An inescapable drift of Gautier for Men, an inexhaustible supply of frozen “margarita,” and a bunch of kiosks staffed by PFLAG and the Human Rights Campaign were all that it took to transform Bank of America Pavilion into a full-on LGBTQETC theme park — just with slightly different rules.
“Don’t hate on the straights!” entreated host Carson Kressley from the stage. “If it weren’t for them, there wouldn’t even be gay people!” This brief foray into semantics seemed vaguely authorized by the backdrop, a scrim upon which dozens of signifiers were diplomatically emblazoned: “GAY,” “REPUBLICAN,” “QUESTIONING,” “TWO-SPIRITED,” “YOUR MOM” (kidding). Indeed, despite Kressley’s caveat, True Colors was, explicitly, a show for everybody. Of course, if you happened to be super-gay, it didn’t hurt.
Fortunately, I was — and after managing to sit through it, I’m a little surprised to report I still am. Kat Deluna (God love her and her moves and that crazy purple-tutu thing she had on) nearly deleted the whole issue of sex from my consciousness with her tottering attempt at So You Think You Can Dance teaser “Run the Show” — which proved itself a better jingle than a jam. The crowd were still seating themselves; appreciative of her efforts and enduring ally status, they stayed seated.
The Cliks managed to raise a few bodies, giving the first few rows an uneven spike akin to their haircuts. You know what it means when reviewers go directly to the hair, but in defense of the Cliks: the androgynous foursome’s Cliks debut was legitimately fun stuff, and I suspect that their lack of gusto (the highlight of which was a cover of “Cry Me a River”) had more to do with the wonky context of an outdoor arena for a garage band who could rock the very glitter off of a smaller room of gays. Some decent riffage, and they did make me forget about Kat until just now, so . . . yeah, they were good I guess.
I sound negative. Look: there’s an ickiness that comes with the territory at these large-scale gay functions (this one a de facto kickoff to Pride Month) — but it’s the ickiness you feel whenever anything you like gets too big and what was once an edge turns into a plateau. Witness formerly foul-mouthed Rosie O’Donnell’s comedic-I-guess too-sweet-for-TV tearjerker monologue about her mother. For God’s sake, make us laugh! Put Estelle Getty up there with a mic and a turntable or something. Is she still alive?
It wasn’t all sighs. On piano, guitar, or on her own, it’s hard to be let down by Regina Spektor. Hers, the first long set of the night, was the night’s best — despite the BF reminding me that she’s sort of like Tori Amos, whom he thought he remembered me saying once that I didn’t like, and whom I don’t like, for the record, but whatever because they aren’t that alike anyway, Evan.
The B-52’s also delivered, having somehow avoided the somnambulism afflicting dozens of other reunited old-schoolers. New songs off Funplex (“Pleasure Seeker,” “Love in the Year 3000”) were met with ambivalent sways — which still counts as dancing; “Rome,” “Love Shack,” and “Rock Lobster” all killed. What could have been the least surprising concert experience ever wasn’t — especially when the dude next to us threw his arms around the BF and we had to warn him to cut the shit.