Mariah proved to the Gold Coast on January 1, why she is and always will be one the greatest singing divas of all time, well almost…
What better way to start 2013 then to be serenaded by Mariah Carey at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.
The diva is scheduled to perform in Sydney on January 3rd and Melbourne date on January 5th.
The Lambily (Mariah fanbase which consisted mainly of women) came out in droves to support their favourite along with several celebrity fans such as Ruby Rose, Sophie Monk and Rhonda Burchmore. Additionally, Randy Jackson, husband Nick Cannon and dem babies (her twins) Morocco and Monroe (Roc & Roe) accompanied Mariah on this trip to the delight of the snap happy crowd.
The venue was well matched to showcase her vocals and for audience vantage point. I watched Janet Jackson in concert at this venue and there is an intimacy the GC Convention Centre offers which is not necessarily felt in larger venues such as the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
One thing I can say with certainty is that this show was all about vocal showcasing – for those that went to the Jennifer Lopez concert weeks ago you got vocals, high energy choreographed dancing, countless costume changes and flawless showmanship for the price of your ticket – with Mariah it was pure voice and professional yet comedic stabs at the poor lighting and audio setup which unfortunately interfered with the flow of the show.
The stage setup left much to be desired in terms of the variety of visuals – an occasional moon was displayed when she was singing on the chaise – rather cheap and dated looking. However, I did enjoy the pictures of her as a child projected during “Close My Eyes” - it offered the audience a point of connection and nostalgia with her. The band was rather small and outnumbered by the very talented backup dancers.
The stage actually seemed too large for this show given she didn’t effectively utilise the whole area.
Mariah complained (in a singing voice) about not being able to hear out of one of her earpieces for the majority of the show along with there not being a set list on stage (stage setup 101) and the poor lighting. Why didn’t they address this in sound check or rehearsal? These kind of stuff ups are unacceptable and entirely preventable. This incident has probably given the venue and audio/visual support team a very bad name – I doubt Mariah will ever return to the Convention Centre. I would NOT have liked to been backstage post show to hear the tirade of abuse the offending staffer would have copped for those mistakes.
Mariah had four different costume changes the first was a white sparkling mini dress, the second a gold dress followed by a vintage black number with shoeicide stilettos and the final a metallic silver skin tight number. I had no doubt that sis was going to wear something small and tight – it wouldn’t be Mariah otherwise.
Throwing back to my previous comment about it being an all vocal show – I feel the costumes stifled her movement so that all she could do was teeter back and forth across the stage at a slow pace. I wasn’t expecting a JLo or Janet dance routine but I felt she could have used movement a little more to engage the audience and improve the show.
The show opened up with very impressive support act Anthony Callea. Callea informed the audience that he’d achieved the diva trifecta, not only was he supporting Mariah that night, but he had also supported Celine Dion and the late Whitney Houston.
At 8.45pm, Mariah’s 32 year old husband Nick Cannon took the stage as a DJ to hype the crowd pre-Mimi. His set was hot – it was just a pity the largely hip hop uneducated crowd weren’t getting hyphy to his Ye and Jay Watch The Throne set. *side-eye audience*
Crowd pleasers included LMFAO’s “Shots,” PSY’s ” Gangnam Style” and Fatman Scoop’s “Be Faithful.”
*SOAPBOX MOMENT* For those of you unfamiliar with Cannon, let me educate you – homeboy is not just Mariah’s husband/Mr. Carey okay? Nick had (and continues to have) an established career pre-Mariah as an actor on comedy and talent shows and various films. He also played his hand at morning radio hosting and is a talented rapper one of my favourite tracks from him is “Dime Piece” and “Gigolo.” Cannon heads up NickTeen network and continues to be a reputable comedian and sketch creator.
At 9.40pm, the Queen took the stage and performed the following:
“Can’t Take That Away”
“Touch My Body”
“Shake It Off”
“Always Be My Baby”
“I’ll Be There” featuring Trey Lorenz
Trey Lorenz: “Rock With You” - Michael Jackson, “Let’s Go Crazy” – Prince
“Don’t Forget About Us”
“Close My Eyes”
“We Belong Together”
“All I Want For Christmas Is You”
“Auld Lang Syne”
The set finished at 11.20pm totalling an hour and forty minutes stage time from Mariah.
I was disappointed with the track choices in the set. I felt that some of her most critically acclaimed tracks and number one hits were foolishly omitted. I am not sure whether the set changed due to the audio technicalities or this was a conscious choice.
How could she not perform her formative, career shaping tracks such as “Vision Of Love,” “Dreamlover” or “Emotions?” Or her hip hop influenced tracks “Honey” and “Fantasy” and “Sweetheart?” As a tribute to the passing of Whitney I would have loved to have heard Mariah perform “When You Believe” recorded with Whitney for The Prince Of Egypt film.
Roc and Roe
Mariah generously bought her beautiful twins Morocco and Monroe affectionately named ‘dem babies’ onto the stage with husband Cannon to introduce to the audience. This was a sweet touch and really made the Lambily feel connected to their Queen.
If Mariah is coming to your town on this limited Australian tour and you are a fan, have a spare few hundred dollars and can acquire a rarely unsold ticket – by all means go. I don’t believe she will tour the country again – her last tour was over a decade ago.
Vocally Mariah slayed my life – but keeping it 100 with y’all – there were points in the performance which she showed physical and vocal fatigue, particularly in “Hero.” Now I ain’t saying I could sing it better than Mariah or anything, but I know that song as it is recorded and the high notes of that song were performed in her lower registers.
However I will admit it, I did scream like a banshee when she went into her iconic whistle register on “Obsessed.”
I felt she dealt with the audio technicalities with professional finesse but for me as an audience member it did jar the show.
The set choice in my opinion was very poor and the biggest failing of the show. I would agree with SMH’s Rachel Olding’s assessment of the set list in Sydney:
“she didn’t even play the hits! Oh Mariah. You’re killing us here.”
“Obsessed,” “Can’t Take That Away,” “Touch My Body” and “Close My Eyes” could have easily been taken out and replaced with more iconic, higher charting Mariah hits. I would have liked to have seen a longer set – sis has had a very long and accomplished career with a plethora of fabulous hits.
I have been a Mariah fan since I was a child and I am glad that I can say I have seen one of my favourite musical icons live. Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t brag that they spent a New Year’s with Mariah Carey?
Did you go to see Mariah, if so what did you think?