Mariah Is A Sweet Sweet Fantasy
It has been a long time coming since Mariah Carey has toured in the UK. Her previous show was back in 2003 alongside her 'Charmbracelet' tour and since then, except a few live television performances, Mariah hadn't graced the UK with a fully fledged tour... until now.
And what a show it was! The show opened with the Def Club Mix of 'Fantasy' as Mariah was carried on stage by her half-naked backing dancers... with a pulsating dance beat and scantily clad dancers, you could tell Mariah was worth the wait! Her vocals boomed through 'Emotions' and 'My All' and tears were sobbed with 'Always Be My Baby' as pictures of her and her children blasted across the screen.
Trey Lorenz made an appearance to the stage to perform their cover of The Jackson 5's 'I'll Be There' and performed a solo Michael Jackson track whilst Mariah popped off stage to have a costume change and returned to surprise a fan for a raunchy performance of 'Touch My Body'.
The setlist continued with a medley of hits 'I Know What You Want', 'Obsessed', 'It's Like That', 'Shake It Off', 'Loverboy' and 'Heartbreaker'. She exited the stage during Jay-Z's rap for another costume change... but as it's Mariah, you don't expect her to be rocking the same play-suit beginning to end... you expect sequins and camp costume changes.
She returned to the stage to perform a solo rendition of Phil Colins' 'Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)' which originally featured Westlife on the single release (look no further than her 'Rainbow' album for the perfectly adequate solo version). The song featured a large sing-a-long for the crowd but Mariah herself was slightly distant from the song itself, it seemed.
Next up came the highly emotional and tragically beautiful 'One Sweet Day' (Trey was dragged out again for a sing-a-long). The crowd sobbed, cheered and sang with the sultry diva for one of the performances of the night.
The sadness continued with the Whitney duet 'When You Believe' with screens of the music video blasted behind. Mariah sung her parts 'live' with Whitney's vocals remaining from the original. It was a truly tragic moment and Mariah made sure the crowd cheered for Whitney. She continued into uplifting track 'Hero' before ending the show on 'We Belong Together', a triumphant number for Mariah's career both as a song and as it's hit status.
The encore numbers included 'Without You' (arguably her biggest UK single) and 'Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)'. Mariah's status as a diva was showcased throughout the show... she cheekily demanded the technician raised the volume in her ear and asked the fan she had previously danced with to "get off my stage" but this type of behaviour is expected.
Was 'The Voice' there? Yes and no... There were many moments when she appeared to rely heavily on backing tracks and other moments she belted the hell out of the tracks. Her choice of ending the show on 'Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)' was an amp and deep choice, just like her performativity in the UK, she came and went and flew away so elegantly.