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Monday, August 14, 2006

We belong with Mimi

Speaking of packed gay dance clubs (yes, I admit that is a very tenuous segue--please ignore this brief aside, kind moderators!) I'll speak a little bit here about the Mariah concert. JakeyIsSusan over at TWoP asked me about the show, and I didn't feel like getting slapped on the wrist by the mods, so I'm going to post my impressions of the Mariah show in convenient plus-minus format over here.


The woman is absolutely Amazonian in her five-inch Louboutin stilettos. Even from our nosebleed seats, she was a terrifying spectre. We stood up and danced and screamed "DIVAAAAA!" the whole time (OK, I screamed "DIVAAAA!" the whole time.)

The costumes! (Five costume changes, which I will now list: Black sequined bra top-spanky panty-black floor-length chiffon hoodie combo, yellow halter gown with gold bling and side cutouts, black denim pedal-pushers with sparkly shrug and big Dior sunglasses, a teal-and-powder blue number Kristin and I called "the mermaid dress" with blue rhinestones and long pointy sleeves, and the closing look was a beige gown with beige rhinestones all over the bodice).

She did a lot of older material. Kristin and I were really hoping to hear were "It's Like That" (which she opened with), "Honey," and "Vision of Love." She did all three. Mariah said that this was the first show on the tour where they did "Vision of Love," and Kristin and I felt like we'd had an audience with the Pope!

The songs with guest vocals like "Heartbreaker" and "Fantasy" (the ODB version! So awesome! Me and Mariiiiiah go back like babies and pacifiiiiiiers!) she did with the video playing in the background on big video screens.

Mariah had a good backup band. The guy that sang on "I'll Be There" on Unplugged with her was one of her backup singers, and she had him do a single from his new album while she changed costumes. He wasn’t bad—he kind of reminded me of Jamie Foxx’s slow jammy sound.

She closed the show with “We Belong Together” and “Butterfly.” Confetti cannons shot out pink and purple mylar butterflies at the end of the show. I have one of the butterflies pinned to my bulletin board right now. They had a soft, pretty fluttery effect, twirling down through the arena. (That might be the gayest sentence I have ever written.)


We got there too late for Sean Paul, which I was sad about. I really wanted to hear him live: His flow is so difficult that I want to know if he does it live with any inflection at all, or if he just shouts out the lyrics as fast as he can. I have a feeling it's the latter but I would have been impressed to be wrong.

Mimi took her sweet time coming out. Sean Paul was long finished by the time we got in and we waited about 40 minutes in our seats until Mimi came on.

Lame stage set and A/V setup. Having seen Madonna and Nine Inch Nails twice each in the past year, I can say that her stage set ranks a distant third (the Dixie Chicks’ was worse, though). The stage was surrounded by a giant, glowing marquee in the shape of an elongated M (lame). The upper portion of the stage was connected to the lower part by a long, curved staircase with metal railings dotted with butterflies (cool). During “Shake It Off” the giant “MIMI” marquee came down from the rafters behind Mariah (super cool). But there was a round screen above the stage on which was projected bits and pieces of video (at one point, there was a shot of a spinning disco ball on it, a concept jacked wholesale from Kylie’s Kyliefever tour. LAME!)

As you probably know, Mariah's tour has not been selling very well, and the Wachovia Center was not nearly full. Everyone was packed in ass-to-elbow for Madonna. Mimi’s show wasn’t nearly as crowded, nor did the crowd have nearly as much energy as they had for Madonna (or even Nine Inch Nails).

Mariah’s stage patter was really banal. She didn’t seem comfortable chatting to the crowd. On the other hand, Madonna and the Dixie Chicks (whom I saw in Washington a few weeks ago) seemed like they were very at ease controlling a room of that size.

Mariah sang live, but she relied heavily on the backup singers. She seemed to save herself up for the "important parts" of her big songs—the “suh-WEEEEEET destiiiiiiny” part of “Vision of Love,” for example.

Despite my complaints, I bought a Mariah poster to keep Madonna company above my desk. Kristin and I loved it...for what it was.

We're trying for Justin Timberlake tickets next.


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