The True Colors Tour moved into Boston, June 23rd 2007, on the heals of a
monumental vote against the ban on gay marriage in Massachusetts. What a
night it was! The tour's message against hate crimes took a back seat to the
celebration of this extension of freedom for the gay community.
The weather was in complete cooperation for this outdoor festival
orchestrated by gay icon and 80's pop diva Cyndi Lauper. Attendees were
instantly greeted by people handing out bags of purple bracelets sporting
the phrase "Erase Hate," and advertising the site matthewshepard.org; to
which a portion of the proceeds from the night's events would be donated.
The message was equally represented under the tent. Cardboard cut outs of
Lady Liberty, holding a microphone ablaze with a rainbow flame, and
"Equality for all" tattooed on her arm, stood at each end of the stage. The
stage equipment was equally adorned in rainbow colors, except for green. I
stood there wondering what green had done to piss everyone off, and then I
noticed the green Velcro used to hold down the wires on the stage, "oh there
As the crowd funneled in it was easy to pick out the openly flamboyant
members of the community, yet most of them were not so obvious. I felt
waves of pride wash over me as I saw parents with their children. This
country will truly have a great future if we can teach our children love for
diversity. Then there was that guy, you know the one. That one guy who
always seems to dance his heart out to every song even though the people
around him are all sitting calmly. at least here, that guy could dance!
On with the show. Margaret Cho opened as the night's MC. Throwing PC to the
wind as usual, and making us laugh hysterically in the process, she spouted
humor mixed with a message, "Being gay is not a choice; but it is a lot of
fun." I think we got the point when she introduced Dresden Dolls by saying
"I'm gonna leave my pussy out and maybe one will fall in."
The Gossip were the first to perform. Beth Ditto gracing the stage looking
like Ricki Lake in Hairspray and lulling the audience with her smooth jazzy
voice. She dedicated the song Standing in the way of Control as a reaction
to George Bushes reelection, asking her gay friends to shout out "We're
gonna do what we want anyway; we're gonna fuck who we want anyway."
Next to the stage were Dresden Dolls who were met with great fanfare from
their hometown fans. They began with impressive energy,snapping their heads
in tune with the tempo to accentuate the angry feminist sound that their
fans have come to know and love. They put on a visually pleasing performance
in the most simplistic way. Small simple movements almost made me feel as
though I were watching a contemporary dance as they sang Coin-Operated Boy,
and the crowd cheered because for most of them, this was their favorite
Rufus Wainwright and his gang took to the stage dressed like a barber shop
quartet, even though there were eight of them. He wooed us all with his
smooth voice and told us what an honor it was to be sharing a stage with two
women who were very influential to him as a toddler. He told us his first
concert was Cyndi Lauper when he was eight; and he used to sit in the back of
his dad's car singing Heart of Glass pretending to be Blondie.
Libidos rose as Debbie Harry crossed the stage in a mini skirt and cleavage
flaunting top. Her sexy voice didn't let the hormones calm any. She sang a
couple new songs but kept us in the 80's mood with her classic simple dance
moves that seem to transcend time. And even though the crowd was "excited,"
most of them were eerily still... except for the dancing dude; remember him?
Erasure got the crowd to their feet for the first time all night. He mixed
genres with the sound of 80's techno keyboard and his 70's style rump
shakin'. I would like to offer a quote, or tell you which songs were played,
but the crowd was screaming too loud for me to hear much of anything. I
guess they liked it.
And finally, the Diva of the night, Cyndi Lauper. Cyndi delivered most of
her message during the intermission. She let us know that she wanted to do
this tour because she has friends and family in the community and wanted
everyone to feel empowered. Judy Shepard taught to never hate the healers;
"hate is no longer acceptable directed toward anyone." We watched a video
aimed at enforcing the anti hate message and encouraging the audience to
write to congress to pass the hate crime bill. And then she sang. Entering
the stage in a tight black dress with a large feather hat that transformed
itself into the colors of the rainbow, she sang and danced across the stage
with an energy that would put most young rock stars to shame. She sang all
the songs we love, including the song that always gets her "into trouble;"
She Bop, and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. The other bands joined her to end
the show with a collaborative True Colors performance that brought tears of
unity to my eyes.
With all the bands spreading their words of love, and the crowd eating up
every second of it, I would say the night was a huge success with not once
ounce of disappointment... except maybe for the guys and girls hoping Debbie
Harry's shirt would open just a little bit more.