True Colors Tour 2008: Puppini Sisters, Andy Bell, Cyndi Lauper, Wanda Sykes & Carson Kressley

Puppini Sister

B-52’s and Cyndi Lauper photo gallery


Like my man Gregg Gillis, I like to rock out to 80’s tunes now and then. The line-up for this year’s True Colors show headlined by Cyndi Lauper at The Greek also held a little of Girl Talk’s mashup feel.

The Puppini Sisters are a retro girl group in the costumed vein of The Pipettes but with about a 30 year gap in respective genres. To fit the night’s theme, the trio included a 40’s swing version of Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” amongst their several covers.

Next up was Andy Bell, of Erasure fame. Bell was without his Erasure counterpart Vince Clarke or a backing band but his amazing voice made up for the minimal setup. It also got me excited about seeing Vince Clarke with Alison Moyet at next week’s Yaz reunion shows. Cyndi made a surprise early appearance and sang with Bell on his last song.

The emcee for the night was Queer Eye’s Carson Kressley, who looked surprisingly comfortable doing mini standup sets between each act. His running gag was greeting the crowd as every other L.A. venue (Staples, The Bowl, etc) besides The Greek. And being ever the fashion guru, he performed several wardrobe changes.

Next up was actress/comedian Wanda Sykes. She of course talked about the presidential election and pulled out some hilarious jokes tailored to the gay & lesbian contingent in the audience. It was a pleasant surprise seeing Sykes on the bill because I probably would not seek out one of her solo shows.

After a short break, it was The B-52’s turn. Like Lauper, the B-52’s are touring in support of a new album, their first in 16 years. I was fully prepared for a slew of classics from the Athens quartet. The snob in me wanted to hear only their early material but I ended up equally enjoying “Roam” and “Love Shack”. The songs for the most part were performed faithfully to the originals and “Rock Lobster,” for example, was thankfully spared from sounding like a salsa-fied Rock Langostino. [3-year anniversary of Ron’s now-classic post! –Ed.].

After one last short break and an appearance by Carson, Cyndi Lauper finally took the stage. She opened the curtain herself by grabbing one end and running across the entire length of the stage. She didn’t wear a Statue of Liberty costume this time around, but instead climbed up a giant mockup of the statue’s hand and torch to sing her opening song. Cyndi’s knows how to please a crowd and she ventured out into the seats several times ’all through the night’ but, from my vantage point, never too ’out in the faraway’. Excuse me for having Cyndi lyrics on the brain. When I heard that she would be doing a special encore with all the artists on stage, my friend Janette and I had a contest to see who could guess the last song. At different points in the night we both picked “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” When she introduced “True Colors” as the closer, we both thought to ourselves, “duh.” Here is her entire set list:

Change of Heart
Rocking Chair
Set Your Heart
When U Were mine
She Bop
Into The Night Life
I Drove All Night
Girls Just wanna have fun
Same Ol’ Story
Time after Time
Money Changes Everything
Encore w/ all artists:
Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
True Colors

B-52’s and Cyndi Lauper photo gallery