8/27/06 Continental Airlines
Arena Seating capacity 20.000 - according to the boxscores,
seating capacity 13.525 , attendance 12,697 - attendance 93,9%
Click here to access the venue site.
With special guest Sean Paul
Price range: US $19.50 to US $152.00
The Tour: The divalicious songbird has spread her wings once again. The Voice. The Hits. The Tour. The Staging. The Dancing. The Gowns. The Fans. The Inspiration. The Magic. These are the Adventures of Mimi.
This show was in many ways a more simpler stage production than her last tour. Instead of the creative themes and on-stage stunts (like that painting sequence from the last tour), Mariah opted for a show that had the standard dazzle but focused more on the music.
Mariah divided the show into four acts and an encore, with each act ending with either a DJ set from DJ Clue or a performance by her longtime background vocalist Trey Lorenz. The latter was also joined by background vocalists Sherry & Mary Ann Tatum. Though Trey informally introduced the band and background singers, Mariah's six dancers were never introduced.
The stage was framed with a gigantic, illuminated "M." A rear platform was connected to the main stage floor by a curved staircase on the left side and a curved ramp on the right. The band was situated inside the curves of the staircase and ramp on either side. Hanging beads covered the underside of the rear platform, and the initials "MC" opened and closed in the center for entering/exiting under the rear platform. Video monitors were suspended above the rear platform on both sides, and a circular framed video monitor alternately raised and lowered between the monitors. Fans (the blowing machines, not the ones in the audience) were installed all across the front of the stage to blow her hair and keep her cool throughout the show. There was also a second small stage in the center of the arena floor on which she performed in one segment.
I had JUST bought my ticket that afternoon. I have been so broke recently, but somehow I managed to save up enough available credit to spring for a $150 seat (tickets cost as low as $20) that was situated to the extreme far left of and on the same eye level as the stage. Shortly after I settled in my seat, a woman named Melissa who works with the tour came out and started handing out tickets for better seats to people sitting near me. I immediately jumped up and went over to see what I could get. She ultimately got bum-rushed by about 30 people, but she only had like 15 tickets and indicated that some of her tickets were better, but not that much better, than where we already were. All I needed was a single seat, and luckily she gave me one. As I returned to my original seat, I was no longer pressed about my new ticket (thinking it was just nearby), and I didn't even look at it at first. Before I sat down, I decided to glance at the new ticket--IT WAS A FLOOR SEAT!
I was like, "oh, shit!" It was row K on the far right side of the floor. I immediately grabbed my stuff and ran around the arena to get to the floor and my new seat, leaving my previously purchased seat in the DUST. I got to the floor just minutes before the show started.
After a video of Mariah comparing her life to that of a rollercoaster ride played, she emerged atop the rear platform flanked by her dancers. She looked amazing. Her skin was heavily bronzed, and her hair was magnificently weaved. She was a goddess in stilettos, gently holding her glitter-wrapped microphone as she danced and stretched out in the arms of her dancers. Yes!
She wore five outfits (only five, Mariah?), including three gowns. These were simple and sexy, similar to gowns we've seen her wear in the recent past. Nothing overly extravagant.
The video monitors showed her music videos for a few songs, especially when there were featured rappers from the remixed versions that she wanted to include: Ol' Dirty Bastard, Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, Mase. The vignettes that she filmed with director Spike Lee expressly for the tour were no where to be found. I thought they had debuted in the early portion of the tour, but not tonight.
The crowd, I have to say, was pretty lame, even in the floor sections. Not everybody--there were several of us representing. I have to shout out the girl with the turquoise pom-poms and the ones with the signs. Everybody else was on their feet, singing along, but otherwise just standing there as if they were watching television. Hello? It's a concert, people!
I think there were several reasons for this. It was the second show in the New York area, so most of the die-hard fans attended the show at Madison Square Garden the week before. Second, and I hate to say it, but some of Mariah's fans are getting older and more mature, so they aren't screaming teenagers anymore. There were, however, a lot of teenaged fans in the audience, but Mariah's fans don't always connect with her in a way that brings out the convulsing screams like they do with other artists. Also, this was a more simply staged show than the last tour, so there wasn't a lot of ooh-ahh staging to get the crowd pumped up. Instead, it seemed, people were just standing there in awe of everything that is Mariah.
