by Becca Lemire
She bopped and sang and danced like someone in her prime– Cyndi brought the house (trees?) down although she didn’t actually sing “She-Bop”.

The first half of her free set at Queen’s Park Saturday night was classic blues tracks from her new album, Memphis Blues, and then, just when you thought she wasn’t going to, Cyndi broke into a super long, gospely, kick-ass rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and it was bliss. While she was crooning and belting it out, I remembered every time I’d heard that song, every slumber party and Karaoke night and, although Cyndi seemed like she would’ve been just as happy singing the blues all night and into next morning, she respected the emotional connection we all have to her old hits and gave in. After about the second song, a group started chanting “She-Bop” so loudly it drowned out her lovely between-song banter. Seemingly making her a bit frustrated, she started the next blues song right away without finishing her sentence. Okay, eager fans, we all wanna hear her 80’s hits but Cyndi’s into the blues now (this album was 8 years in the making), and for gosh sakes don’t tell the lady what to do. She spoke about having a deep respect and connection for the blues, and how it’s the basis for most modern genres of music we listen to today. She gave shout-outs to the legends we all need to look up, like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. Her version of John Lennon’s “Power to the People” finished the set. Sporting big, bright red hair and black leather suit n’ bowtie, Cyndi could still give any freshly toasted pop tart a run for their money and she put on a fantastic live show.

Here’s what some fans had to say about why they came to see this music, fashion and gay rights icon:

Brittany and Jordan – We’re really into Chaka Khan as well, but all of our friends came to see Cyndi for Pride, plus I (Jordan) came down from the states for the weekend.

Maggie – I like Dragonette but I love Cyndi…I grew up to her. She-Bop is a killer song, and I hope she plays it.

Neena and Kitty – I love her, I have all her vinyls.  (Kitty) 2 words: SHE-BOP!!!

Jesse and Alyson – I watched her on the Apprentice all season, right after The Simpsons. (Alyson) She’s awesome!

Allison – I’m her biggest fan. I dressed up as her in grade 4; I’m in disbelief about seeing her live. She’s my all-time fave and she’s so underrated.

Madam Asuka – Cyndi’s a legend! Plus my band Panic Bomber is playing tomorrow, and I wanted to check out the venue.

Anonymous Hotties – We love everything about her! She’s a gay pride activist, and has been for the longest time. She transcends all genres and styles to reach everyone and she’s all about love.