Home Gigs Gig Review : Cher – Here We Go Again Tour – SSE Arena – Belfast

Gig Review : Cher – Here We Go Again Tour – SSE Arena – Belfast

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The SSE Arena Belfast, the cities largest indoor venue tonight hosts the Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning icon Cher as her Here We Go Again Tour rolls through the city.
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Unbelievably this young lady, Cherilyn Sarkisian started her career way back in the 1960s as one half of Sonny & Cher making her mark as an artist in her own right, allowing herself the ability to step out of a male-dominated industry to grab it by the balls and shine all on her own. Tonight is the culmination of five-plus decades of that journey most of which has been spent at the very top and a legacy to be unfolded before an army of fans at the SSE Arena this evening.

Tonight’s opening act is Irish supergroup Spring Break! A quirky collection of the best of 80’s characters all in one band banging out all the classics from said era. A fun band indeed, when they headline their own shows it’s not unusual to see the whole audience turn up in fancy dress ready to party! The craic is 90 as we say in Ireland and tonight the party has well and truly started! The surrounding halls of the arena are packed with jovial individuals, permed wigs as far as the eye can see and you can tell by the atmosphere inside the arena itself that tonight Belfast will be in for a treat. The SSE is bouncing to the sounds of Madonna, Lionel Richie and more and the arena is lapping it up as an entre awaiting the arrival of the Queen herself.

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9:15 and the lights go down to the deafening sound of 8000 + devoted fans, the tarpaulin drops and a highly ornate stage is revealed with Cher elevated from the roof and lowered down onto the stage surrounded by a plethora of male and female dancers, breaking into ‘This Is A Woman’s World’. Her dancers adorned in Roman outfits and busting a move to the beat along with a highly energetic backing vocalist who matches them move for move.

As ‘Strong Enough’ closes Cher takes a breather and greets the audience met by roaring adoration from the crowd, Cher being Cher takes the time to tell a story to her 40th birthday, quite a story too! If you’re not cool enough to be here you’ll never know it, but it was worth the ticket price alone. The moral of the story here is “What is your granny doing tonight?” As Cher explains herself tonight’s extravaganza is only about to start, we are transported into a world of colourful explosions, audible and visual treats, as expected Chers vocals are crisps and clear it’s like you’re listening to the original recordings. Between each track we’re treated to montages of her incredible career to date, to allow the crew to change costumes no doubt as this truly is a spectacle to enjoy.

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We’re taking on a journey through the years and fads that took over the world from the swinging 60’s, the hippie revolution and the days of disco right through to height of her career in the 80’s and the magic of ABBA which once again brought Cher back into the hearts and mind of her fans with the success of the mighty Mamma Mia.

The arena may be seated but there are bodies dancing as far as the eye can see, they live for this artist and the music she brought to their lives reaches over generations, there are mothers with daughters, and daughters with their daughters dancing side by side. It’s a magical sight to see and a rarity in today’s musical world as many of those who have held such a rich career, often call it a day before their time but not this crazy lady. Something tells me this lady now 73 years young is gonna be dragged kicking and screaming from the stage.

A revelation, a musical legend in her own right, and for one night only, Belfast’s own.

Photography by metalplanetmusic
Review by Mark McGrogan Rock n Load
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