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True Colors is a can't-miss party




The True Colors Tour rolled through Tampa Bay on Wednesday night. Sadly, the Stuck in the 80s staff was preoccupied working on this week's podcast. But chief correspondent and uber-fan Jane had great seats and sends in her review:

The hair was a little different. The voices were a smidge lower. The audience was bit more seasoned. But last night at Ruth Eckerd Hall, if you were listening, you might swear you had been rhythmically zipped back to the '80s, dancing all the way.

The True Colors tour came. It saw. It conquered. Fabulously. Here are some highlights:

BEST INTRODUCTION: Show emcee Carson Kressley called The B-52s to stage, dubbing them "the world's greatest party band." Damn straight! (And hopefully that settles the true winner of yesterday's "Cyndi vs. B-52s blog battle.)

LOVE THOSE CLASSICS: Shunning traditional tour economics, the B-52s' set list focused heavily on their classics - including the must-hears "Love Shack," "Mesopotamia," "Rock Lobster" and "Private Idaho." Still, new tunes "Love in the Year 3000" and "Funplex" were fun too.

B52s TAKE AN ADVIL TODAY: Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, and Keith Strickland conveyed the sense of fun and abandon that have been their hallmark since their early days in Athens, Ga. And as the crowd gamely tried to go "down, down, down" with "Rock Lobster," save for the creaking of our collective knees, we might have been dancing the night away at an true '80s shindig.

HERE COMES CYNDI: Charming, warm and funny, Lauper commanded the stage and the audience with her energy and zest. A whirling dervish in platform shoes (which she removed halfway through her set, saying they just weren't working for her) she showed her skill both as a performer and musician.

THE DREADED NEW STUFF: The songs from her new album "Bring Ya to the Brink," played much better live than on the disc, freed from the overproduction and studio bells and whistles. Tour host Rosie O'Donnell even joined the act as a backup singer for "Into the Nightlife" and "Rocking Chair."

BUT WE JUST WANNA HAVE FUN: No surprise, it was Cyndi's established hits, many with some new twists, that supercharged the crowd. A rocking, slightly stripped-down version of "She Bop" and a lovely, melodic "Time After Time" on which Cyndi played the dulcimer, were delightful and fresh. With Rosie on drums (not half bad, either) and the crowd breaking into impromptu conga lines, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" provided the energetic apex to a rocking good time.

ALL TOGETHER NOW: A group sing of Cyndi's "True Colors" brought home the evening's message of equality and empowerment for all. As the crowd played pass-back with giant multicolored balloons and sang along with the stars on stage, we all became, for just a moment, one really big, really happy family. And it was great.

[AP photos from New York City concert]

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:35pm]


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