Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
May 13, 2016
By Kellie Gormly
I admit it: As a longtime entertainment writer covering country and pop music, and a child of the ’80s, I had a hard time picturing pop icon Cyndi Lauper as a country singer.
Yet Friday night, at her Detour tour stop at the Carnegie Library Music Hall in Munhall, I saw it for myself. Here is the pink-haired Lauper, whose outlandish but cool sense of style and lively songs dominated radio airwaves in the ’80s, standing in front of a screen with an image of a rural road and a rope. And somehow, especially as she gave us history lessons and tribute to legends like Patsy Cline, she captured country style.
In a nearly hour and a half set, Lauper combined classic country songs from her new album, the appropriately named “Detour,” with her ’80s favorites. She would transition seamlessly among song styles and eras, punctuated by discussions with the audience that have the intimate feel this venue allows.
The country classics on the setlist included “Heartaches by the Number” and “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” The songs that the mostly middle-aged audience loved the best came with a good sampling of Lauper’s oldies, such as “She Bop,” “Time after Time,” “Money Changes Everything” and her signature fun anthem “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” which drove the audience into mania.
Amazingly, Lauper’s distinctive girlish voice, with her New York accent, still sounds exactly the same as it did 30 years ago. She remains a brilliant and versatile musician who puts on a great live show.