This is a shot of her performing a free concert at the Boston Commons in October 1995 and it's the most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes on. I would kill to get a copy of this show on video, so if anyone can give me any leads, I would be greatly grateful!!!
Here's a nice synopsis of the show (by Eric Riley):
The preceding weekend, Cyndi's songs had been flooding the radio; Sunday morning, before we left for the show, Cyndi was on the radio talking about how psyched she was to be perfoming for "such a crowd". Maybe I was naive, but I expected about 5,000 to 10,000 people to show up. Then we arrived at the Boston Commons to find not 5,000, not 10,000, but *40,000*. It was HUGE. Cyndi was scheduled to go on at 4:00, so we started pushing our way to the front at 3. Yeah, I was called "bastard" and "asshole" more than I can count, but I was determined to get to the front.
So, after 45 minutes, there we were in the
front. We sat through Joshua Kadison's set, but everyone was waiting for Cyndi. There was
a 35 minutes wait, due to technical difficulties, but when I saw the band members walk out
on stage, I knew it was time. Paula Abdul gave a brief introduction; when she said
"Please welcome... CYNDI LAUPER" I saw this little thing with yellow hair run
out and scream, "Hey Boston, how the hell are ya doin'? I freakin' missed ya!".
And there she was. After years of seeing her on TV and album covers, she was only 10 feet
away from me. She looked so cool too: longish yellow hair, black derby hat, baggy silver
pants, black bra w/ blue ruffly shirt and a black sportcoat. I was overwhelmed by the
crow's response -- people were screaming and chanting her name. Then she launched into:
That's What I Think -- backed w/ a new
beat that I LOVED. Remember Milli Vanilli's (ugh) "Girl You Know It's True". She
used that beat, sped up. Everyone was dancing, and waving their arms in the air.
Dear John -- very loud, very intense. She jumped and danced around, twirling the mic stand.
Time After Time -- I could talk about this for hours. Eric Bazilian played an odd intrument, while Cyndi played the dulcimer. I got in on tape. This was the most moving, most haunting version I'd ever heard; the crowd was silent the entire time. I can't describe it; the song was just so delicate... For those going to the next shows, this song is something you'll never forget.
Under the Scarlet Sky (?) -- a new song. Very cool, very jazzy.
Come on Home -- got everyone dancing. Backed w/ a hip-hop type beat.
Hey Now -- this is what everyone seemed to be waiting for, judging from the response to the opening chords. Cyndi ran to the front of the stage, touching people's hands, and I looked behind me to see 40,000 people singing the song. Very powerful. And she was so funny between songs; she really had everyone laughing.
I'm Gonna Be Strong -- Cyndi did something nobody (including security) expected: She climbed on top of a huge speaker to sing. She sung to the people behind the fences who weren't able to get in, but she was so high that everyone could see her. All I can say is that she blew everyone away with the final notes. I heard audible gasps throughout the crowd. Cyndi just tore the place apart with that voice...
After the security guys carried her down (that's how high she was), she said she'd be signing autographs in the Tower Records tent. I pushed my way to the edge of the crowd to see at least 600 people already in line. AND to make matters worse, I hadn't brought the 12DC CD. In a way, it was nice to see that Tower had sold out of 12DC and She's So Unusual (with only a few True Colors and A Night To Remember tapes left on the table), but I was pissed... I'd waited for years to meet her, and so many people were cutting in line.
After an hour and 1/2, they said that Cyndi had to go back on stage to do some presentation with Harry Connick Jr, the mayor, and some other people... That's it, I thought, I won't get to meet her. I had lost track of my friends, so I went to get something to eat.
A little while later, I saw a few hundred people against a fence behind the stage. I walked over to get a closer look. We could see Paula Abdul, but then someone shouted "There's Cyndi!" She was about 50 feet away, doing some interviews with camera crews. I could only see her hair. Then we lost sight of her.
I was about to walk away when some people at the far end of the fence shouted, "She's coming this way !". I sprinted to the edge of the chain-link fence to see Cyndi walking over. Everyone started screaming and pressing against the fence... I managed to get near the front, and after years of imagining an encounter with Cyndi, I didn't know what to say. So, I just said, "Thank you." She smiled and touched my hand. I was in awe. A few people were crying, telling her how much they've loved her music, and she gave THEM flowers. And she was honestly BEAUTIFUL -- her face is like that of a porcelain doll. So smooth and white. She was everything I'd expected and more.
Then people REALLY started pressing against the fence, and a few fell. One guy said he broke his foot, and the scene was getting chaotic. So Cyndi spoke up. "Okay, guys, quiet down for a second." Everyone was silent. "Listen, I don't want to see you guys hurt yourselves." Then she smiled and said, "Listen, I wanna sing with you." She started singing the chorus to "True Colors," and these people, so loud and pushy a minute before, joined her. She looked at everyone while she "conducted", and even though it might sound weird, it was one of the most beautiful moments I'd ever experienced. Here we were, a bunch of people on one side of the fence, singing with this tiny, beautiful woman on the other. Then she touched a little girl's face, winked, and said "I love you guys too." It was so surreal, I was in a daze.
I can't express how unbelievable that moment was -- it was a you-had-to-be-there type thing, I think. But after years of practically worshipping Cyndi, this day reminded me why I'd been doing it. I couldn't ask for a better time, and I'll never forget it.
Come on home