12/31/09 Madison Square Garden
Seating capacity 11.831
Click here to access the venue site.
Price range: $321.25 - $15.60 (+ VIP Packages)
Rank Artist/Event: Mariah Carey/ Trey Songz
Total Gross: $1,224,734
Show Dates: Dec. 31, 2009
Shows/Sellouts: 11,534 / 11,831 (1/0)
1. All I Want For Christmas Is You (remix)
2. Shake It Off
3. Touch My Body
5. Make It Happen
6. Angels Cry
7. Subtle Invitation
8. It's Like That
(break and Trey Lorenz sang "Rock With You")
9. Love Hangover - Heartbreaker
10. We Belong Together
11. Fantasy Remix
12. Auld Lang Syne
15. More Than Just Friends
Click to enlarge
Mariah Carey Trades Show for Celebration on
NYE in New York
Mariah Carey emerged on New Year’s Eve at New York’s Madison Square Garden in the most fantastically fairy-tale like manner possible: suspended above the audience in a red sleigh, singing her remixed version of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” It was a moment of blissful spectacle befitting the special night and Carey’s fascination with perpetual childhood. “Eternally 12!” she exclaimed several songs later, spotting a sign in the crowd announcing her motto (she’ll turn 40 years old in March). A few seconds later she showed off another of her signature personality traits. “I need some lipstick real quick and my hair fluffed,” she proclaimed, adding, “They say I’m a diva so, might as well act like one.”
A crew of male dancers joined Carey for “Shake It Off” and “Touch My Body,” after which she addressed the crowd — which included Precious star Gabourey Sidibe — for the first of what would become many times. Noting the title of the next song “might be off-putting, I don’t mean it to you,” she launched into “H.A.T.E.U.” from her most recent album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, and then vanished for a costume change while her dancers grooved to “Make It Happen” (she returned in time to belt the closing verse).
Carey is known more for her vocal prowess and huge personality than her stage shows, and the concert — the first date on her Angels Advocate Tour, her first since 2006’s The Adventures of Mimi trek — delivered far more on the big notes and bizarre monologues than impressive choreography and set design. She requested a drink before “Subtle Invitation” (”I need some champagne, I don’t care what Debbie Allen says”), complained about her mic pack (”If this thing falls off my dress one more time I’m going to beat you”), and mused on the passage of time (”I never thought I’d live to see 2010 because I’m eternally 12?).
Images of Ol’ Dirty Bastard rapping his intro to “Fantasy” filled the video screens at two minutes to midnight, and Carey began the song, then suddenly stopped to count down to the new year as blasts of confetti, streamers and balloons filled the air. When the air had cleared, Carey soldiered on with “Obsessed” and “Migrate” as her crew milled around the stage, dancing with each other and partying in 2010 (at one point, they broke into a spontaneous Electric Slide). Carey’s husband Nick Cannon rocked from side to side behind a set of turntables, encouraging the crowd and Mariah to finish strong. “You look sexy in that!” he shouted to the singer before “Emotions” after she admitted she preferred a different dress.
The flood of unrehearsed comments didn’t phase
the crowd, who had come to see Carey in all her off-the-cuff diva glory.
From her stream-of-consciousness voicemails on her Website to her legendary
Cribs appearance, Carey has given her fans something few pop artists are
willing to reveal: honesty. She managed to put all the distractions behind
her for a glorious final song, 1993’s “Hero.” Then she took Cannon’s arm,
yelled her thanks to the sold-out arena (”I love you so much!”) and ambled
What, you’re going to complain? Ms. Carey could have delivered that song in the middle of August and still pulled it off. Twenty years after her debut album, she remains a ferocious, inventive singer, right even when she’s wrong. And surprisingly, she has become a versatile one, too, as famous for the epic-scale ballads she first made her name with as for her slick entrée into crossover hip-hop soul.
“Some people like my slow songs, and some people like my fast songs, and it gets so confusing,” she said after “Touch My Body,” early in her set. “What should I do?”
The answer was slow it down — maybe a little too soon — with the delicately strained “H.A.T.E.U.,” from her new album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” (Island). Throbbing and deliberate as a heartbeat, it was Ms. Carey at her isolated best, and a reminder that she’s a complete anomaly in modern pop: an R&B singer who doesn’t have to dance to prove her point. Apart from a few sashays during “Shake It Off,” she barely broke form here, even when the tempos crept up to sweat level. (She made savvy use of her quicker older material, like “Make It Happen” and “Fantasy [remix],” which the band played during costume-change interludes until she rejoined them.)
So many of Ms. Carey’s early hits were sturdy, bombastic and slow, and even though she has successfully sped up (and lightened up) in the last decade, it often feels as if she missed the sheer scale of her old material. Here, her band was on an elevated platform far behind her, and she was only sometimes surrounded by dancers. For large swaths of the night, she stood alone, and still.
Balladry is all but dead in popular music — Susan Boyle notwithstanding — but Ms. Carey has learned how to game the system with songs that appear to have multiple tempos all at once, languorous vocals set against steady beats. In this grand setting it was clearer than ever that tracks like “We Belong Together” and “Angels Cry (remix)” are merely slow records masquerading as fast.
There wasn’t quite enough time to explore such nuances, though: this was only half a concert, in spirit and in length. It was casual, with bursts of dancer disarray, and Ms. Carey talking to the crowd about the instructions she was receiving through her earpiece. After the countdown, dozens of friends and crew members came out onstage to dance even while Ms. Carey sang, making her into a disco diva delivering from the middle of the floor.
That lasted for a distractingly long spell, until Ms. Carey closed the night, a bit abruptly, with a sinus-clearing, room-shattering version of her 1993 hit “Hero,” one of her most titanic ballads.
It hushed the crowd, but when Ms. Carey finished, she was back to giggles, picking up the banter with her husband, Nick Cannon, that she’d been having on and off since the countdown. They should be filmed, always, their blend of cute and beleaguered consistently entertaining.
A few minutes after midnight, when the crowd had been doused with confetti, she told Mr. Cannon that she wanted more. “Some more confetti?” he asked incredulously. “I’m going to see if I can work that out.” She made a comment about her dress, to which Mr. Cannon replied: “You look hot in that. Madison Square Garden, tell her how sexy she looks!”
At the end of the night, Mr. Cannon tried to lead his wife offstage through a door at the back, but she resisted, saying she wanted to walk off the side, through the cluster of friends who had been standing there since the countdown. She play-pushed him aside and marched off. Mr. Cannon gave a knowing look to the crowd, pointed at his wife, grinned madly and ran after her.
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Heroes of Mariah 2000