Cyndi Lauper @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – 13th October 2008


Cyndi Lauper is probably best known for a string of hits in the 80’s, with the album “She’s So Unusual” gaining her title of the first artist in history to have four top-five singles released from one album. Time After Time and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun were massive massive hits back then, it seemed the whole world was mad for Lauper’s blend of punk and catchy dance anthems, she was even put in charge as musical director for Spielberg’s The Goonies.

Now that’s all well and good, but that was back in the 80’s, which quite frankly was a long time ago. So is this some sort of a comeback? Not really, Cyndi has been hard at work throughout the last two decades producing several albums that have been pretty well received, whilst building up quite a following in Japan and being a devoted advocate for the gay communities.


Tonight at the Symphony Hall we’re a half hour behind schedule, no biggy as this means I’ve arrived in time to catch the support act Jessie J. She walks onto the stage and gives the cold crowd a bit of banter. She can’t believe she’s performing in such a huge venues, far cry from her usual haunt of London clubs. Jessie doesn’t even have a set list prepped, so she has to announce each song to the sound desk so they can provide the right backing track. Unfortunately for Jessie, the crowd didn’t really seem to react to her, despite a very strong performance, and multiple requests to the audience for them to stand up (for the appropriately named “stand up”), have a dance, or just clap their hands were met with no reaction. One or two wild cards did rise to their feet towards the end after much cajoling , but I can’t help but feel the overwhelming feeling was of disinterest. A real shame because Jessie J really did give it all she was worth, and the energy and enthusiasm the young Londoner brought to the stage shone throughout. One to watch for the future I reckon.

It seems this reserved audience was reserving their energy for the main performance, and after a nice interval break with obligatory ice creams and glasses of wine, everyone returned to their seats in anticipation of Cyndi’s appearance.


After a painful 10 mins or so of suspense, some chanting, and a few disjointed cries of “We love you Cyndi” there was some movement in the dark as band members moved into position before Cyndi Lauper literally jumped into the spotlight and broke into her first song of the night. I was highly impressed with the amount of excitement and aerobic moves Cyndi pulled on stage, to put this in perspective she is around 10 years older than my mother, and I don’t see her climbing speaker stacks, jumping off the stage, running round the crowd, jumping back on, and pulling every shape aside from summersaults and backflips. This is the sort of stage activity normally seen by rock and roll bands, rather than female vocalists in their mid 50’s. The crowd went wild, everybody rose to their feet and unfurled banners, whilst many a digital camera and phone were thrust forward in hope of capturing some of the magic. When Cyndi descended into the throngs of the crowd, everybody kept a very respectful distance, with only a few kneeling down on the floor in front of her to show some Wayne’s World – esque praise.


Cyndi Lauper really did put everything into her performance, and it was down to her dynamic presence and sprightly energy on stage to feed the crowd and get such a terrific response. After the first two songs, she had a quick chat with the audience and broke a few jokes, that went over my head but had everyone else in stitches, before saddling up with a guitar and continuing with the night. Unfortunately it was at this point I was approached by one of the many ushers that lurk in the dark and reminded that I should be leaving. My time with Cyndi was up, but for those with real tickets and no limitations the night had only just begun…

Review & Photos – Tom Horton

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *