Tina Turner with Cyndi Lauper

If Cyndi Lauper and Tina Turner were new and upcoming artists putting out the music they have been making in the last several years, they would be lumped in the category of "Alternative". As it stands, they're considered Top 40, but I consider their music to be more alternative than many of the bands played on "Alternative" stations. This says a lot about the category, and the music of these two artists.

She doesn't bop any more

A pregnant Cyndi Lauper opened the show with a very simple set. She was quite energetic, which made it all the more surprising that she decided to tone down classic fast hits, She Bop, and didn't play Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Also disappointing was the True Colours wasn't in the set (unless I missed all these songs as I walking to my seats which I doubt). Most of the songs she played were from her latest release Sisters of Avalon, with a few songs showing the promise of the old. She ended her set with an aggressive version of Money Changes Everything. Oh, and for those of you who care, it's a boy.

The female Mick Jagger

The evening, however, belonged to Tina Turner (who has been around longer in the music scene than the Rolling Stones have). This is a person who has been through a lot, a person who actually was strong enough to get out of an abusive situation. More than the music, I partly went to this show to see a strong and courageous figure in action (sounds corny, I know, but it's true).

Turner's set was elaborate, and the design and lighting were excellent. There were two huge screens on either side of the stage that gave even the farthest spectators a great perspective of the events happening on the stage.

The videos were good for the theme songs she sang, We Don't Need Another Hero (theme from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome) and Goldeneye (theme from the James Bond movie starring Pierce Brosnan). Classics included River Deep Mountain High, Proud Mary, Private Dancer, and What's Love Got to Do With it. There were quite a few covers: Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love, Anita Baker's Whatever You Want, and John Waite's Missing You. She played stuff from her latest release, Wildest Dreams, including the title track, but I'll be honest and say it was not for the new music that I went to this concert.

At 57, Turner would give most of the male vocalists today (let one the classic screamers from the 70s) a run for their money. Her voice never faltered. The music was hard, particularly in songs like We Don't Need Another Hero, and River Deep Mountain High (a song once covered by the legendary proto-metal rock group Deep Purple). Compared to some of the current shows with similar quality lighting and stage set up (KISS, White Zombie, etc.), the show was decent. The sexual innuendo didn't do much for me, but I suppose it worked for some of the female members of the audience.

The best part of the show was the fact that Turner was really enjoying herself. This is a show not be missed if you want to see a legend in action.

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org || June 21, 1997