2/9/10 Air Canada Centre
Seating capacity TBA
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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
Mariah Carey a well-behaved diva
After reading about her starting late and indulging in other diva-like behavior on the Canadian leg of her Angels Advocate tour, I was expecting the worst from R&B-pop superstar Mariah Carey as she touched down at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.
And while she did appear about 45-minutes later than the scheduled start time, making a dramatic entrance descending on a swing in a gold gown with a cut-away bottom and dripping in diamonds with some serious matching shoes, Carey was well-behaved and in good voice.
She even shot a video with the willing crowd.
Still, the 39-year-old singer with the five-octave range did tell the small audience of about 6,500 that she was under the weather early in her hour-and-40-minute show.
"I have a little cold, so I'm dealing with it, " she said teetering around in high heels. "I'm doing the best I can. So anyway, I'm really happy to be here. I'm not going to let a little cold stop me. If you don't mind, have mercy."
And Carey, while sounding a bit throaty at times, did manage to hit the high and long notes on Fly Like A Bird, Angels Cry, Always Be My Baby, a cover of Diana Ross' Love Hangover, Obsessed and Hero, and made numerous costume changes into one gorgeous sequined gown after another.
She also returned to her "beverage centre" as she called it at the back of her stripped-down stage either sipping champagne or tea.
"I'm not sure if this is good for a cold but it might make me feel better," she teased of the bubbly before adding: "Kidding."
Carey, who made headlines in January for a strange and tipsy acceptance speech for a breakthrough actress award for her social worker role in Precious at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, even shared the champers with a male fan - Alexander - at the front wearing a T-shirt saying: "Where's my splash?
"I only have one glass, this is a problem," she said, not wanting to share her cold, which she said she got from her dancers or back-up singers.
"Seriously, I waive all issues of someone saying I gave them a cold."
In the end, Alexander got his glass of champagne and someone took his picture.
Generous yes, a dancer no.
Movement is clearly not Carey's strong suit - although she tried to gyrate during Honey - so she left that to her lithe and nimble male and female dancers who scampered around her and her seven-piece band, on a riser behind her.
She also performed stretched on a chaise lounge during Always Be My Baby, changed into robe and sat on a chair before being carried off stage by a male dancer during My All, and was carried around by two dancers during Obsessed.
"I couldn't wait for this show," she said of her Toronto stop. "I had a special feeling about it. And then I got a cold, and I was like, 'Why?' But it's okay. I'll pretend I don't have a cold."
It was, in fact, Carey's first Toronto show in four years in support of last fall's Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel and the upcoming Angels Advocate, due March 30 (three days after she turns 40), a newly remixed album of duets of her
favourite songs from Memoirs.
Carey has sold 175 million albums since her 1990 self-titled debut making her the top-selling female recording artist in history.
In other words, don't feel too bad about her cold.
She closed the night with her uber-hit We Belong Together, prompting a big audience singalong, before returning to shoot a video to run during the Vancouver-based 2010 Winter Olympics for her song, 100 per cent, which required further fan participation - pointing with their arms in the air - before she rewarded them with her classic, Hero, after a full blown hair and makeup touchup on stage.
"This is the work part of the show - I love you Toronto for this," she said as the audience remained in their seats and she was joined by a large local choir in white robes for 100 Per Cent. "This song means a lot to me. It's got a good message."
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Toronto Sun (All rights reserved)
An hour before showtime her publicist put photographers and reviewers on alert that the songstress would be taking the stage 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.
After ushers moved some attendees down from the nosebleed seats to fill in the spaces (much to chagrin of new neighbours who paid up to $130 for their tickets), the New York native hit the stage 48 minutes after the original set time.
But all was forgiven once Carey appeared and delivered her classiest, most grown-up show yet.
Kudos to the director of this well-crafted concert billed as the Angels Advocate Tour – named for Carey's forthcoming remix album. It's a tasteful, yet unpredictable showcase for the talent behind a 12-album catalogue which includes 18 No. 1 Hot 100 hits (second only to The Beatles).
Gone are the skimpy outfits, stuffed animals and over-the-top skits; replaced with smooth segues and an artfully draped Vegas style set.
Buoyed by the sexy, high-energy choreography of 10 dancers, and a tight seven-piece band, Carey, 39, her buxom figure clad in glittery gowns or cocktail dresses, was mostly bump with little grind, keeping the focus on her golden voice.
She apologized repeatedly for having a cold, but it was evident mainly when she spoke; and didn't prevent her from hitting those impossible whistle notes.
Given to erratic public performances, Carey wasn't entirely scripted; she bantered lazily with the audience and lamented not being "in bed with some NyQuil and a frigging heater."
As she stepped gingerly across the stage and occasionally waved to individual fans, Carey's comportment was more queenly than the diva label she's often pegged with.
Star (All rights reserved)
By that swing fell the imperfect angel.
Carey, long hair swooped to her left shoulder and a cleavage that shouted “you wish,” sure was something. After her dreamy entrance, male dancers removed the floor-sweeping ruffles of her gown and the show began in earnest. The song was the heavily rhythmic, modern R&B tune Shake it Off, and although the chart-dominating singer shook her hips a bit, her high-heeled feet budged not an inch. For the lively 2008 hit Touch My Body, Carey seemed in danger of toppling over.
Then she spoke, adorably, about having a “little cold.” She sipped tea, said she was dealing with it and asked a half-full arena of worshippers to “have a little mercy.” It was a rhetorical appeal – the fans’ compassion for the occasionally troubled artist is unconditional.
The lady’s star-shine is mysterious: For all her glorious career, the platinum-glittering Carey offers almost nothing to grasp firmly. She is absolutely one of the top record-sellers in history, even if her latest album (last year’s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel) was not one of her most successful. But as this slick, totally competent, costume-changing, meticulously choreographed 100-minute hit parade showed, her fame rests as much on heavy-handed music-biz machinery as it does on a leaping, sighing and still-soaring voice.
Carey has a certain ditzy charisma about her, but her expertly produced ballads and hip-hop pseudo soul have the gravity of butterflies and only a pin drop’s reverberation. She emoted like crazy at the Air Canada Centre on the precious ballad Angels Cry, but she is not a stirring performer. The success of 2008’s E=MC² album may have pushed the sales of Carey’s various products to more than 175 million worldwide, yet her fan base is oddly an exclusive lot, composed mostly of love-song-seeking women. The absence of children and heterosexual males among the Toronto crowd was nothing less than striking.
Carey, no dummy, saved her best for last. The slow jam We Belong Together was impassioned, and 1993’s Hero was a mawkish but unstoppably affecting and gospel-y crescendo-ballad. Unfortunately, the usually savvy singer disrupted the concert’s rising finish by halting the proceedings between those big two tunes, using her audience for a live taping of a video for the new single, 100 %.
That song, a swaying, slow number over a big clunky beat, is part of Angel’s Advocate, the name of her current tour (including dates in Ottawa and Montreal earlier this week) and forthcoming remix-and-duets album. Angel’s advocates, you bet, Carey is blessed by them. To their hearts and minds, the recording artist with a voice heaven-sent can do no wrong.
Source: Globe and Mail (All rights reserved)
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Site owner: Gilles Ollevier
Heroes of Mariah 2000