2/6/10 Scotiabank Place
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1. Butterfly Intro/Daydream Interlude
2. Shake It Off
3. Touch My Body
4. Fly Like a Bird
5. Make It Happen
6. Angels Cry
7. Always Be My Baby
8. It's Like That
9. The Impossible
10. Love Hangover/Heartbreaker
12. My All
14. We Belong Together
Sniffles, rather than sizzle, mark Mariah Carey's
Superstar diva's voice still surprisingly strong
Mariah Carey made her performance debut in Ottawa last night in front of a smallish crowd of 2,900 at Scotiabank Place. Although she arrived on stage late, seemed to rush through songs and took breaks to conserve her energy, these were not simply attention-getting techniques from the famously difficult diva.
No, the superstar had a little cold, she informed us early in the evening, picked up from one of her dancers. It cut into her sleep, she added, "but here I am. The show must go on."
In a gold-and-sequined princess dress that showed off her ample cleavage, Carey made a fashionably late entrance dangling in a cocoon-like bundle that descended from the ceiling to the stage.
The full-length gown was torn away, revealing a short, leg-baring skirt as her breathy soprano fluttered into Butterfly, then darted from Shake It Off, Touch My Body and Fly Like a Bird.
Her voice was surprisingly strong, despite the sniffles, but there were backup singers and electronic effects enhancing her natural vocal power. A full band and a contingent of dancers accompanied Carey on stage, and she occasionally let them take over while she rested her voice and changed outfits.
"I'm not going to complain because I love everybody," Carey said, as if to remind herself not to complain. "No matter what you do, you can't make me hate you."
At one point, Carey played up her diva reputation with a tongue-in-cheek bit that involved calling her hair and make-up folks onto the stage for a touch-up.
It was evidently supposed to be playful and self-deprecating, but the sense of fun was dampened by her poker-face delivery, probably due to the fact that she repeats the gag every night.
Sipping something from a champagne glass (she said it was water, Carey seemed to come to life a bit later, and made a point of referring to her new line of champagne.
On the whole, though, Carey gave an uninspired performance -- one hopes her champagne isn't quite so flat.
Citizen (All rights reserved)
You would think that a star as big as Carey — 175 million records sold and a trunkload of Grammy awards — would have been a major event.
But fewer than 3,000 glammed-up, hardcore Carey worshippers even bothered to show up for her current Angel’s Advocate show, which is touring North America and getting mixed reviews.
Perhaps it was the price of tickets, which went as high as $175 a piece.
To be honest, after the show on Saturday night, I’d be surprised if she even got enough of an audience to fill the National Arts Centre, based on Carey’s performance on, and off stage.
Mariah is the goddess of Grammys, the Princess Di of the divas, as frail as she is fabulous. But when she sings, she turns into a soul-singing superhero, with a five-octave range that can still shatter crystal champagne glasses.
And last night, she did plenty of both.
I’ve never been to a concert before that was so much about the star, rather than the music. Celine Dion’s show here in 2009 had its narcissistic moments, but nothing on Carey’s scale.
All the self-centred diva-like antics might have been worthwhile if they were sincere but Carey’s struck me as all part of the show. And a bit of a lazy show at that.
The show started some 40 minutes late. Of course, all was forgiven the instant Carey finally made her entrance, and as grand an entrance as you would expect, with Carey suspended 15 metres in the air, hanging there like an angel, one with God-like cleavage in a dress that resembled a glass of champagne while the band played the Butterfly Intro and Daydream Interlude.
Then, it all seemed to go downhill from there.
For a scant 90 minutes, Carey treated the fans to a slickly rehearsed, loosely choreographed musical fantasy into her glittery life, parading nearly as many expensive evening gowns and sexy outfits as there were songs, mostly taken from her last album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel with a few classics thrown in.
Backed by a five-piece band and with 10 dancers providing a little boogie, a hoarse Carey opened with Shake It Off, Touch My Body and Fly Like a Bird while posing like a contestant in a beauty pageant at centre stage.
Later, she blamed being late on a cold that one of the 10 dancers she’s touring with gave her. So it wasn’t her fault.
Hand that girl an Academy Award nomination for best dramatic performance by a diva.
I mean, c’mon, who else but Carey would bring her own makeup artist onstage for a quick touch-up, or performing Always Be My Baby from a white chaise-lounge and drinking from a fluted glass?
From that point on, Carey seemed to loose interest in the show, spending half her time backstage and leaving her backup crew to cover yet another costume change with an able cover of Michael Jackson’s Rock With You before la Carey re-emerged to channel Diana Ross on Ain’t No Mountain/Love Hangover in an inaudible whisper.
By now, the novelty was wearing about as thin as Carey’s pablum pop, including Obsessed and Emotions, tunes as girly as gigs get. Like watching a Say Yes To The Dress marathon. I wasn’t that disappointed when Carey seemed suddenly in a hurry to quit the show.
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Heroes of Mariah 2000