Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Still Advocating for Mariah Carey (concert review)

I have to give credit where credit is due and say that Mariah Carey continues to be an extremely talented vocalist and performer. Her Angels Advocate tour visited the Air Canada Centre in Toronto last night, February 9, 2010.

Yes, I am biased. And while I have spent many moments defending my admiration for the 39-year old songstress, I realize that the evidence is exceptionally clear when you hear her perform live: Mariah Carey's voice is beautiful!

Even I have my doubts sometimes when televised performances leave me questioning her strength or if she's still "got it"...but hearing her live again solidified my faith that this woman has one of the most powerful voices in the industry.

I'm not taking away from the other R&B divas of our generation like Mary, Whitney or Miss Beyonce, but just trying to give credit where credit is due. I understand that the uber-cleavage and the questionable antics of Mariah tend to be distracting/annoying to some (most?), but when you take in the music, the lyrics, and her overall catalogue of work there's no two ways about it: she is still a star.

OK, so the concert started a bit late and even I was checking my watch and rolling my eyes as the start time was delayed by almost an hour. And yes, I was extremely aggravated with the special camera police they had roaming the aisles, pointing flashlights in people's faces (wtf??) and badding up innocent young girls who were trying to take nostalgic photos of their idol.

I had my moments of irritation, but when Mariah hit the stage, and I was able to conceal my snapshots and actually keep my camera (unlike MANY around me who had their cameras taken away)...it was all good.

Mrs. Cannon sang the old hits that I grew up on like Hero and Always Be My Baby...and she also sang some of my favourites form her new album (Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel) like Impossible and Obsessed.

Her troop of male dancers were great, and I probably would have been entertained just watching them bounce and gyrate all night. Their moves (and looks!) made up for the fact that Mariah was barely dancing at all. She pranced, she sat, she sipped champaigne...and tea (she was sick) and the show moved around her, and her gowns.

At the end of the night, the production staff also filmed video footage for her new song "100 percent" to be aired during the upcoming Olympics, with backup vocals from a local gospel choir. Don't be surprised if you see me in a camera shot when it airs...they were everywhere.

I had fun, what can I say? Again, my instinct is to defend my appreciation of Mariah and her music, but it is what it is. For the past 20 years I have enjoyed each and every album she's put out (yes, including the Glitter CD), and I've admired her song-writing skills, and the fact that she had managed to stay relevant after all these years and at the top of her game.

If nothing else, I have to respect her longevity, her writing skills, and the voice that even in the midst of a cold, still sounded as good as it did when I first bought my first Mariah cassette back in 1990.

Classic Mariah, where it all started:


If you'd prefer an "unbiased" opinion on the show, here's what Toronto's newspapers had to say about Mimi :

Toronto Star
Eye Weekly
Toronto Sun

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