LIVE: Cyndi Lauper & Rosie O’Donnell @ Proctors, 8/11/09


At one point during Tuesday night’s concert, they joked that it sounds like a potential TV sit-com, “The Cyn & Rosie Show.” And at times it was.

After her 25-minute stand-up routine (topics: menstruation to menopause), Rosie O’Donnell introduced Cyndi Lauper as “a living legend, a musical genius and an all-around good girl.” Then, slipping behind a microphone, Rosie assisted on backing vocals, as Lauper and her band whirled through their opening volley of Prince’s “When You Were Mine,” the crowd-pleasing “She Bop,” “Goonies R Good Enough,” “All Through the Night” (with Lauper on dulcimer) and Joni Mitchell’s “Carey.”

In between songs, however, O’Donnell and Lauper launched into several decidedly surreal, verbal free-for-alls, bouncing from one pop-culture reference to another in a split second. And they went on and on. And on.

The audience seemed to love the talk-fest interuptions, but they robbed the concert of its pacing and momentum, and when Rosie left the stage after the fifth song, Lauper had to work hard to pump up the crowd. She made frequent forays off stage and into the audience as she sang “Hole in My Heart (All the Way to China),” “Change of Heart” and the raucous electro-thump of “The Ballad of Cleo & Joe.”

But Lauper was in fine form, and pump them up she did. “Fearless” – with its a cappella intro and some excellent electric cello playing from guitarist-bandleader Knox Chandler – was followed by “Time After Time,” and the crowd eagerly sang along.

Back in the early ’80s it would have been easy to write Lauper off as a mere thrift-shop novelty act, all MTV image and no substance. But things aren’t always what they seem, and Lauper has evolved into a major talent with considerable staying power.

Apparently, sometimes girls want to have more than just fun. Way to go, Cyn.

Read my review for the Times Union here.




Random Lauper quote: “Wasn’t Jimmy Durante from Schenectady?”

By the fifth song, Lauper had kicked off her shoes, and she did the rest of the concert barefoot.

Food that fans brought to the concert was donated to the Schenectady Inner City Ministry.

During a long story about being mistaken for a drag queen in Provincetown, Lauper launched into an impromptu rendition of Cole Porter’s “Gay Paree.”

Guitarist Knox Chandler is no stranger to the Capital Region having played at 288 Lark in Albany on a regular basis in the ’80s with the Gary Windo Orchestra.

Knox Chandler
Knox Chandler

  1. Jennifer Meyring says

    it was an awesome show I had a great time & Im glad I went!! They were both great together!!I only wish i couldve met them,oh well.maybe next time. Bravo to cyndi & rosie & the band!!!

  2. obliterati says

    For the record, Jimmy Durante was born in Brooklyn. Nice shots Greg.

  3. Greg says

    Thanks for clearing that up, Obli. I just thought that it was way wonderful for Cyndi – or anybody, for that matter – to be name-checking the Big Schnoz. Oh, and by the way, ’twas not me, but Sara who took those cool Cyndi photos.

  4. M says

    I loved seeing Cyndi at Proctors! The only drawback was that the crowed was a bit older so many people sat for almost the entire concert. I wanted to stand but I thought I would be told to sit down and didn’t want conflict to ruin my music ‘buzz’ so I sat too. Rosie was really funny! I didn’t think their conversations ruined the momentum of the concert, I thought they were awesome.

  5. Greg says

    Yeah, I thought the crowd was a bit too sedate, too. Cyndi was really working hard to get ’em on their feet.

    And the Rosie-Cyndi repartee was fun for a while, but it just went on tooooo long for me. If Rosie wanted more time in the spotlight, it would have worked better for me if she had extended her stand-up set, which I thought was pretty good – although not quite as political or topical as I had expected. (Reallly, still ragging on on Donald Trump and her “The View” foe?) What about Obama, health care or something – anything – a little more current-events-ish?

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