Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Adventures of MIMI in Toronto

When in doubt, hit a high "C" note and everything will work out fine. That seemed to be Mariah Carey's motto for the opening numbers to her Adventures of Mimi concert last Sunday August 13th at the Air Canada Centre. Hitting the stage after (what I found to be) a truly annoying opening act (Sean Paul), in a pair of black booty shorts, a sparkly black sports bra, and transparent black cape, the five octave songbird seemed to have a little trouble hitting the second and third octaves, and oddly made up for it by singing songs such as "It's Like That", "My All", and "Shake It Off", in what seemed to be completely different keys, and hitting a lot of high "C's" which of course made the crowd go crazy. Now, someone who was not familiar with seeing Mariah in concert may have been disappointed by this sort of fiasco. But those of us who had witnessed this strange behaviour before knew that it takes her about four songs to warm up her voice, and out. This wound up being the case once again. After completing the first group of songs, and retaking the stage in a sleek (backless) yellow gown, Mariah soared into what would be two of the standout songs of the night, power ballads "Vision of Love" , which started off a bit out of sorts with her forgetting the first line and then stopping the song altogether due to a small hole in the stage "the size of a stiletto heel" (as she wittily pointed out) but then continued from the start once the hole was patched with duct tape, and "Fly Like A Bird" undoubtedly the nights best number, which went off without a hitch.

Mariah has always been seen as a diva in the eyes of the public. But let me ask you, do you think you would ever see Diva's such as Diana Ross or Whitney Houston, walking through the crowd during one of their concerts? Of course not (they can't walk period). Mariah does however, she has quite a special connection with her audience that you don't see with a lot of performers of her magnitude, it really shatters that image of her sitting on a throne, eating grapes, and being fanned by P. Diddy and Fiddy Cent (she even gave longtime backup singer Trey Lorenz some personal stage time to promote his new album. Now, who the hell does that?) Anyhow, the evening was capped off by numbers such as "Don't Forget About Us", "Hero", and "Make It Happen", which brought to the stage a 32 member gospel choir, to finally tear the roof off the fucker.

To say it was perfection would be a stretch. An oddly placed dj which spun early hits from Salt N' Pepa's "Push It" to Naughty By Nature's "O.P.P." during a couple of her wardrobe changes was...well frankly a bizarre and ultimately pointless choice of distraction (that's what you have backup dancers for Mariah). While on the subject of dancing, watching Mariah try to bust a move (the few times that she actually did) was sort of like a car wreck (disasterous, yet funny because it's not happening to you), and certain members of the audience who plucked my nerves some, including one young gentleman who was the spitting image of Corky from that show "Life Goes On" from back in the day (we all know who I'm talking about), sitting right next to me. Honestly I'm not sure what was wrong with this guy but he for sure had a little mental retardation....and when I say retarded I mean they can do anything [:).

So all in all I would give the performance 4 out of 5 stars. Flashy and Fun, with a little "huh?", and "Oh my Lord!" (take a moment).

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