Ultimately, people came to hear the music and witness Mariah do what she does best? sang like a bird taking to the sky? sangin' like a Sunday morning choir-stand soloist.
The Voice: Mariah has the voice of life. She sangs like there is no tomorrow. That is why we love her. We also know that her voice does not always deliver as strongly as we know she is capable. And with the demands of a tour, it can be difficult to belt out the hits night after night. Thus, as we all know, she is forced to lip sync portions of songs, as she has done in past tours. Well, tonight was no exception.
I will not--I repeat, I will not--go through song by song and tell you when she was singing and when she was lip syncing to a pre-recorded live track of her voice. Instead, I will say that what we heard throughout the show was an absolutely stellar vocal performance. Period.
The Hits: "It's Like That" featured clips from the music video in the video monitors.
"Heartbreaker" started as the remix version and then segued into the original version, at which point she really began singing her heart out.
"Dreamlover" started as the original version and then segued into a remix featuring a sample of Mtume's "Juicy Fruit."
Mariah stopped on the left side staircase to chat for the first time before "My All." Then the staircase lighted up step by step from the bottom to the top as the music kicked in. Definitely a nice touch. The song started as the original, ballad version, but the chorus included the "feel ya body, feel ya body, feel ya body" ad libs from the Morales "My" Club Mix. We should have known what was next. Moments later the song segued into the upbeat Morales "My" Club Mix, and the crowd went up in excitement. Very nice. The dancers came out and were dancing and performing acrobatics all over the stage.
She left the stage briefly after "My All." The stage lights went down, and then a huge flash of white light started flashing down onto the stage from the stage ceiling. If you were sitting too high up from the floor, you saw only a huge white light. Actually, it was a huge illuminated sign that read "MIMI," but it was facing downward so you could only see it if you were on the floor or close enough to see it. Then the music to "Shake It Off" kicked in. "Y'all know this song," Mariah said as she entered the stage wearing black sunglasses with the same black outfit. "I was supposed to have a big "MIMI" sign, but it broke. So we gonna wing it." That explained why the sign was facing downward instead of outward to the audience. Photos from past tour dates show that she performs at least a portion of the song in front of this dazzling light display. I loved how she kept it real in her explanation. Classic Mariah.
"Vision of Love" was a very nice start for Act 2, though nothing will ever compare to the original. And this song doesn't bring down the house like it used to in past tours. Sigh.
"Is it Sunday," Mariah asked rhetorically just before "Fly Like a Bird." She said that since it was Sunday and she couldn't go to church that day, she wanted to bring the church to her and perform this song with a choir. Meanwhile, the True Worship Choir from Mariah's home church, True Worship Church in East New York, began filing onto the stage in white robes. As the choir still assembled, before the song even began, her church pastor, Reverend Clarence Keaton, who performed with her at the Grammy's this year and (I believe) performs on the song's album version, still had not yet walked out on stage. When Mariah noticed this, she remarked that the pastor was not present. At that moment the pastor got in place atop the rear platform, but she had not noticed him. She announced to the audience that she might have to stop the song if the pastor didn't show up when the time came for his speaking part of inspirational words. And she added that if she did have to stop the song, "don't think I'm a diva." (See, last week at the Madison Square Garden show, the pastor reportedly was not in place when his part came, and she actually stopped the song short.)
After this pre-song preparation, Mariah finally visibly noticed that the pastor had been standing up there in place all while she was explaining this, and she proceeded to start the song. Then, after all of that, I'll have you know that despite the pastor's perfectly executed performance, most of the choir never sang a word! They basically swayed back and forth, and only a few several on the right side actually opened their mouths to sing the chorus. The others just swayed with mouths closed. I was completely through. Besides, the choir didn't seem to be miced, so we likely would not have heard much from them anyway. What a waste, especially since they had just done it the week before. And the song was an abbreviated version of the original, but sounded more like the original than a live performance.
