Tuesday, April 24 , 2018, 4:32 am | Fog/Mist 52º

 
 
 
 

Paul Mann: Cyndi Lauper Takes ‘Detour,’ Bringing Country Tribute and More to Arlington

Cyndi Lauper performs a diverse 14-song set during a concert Sept. 29 at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Cyndi Lauper performs a diverse 14-song set during a concert Sept. 29 at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara. (L. Paul Mann / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Cyndi Lauper sauntered onto the stage of the historic Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara on Sept. 29, literally with a suitcase in hand.

The feisty 63-year-old singer opened with a Wanda Jackson cover song from her new country tribute album, Detour.

The pop icon, who has sold more than 50 million records, belted out the song in her trademark bluesy voice, sounding more like a teenage rock star than a sexagenarian. The singer proceeded to lay down a diverse 14-song set, exhibiting the same crystal clear vocals throughout the entire two-hour performance.

In a style similar to comedian Steve Martin, who recently played in Santa Barbara, Lauper spent as much time injecting witty stories telling into her set as she did the music. The result was obviously endearing to the adoring crowd, who sat patiently through most of the set.

Early in the show, Lauper brought out her opening act performer, Charlie Musselwhite, as her special guest. She praised the 72-year-old harmonica player, who played on her 2010 hit blues album, Memphis Blues. From the Blues, Lauper turned to pop music with a tribute to the R&B rock rhythms of Prince.

The lavish theater at first was under the strict control of a draconian security staff. But late in the set, the mood suddenly changed when Lauper played her 1983 hit cover of “Money Changes Everything,” originally a tune by the punk rock group The Brains. Shortly after she began singing the song, the singer abruptly ordered the band to stop. Eyeing a particularly aggressive security guard, she yelled at him, “Wait, we’re not allowed to dance? I’m up here breaking my a**, and the audience is sitting in their chairs. Where the hell are we, a Mormon church?” With that said, all hell broke loose and the pent-up audience rushed the stage, overwhelming the astonished security guards. From that point, it was game on with the crowd singing, dancing and high-fiving the amped-up singer.

Lauper led her crack band into a two-song encore featuring her two biggest hits. The reworked songs featured a country tinge reflecting the talents of the highly skilled band. The crowd sang nearly every word of “Time After Time” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Lauper earlier had mentioned the latter song, recalling the irony that it was written by a man. Long a proponent of LBGT and equal rights for women, Lauper changed the lyrics at the end of the song and encouraged everyone to sing along, “Girls just want equal funds.”

The beloved singer returned for one last solo encore, playing an acoustic guitar and singing “True Colors.” The song was both the title track and the first single released from Lauper's second album. She ended the evening by urging everyone to vote, reminding the audience, “It’s the first time in history we can vote for one of us.”

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

Cyndi Lauper praised her special guest, Charlie Musselwhite, a 72-year-old harmonica player who opened the show. Click to view larger
Cyndi Lauper praised her special guest, Charlie Musselwhite, a 72-year-old harmonica player who opened the show. (L. Paul Mann / Noozhawk photo)
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >