Last night was a very unique and uplifting experience, and I don't think I'm ever going to forget it. Speaking of course about the "True Colors Tour" (to benefit the Human Rights Campaign --and Toronto Pride as it turns out.) I've never been to an event (other than Pride) where all the gay folk outnumbered everyone else so blatantly and it was wonderfully liberating to just "be" there. It was an opportunity for friends, and couples and loved-ones in general to relax and be themselves.
Openly-expressed affection was absolutely everywhere and over the course of the evening you couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude to the organizers... and just downright proud to be a Canadian. We (gay folk) really do have a lot to be thankful for, living where we can be acknowledged for who we are, have same-sex work benefits, insurance policies and the like and the right to be married. Even in the US, (where everything is supposed to be life, liberty and apple pie) they don't enjoy the same liberties and freedoms that we do. And admittedly, sometimes we take that for granted. Last night was a huge reminder.
Now, on the downside... I largely didn't enjoy the music. Granted, we arrived late and near the end of The Dresdon Dolls (I may have misspelled that) set. They were OK. Very artistic, but not very melodic material. Certainly not boring. The entire evening was plagued with sound-system issues and I think the chick from the dolls was a little new to the whole "performing live" mic technique, so most of her vocals were distorted and more than a little unintelligible.
Deborah Harry... ehhhh heh heh... ssssss... let's just say she still sings well. I've never been a fan, not even of Blondie... and quite honestly Deborah Harry's "tired, truck-stop hooker with a hangover" image as a gay icon just mystifies me. But oh well. Good for her. She's there for a good cause, and you have to give her kudos for that. Even if you wished someone off-stage would tell her.... "Uhh, y'know what? You really don't have to move if you don't want to. It won't take anything away from your art." (with reference to her... umm.... dancing??? strutting??? about the stage) I told my boss that she was a bit "sad", to which she replied "Yeah she kind of has that "old whore that's been ridden-hard and put-away wet" look to her." Even now that makes me laugh.
Erasure... I don't get it. I understand they're pioneers. One of, if not the first openly gay pop bands. But the lead-singer dude... god-awful. Again, I was never a fan of Erasure, and I was surprised to learn that I had actually heard a good 3 or 4 songs before in my life. They're lyrics were good. I'll give them that. I also thought it was cool that their entire ensemble (band) consisted of 3 back-up singers and a guy with a MacBook. Too bad the lead singer sounds like Robert Smith (from The Cure) being forced through a juicer by some sharp object. Harsh, yeah. I know. I did enjoy how much the crowd enjoyed them though. The crowd WENT NUTS for Erasure. So Hey... it's all good. I wasn't harmed by it. Just had to derive pleasure from watching everyone else have such a good time.
Cyndi Lauper, was truly wonderful. She opened her show with "I've Got a Hole in My Heart That Goes All the Way to China". lol It was great. This was my first time ever seeing her live and she was just as sweet, and wacky, and down-to-earth as I ever imagined her to be. She was down running around in the audience and shaking hands with the fans. The whole tour was her baby and her vision. And for that, I'm just in awe of what a wonderful lady she is. She played quite a few new songs from her upcoming album, and a few of the classics ("Time After Time", "Money Changes Everything", "I Drove All Night", "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", and "She Bop" one of my personal favs.) I loved that she covered a Prince song... ("When U Were Mine") ...how cool is that? And she had just the right energy. Again, sound problems were a real issue. There was one point where she was talking to the crowd and introducing a song and there was no sound whatsoever until midway through the song. God only knows what she was saying. I regret not being able to hear. While Cyndi was on-stage the crowd was in a state of perpetual movement whether to the ballads or the up-tempo stuff. One big party. And overall a very emotionally moving evening. For her finale, the entire ensemble of acts from the evening came out on stage to perform "Take a Chance on Me" by ABBA, with giant multi-coloured balloons being launched into the audience. And then the show closed with everyone, (audience included) singing "True Colors". An opportunity for much hugging and swaying... and feeling the freedom to be whole, and safe from the negativity that all gay people endure at one point or another. It was gratifying, and nurturing.
Oh... and before I run... Margaret Cho... HYSTERICAL. She was the epitome of funny. I especially enjoyed the "Yo Puss" rap. I'm going to look for it online, and post it if I can.
Sorry Shawn; no pics. But I did send Cyndi some major Kitty-Luv-Energy!