On "I'll Be There," Mariah dueted with her background vocalist Trey Lorenz, who recorded the original version. Trey entered the stage from the rear platform as if he were some special guest and had not been singing background vocals for the entire show. Hilarious. Mariah plugged Trey's upcoming album release (his first in umpteen years), Mimi Presents Trey Lorenz: Mr. Mista, due in stores September 19. Even more hilarious.
Trey then launched into a three-song medley that included two Luther Vandross songs and his now classic "Friend of Mine." Mariah left the stage to change into a new outfit.
For "Fantasy" Mariah emerged from one of the arena floor entrances and was escorted to the small stage in the center of the arena. Four of her dancers joined her for a choreographed performance that sounded remarkably like the original version.
For "Don't Forget About Us," the stage lights were dimmed so that a blue light could shine on a mirror ball suspended above the small stage and reflect around the arena. She said she liked the "ambient" lighting for this song. "Thank you for making this my 17th #1 song," she said. This performance was also remarkably like the original version, and fans were singing along to every lyric but otherwise seemingly unmoved by her performance.
Still on the small stage, Mariah said that the next song, "Always Be My Baby," was the first song she wrote with "JD" or "Jermaine Dupri" she clarified. This song was definitely one of the highlights of this show. She delivered excellent vocal ad libs toward the end as she exited the small stage through the audience and back to the main stage.
For the Bad Boy Remix of "Honey," her dancers joined her wearing sailor themed outfits. The vocals we heard were quite exceptional. During Mase's rapped portion of the remix, Mariah dropped it like it's hot over on the left side staircase. The crowd seemed to be pleased.
The medley in Act 4 was what she called the "unplugged" portion of the show, and it truly showcased Mariah's vocals. She sounded excellent. Each song was no more than a verse and a few choruses. Trey Lorenz joined her on the Make It Last Remix of "Thank God I Found You." Mariah's microphone had so much moist-sounding equalization and reverb that she totally overpowered Trey, whose mic sounded low and flat. I laughed out loud.
Then, she announced that she wanted to pause the show to wish someone a happy birthday. Still apparently uneasy from past experiences with people not being in place on the tour, she reluctantly asked if "Mario" (with a mispronounced "a" sound) was here. Then R&B recording star Mario comes out from center stage and launches into his #1 hit "Let Me Love You." The crowd went up, and Mariah coyly grinned at the audience as she disappeared via stage right. But eventually the crowd would be ready for him to leave so Mariah could return.
Mariah did finally return and asked Mario (still mispronounced, and then he corrected her) to join her on the duet "One Sweet Day." His voice was a surprising excellent match for this song. At the end she thanked Mario (pronounced correctly this time) for coming out on his birthday, wished him a happy birthday, and said "I was gonna give you a splash of some stuff you're not old enough to have."
"Hero" was nice but not the climatic moment it normally is in her tour shows. She did sing her heart out, though.
"Make It Happen" really got the crowd excited. Very nice. When the song ended, she walked off the stage, and the band kicked in a reprise of the song. The background vocalists left their positions, came to the front of the stage, gave a half-wave and exited. It seemed that this was supposed to be one of those 'fake goodbye' moments that artists often do before returning for an encore, but it didn't work. Mariah didn't say goodbye or thank you, so to the audience she was just leaving to come back again as she had been all night. Therefore, when the music stopped and a long pause commenced wherein the audience was supposed to yell for her to come back, they didn't. It was so bad. They even blinked the stage lights to get the audience to yell and scream but they didn't because it was not made clear that the show was allegedly over. The audience was simply waiting for her to come back on stage.
Her encore in "We Belong Together" had very little fanfare. She went right into it, and the crowd sang along. When the song ended, "Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)"kicked in, signaling the end of the show as it has for her past tours. Then she turned around, walked back through the center stage exit and left the stage for good. No goodbye, no waving to the fans, no thanking them for taking the song to #1, no nothing. That was the most horrible ending to a show I have ever seen, and such a major let down given who she is, what she means to her fans, and what we've seen her do in past tours. Whoever came up with this show ending needs to be reprimanded. The crowd was left standing there thinking "that's it? she's gone?" as metallic purple and violet confetti shaped like butterflies shot into the air over the arena floor, raining down on the crowd. This was supposed to be a beautiful moment for the fans, but it was poorly planned and executed. Sigh. (Mariah, next time hire me, please? Thanks.)
