Mariah Carey at Nokia last night

Posted on 19 Feb 2010 at 12:38pm

Remember when Mariah Carey was a hot mess a few years ago? I don’t think she’s quite done with that whole stint just yet. Last night’s show had “train wreck” written all over it. And then “sinking ship” graffiti-ed over that!

The show was scheduled to start at 7:30 with opening act RydazNrtist. We didn’t make it in time for that but heard they were on and off the stage in no time. We arrived maybe a nickel after 8 p.m. With Michael Jackson’s greatest hits blaring over the speakers, the crowd seemed in an OK mood. That is until the crowd started to realize that both CDs of MJ’s hits were sounding like they would be played to completion. The air in the room was filling with frustration and after one MJ track too many, Nokia filled with aggressive booing by the entire audience. And then the lights went out. Although the audience then switched into screaming applause, the move felt more like a way to stifle the booing than building anticipation.

FYI – the above video is NOT from last night.

I really don’t know where to start once the show began. Whether it was the lackluster set that belonged on a cruise ship or second-tier Vegas showroom, her descent from a giant swing in a ruffly gown (later stripped to a ruffly mini) or how she spent more time offstage changing outfits. Perhaps I could go into the senseless banter where she admits to diva behavior (her hair and makeup people came out once to touch her up) but then has to confess, “I’m not really like that!” That wasn’t really disproved by her inability to put on a robe later and had to have help by one of her dancers. Oh, and there was the random Michael Jackson tribute by backup singer Trey Lorenz and her outta nowhere tribute to Diana Ross which lasted about three minutes.

But what seemed to fill the room was her being tardy for her own party. She came on at 9:22 p.m. In her bubbly tone, all she could say was “Thank you for your patience.” I guess divas don’t actually apologize. Later, she went into some monologue about why she thought she wasn’t even going to make it to the show but it was so convoluted and disjointed, I gave up trying to figure it out.  She basically sounded like an idiot.

Her voice was mostly on mark throughout. Carey doesn’t sound pristine but she doesn’t let you forget she does have a strong voice. I hated that she basically ignored her first two albums (some of her best work) other than for a worthless interlude of “Make It Happen.” She instead opted for a catalog of audience-pleasing hits but without any direction. “Touch my Body,” “Always Be My Baby,” and “Heartbreaker” were all satisfactory and got the screams but nothing was cohesive. It’s a ballad! It’s hip-hop! What next?

After just a trio of songs, she was gone to change each time. If it wasn’t that, she talked way too much while she drank her champagne between numbers. She could have fit in about 7 or 8 more tracks had she not wasted so much time with irrelevant wardrobe changes and babbling.By they way, she did have time to plug her upcoming Angel Champagne.

The show was amateurish at best and a disappointment for a pop star veteran who should know better. Mariah turns 40 this year but everything about her reeks 16 year-old bubblegum princess and watching her live in this fairy tale world onstage was embarrassing and painful.

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