visited nearly every part of her music catalog, starting with “The Beat Goes On,” another Sonny and Cher standard. She followed that with three of her biggest early solo hits: “Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves,” “Dark Lady” and “Half-Breed.” For all three songs there were separate skits and costumes; for “Half-Breed,” Cher wore a stunning floor-length American Indian headdress.
Other visual treatments: For “Dressed to Kill” she was a vampire; for “Take It Like a Man” she emerged from inside a Trojan horse to join her dancers, dressed like gladiators; and for her cover of “Walking in Memphis,” the screen broadcast the video in which Cher dresses like Elvis.
She closed with three of her biggest anthems: “I Found Someone,” “If I Could Turn Back Time” and then the disco bomb “Believe.” All three prompted raucous ovations from a crowd that spanned three generations.
For her finale, as she sang the inspirational ballad “I Hope You Find It,” Cher rode that platform to the back of the arena, as if in the midst of heavenly ascension. She would return to the stage to bow and wave and blow kisses to all corners of the arena. If that truly was her last farewell, it lifted her stature to greater heights.
The garrulous opener celebrated the 30th anniversary of her breakthrough “She’s So Unusual” album by treating the crowd to several of its hits, including “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Money Changes Everything,” “She Bop” and “All Through the Night.”
Woman’s World; Strong Enough; Dressed to Kill; Little Man/All I Ever Need Is You video interlude; The Beat Goes On; I Got You Babe; Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves; Dark Lady; Half-Breed; Welcome to Burlesque; You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me; Take It Like a Man; Walking in Memphis; Just Like Jesse James; I Found Someone; If I Could Turn Back Time; Believe; I Hope You Find It.