The Hits Analysis: Mariah's set comprised hits for the most part, rarely delving into album cuts or obscure tracks. But with so many hits, and a shorter show for this tour (1 hour, 40 minutes), she couldn't possibly do them all. She seemed to pick and choose hits from various parts of her career, including those "must haves." There really were no major surprises in her set list.
As with past tours, she opted to perform remixes of several songs, especially in cases where the remix of a song was memorable. "Always Be My Baby" was probably the only song for which a popular remix was not included.
The set was pretty controlled and choreographed with little room for improvisation or plain breathing room, as has become standard for Mariah's tours Songs, including the remixes, were performed in their original lengths. No extended versions, no jam sessions from the band. The reprise of "Make It Happen" was the closest this set came to that.
The pacing of the show was good. Vocally, even with performing in lower keys, the set's pacing (along with the option to lip sync) allowed her to protect her voice. The set started off with strong hits in Act 1. Then Act 2 was slower and inspirational. Act 3 took the show back uptempo, while Act 4 had both slow and uptempo songs. It was nice that she opted to perform fan favorites like "Fantasy," "Always Be My Baby," and "Honey" along with the recent hit "Don't Forget About Us" all in Act 3 and all on the smaller stage on the arena floor so she could be closer to her fans.
This set list suggests that uptempo songs like "Someday," "Emotions," "Loverboy" (and a host of remixes of her ballads, for that matter) seemingly might never be heard in her shows again. In addition, ballads and torch songs like "I Don't Wanna Cry," "Love Takes Time," "Anytime You Need a Friend," "Open Arms," "Butterfly," "Can't Take That Away," "Never Too Far," "Bringin' On the Hearbreak," and the most obvious omission, "Through the Rain," are competing for set list slots that are becoming fewer tour after tour.
It's also clear that we will likely never hear anything from the ill-fated Glitter soundtrack ever again. More surprising was that she completely ignored her previous album Charmbracelet, for which her previous tour was named.
Ironically, the selections from The Emancipation of Mimi album were spread evenly throughout all Acts. Songs from her other albums, spanning most eras of her career, were distributed pretty randomly throughout the set. In the four-song medley, she chose one album cut from the new album, "I Wish You Knew,"
As with past tours, she is still performing "Heartbreaker" and "Dreamlover" back-to-back, followed by a ballad (in this case, "My All"). Background vocalist Trey Lorenz is still getting to perform at least one song in her sets. Songs like "Make It Happen," "Hero" and "Vision of Love," which usually fell below the encore line in her set lists, have now crept up higher, especially the high showing for the latter. Thanks to her latest album, she has a new encore in "We Belong Together," which will likely remain in years to come. In classic Mariah tradition, she still ends her shows with "Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)," a testament to the onward and upward motivational theme she has always embodied.
Ultimately, Mariah is on top. And this tour, with its upsides, highlights, shortcomings and disappointments, shows that she is definitely a survivor.
Fly, butterfly, fly.
Soar, bird, soar.
Sang, Mimi, sang.
For you, we live.
Thanks to Michael
First of all, let me say that I paid only 45 dollars
for my ticket yet ended up in like the 95 dollar section!!! I was in 241,
and some lady from the arena asked me if I wanted to move down to 107.
I was unsure at first, but it was legit and I was so close. The B-stage
was right in front of mee. I was so happy.
Sean Paul came on and he was very loud, and all I could understand was "SEXY LADIES!"
Then Mariah came on!! She sounded weird at first, her tone I mean. It didn't sound like Mariah. But it only was like that on It's Like That. Then I dunno, she sounded amazing the whole night though. Mario showed up as a special guest for his birthday.
Security was pretty crazy. I didnt get yelled at for my camera once though. But I noticed someone tried to give MC flowers down by the B Stage and the guard SNATCHED them right out of their hand. I was like omgg. Then at the beginning of Always Be My Baby, Mariah was like "I'm gonna try to get all those flowers, but we have some guards in the way" lmao.
Thanks to Danny
The show was absolutely wonderful. I'm not sure what happened at the last show but this one was just amazing. I can't even say it enough. It was much better than the dead AC show I went to last week. And from what my ears could tell she wasn't lipping a damn thing. And Mario made a special guest appearance because it was his birthday. He did 'Let me love you' right before he did a duet with Mariah for One Sweet Day. He actually better than I ever expected him to be...he has a pretty good voice actually. The only thing they didn't do were the Spike Lee skits. But I forgot all about them once the show started. And Sean Paul opened the show, he was alright but the place really got jumping when Mariah finally came out like 45 min later.
For this show I brought my cousin with me and all she kept saying during the show was "Oh my God! I can't believe this...I'm gonna cry." Then she even said to me "Nicole, I am so happy you forced me to come with you, because Mariah is much better than I ever thought she would be even better than the CD". Finally, by the time 'Fly Like a bird' came on we were both out our seats while the choir and Mariah's pastor accompanied her on the stage and by the end we were both in tears. And I can't say enough about 'Hero' is was just too good for words....I can't even begin to explain. And 'Vision of Love' was just outstanding, once the music stopped for the "turn out toooooooooooo" and she just kept going on with the runs. And for the climatic "Beeeeeeee yeahhhhhhhh" all our jaws dropped. And someone in the crowd had a sign 'Vote or Die' 'Jack for Rellys' which was cute and she pointed it out. And someone else had a sign 'Sing Your Girl'...and I forgot what her response was but she didn't do it. The MIMI sign for shake it off broke so they had this circular thing in the middle of the stage which seemed out of place to me. lol
Overall, it was such an amazing show, I'm glad
I had the chance to go and see her again after AC because it was sooo much
better. And after this Mariah has completely secured her place as my "Hero",
"Idol " or whatever you want to call it and as the greatest singer I've
ever heard. So if ya haven't gotten your tickets get em cuz you'll regret
Thanks to Nicole
She was very good. She didn't skip anything. She
was way more interactive than she's been in the past. The fans were messing
with her again. Someone in the fan club section was holding up a sign that
she wasn't too pleased with and she was like "If you hold that sign up
at me again, I'm going to have to go down there and be angry with you."
I wanted to know what it said. "SING PRISONER!" LOL!
The MIMI sign was broken so she was like, "Normally I have the Mimi sign, but it broke so we just have to wing it tonight."
Mario came out and sang "Let Me Love You" and duetted with Mariah on "One Sweet Day". He actually did a pretty good job with it. It was a little whiny, but he seemed to be really emotionally into it. I hope someone recorded it. I actually preferred him over hearing Trey do it, and I like Trey's voice a lot.
The DJ breaks are being way overexaggerated. There were only two (no more than 5 minutes each) and DJ Clue was great. He kept my attention better than anything else Mariah's ever done during dressing breaks.
Even though it doesn't seem like it from all the recordings and things, this is easily her best tour.
Thanks to Josh
Mariah put on another great show. it felt even
longer than the MSG show, with the addition of Mario's song and a longer
version of one sweet day (still a snippet i think). the crowd was really
into it and even though the arena was far from sold out (the nosebleed
sections were half empty), the place felt packed
as for her vocals, i really do think she needs a break. she was hoarse and a bit out of breath the whole time. i was at the short AC concert last sat and she sounded great, msg was good, but tonight you could clearly hear her straining. knowing that in addition to those shows, she also did mohegan sun and boston within the same week and i can imagine how she would be exhausted (i am exhausted from just going to the shows).
i really do think she is trying her best to please everyone but knows that her voice is getting strained and needs rest, and thus she cut short some of her smaller venues where it would impact fewer fans (not saying it wouldn't still suck to be at one of those shows instead of the full ones). anyway people need to give her a break, she is working her ass off.
Thanks to idoggy
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Heroes of Mariah 2000