Mariah Carey Thrills Crowd
University of Nevada, Las Vegas The Rebel Yell writes:
"Life is kinda like a rollercoaster," began the taped introduction of Mariah Carey's sold-out Sept. 30 concert for The Adventures of Mimi: the Voice, the Hits, the Tour in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mariah popped onto the bi-level stage wearing a black cape, a midriff-baring black top and tiny black shorts. During the opening verse of "It's Like That," she yelled, "What's up Vegas?" to a crowd that erupted in screams almost as high-pitched as the high notes for which she is famous.
After she breezed through a subsequent remix of "Dreamlover," she welcomed her fans to her fourth concert in Las Vegas. She also welcomed rapper and producer Jermaine Dupri, who performed the first song of the night with her, and mentioned the presence of rapper Bow Wow and producer Jimmy Jam.
"I don't want anyone to get mobbed," she added, "but there's also someone in the crowd with the initials J.J." The crowd exploded with applause and heads turned in all directions looking for Janet Jackson, the superstar who had accompanied boyfriend Jermaine Dupri to the event.
After a wardrobe change, the show went on with Mariah's transition into her debut single "Vision of Love," which came surprisingly early in the concert. Midway through the performance, she lost her earpiece and did a second a cappella run of the song's melismatic bridge.
The brisk, but not rushed, pace of the concert showed Mariah has grown from her previous Vegas performances. This more mature Mariah was all business, all music, and Ã‚â€“ best of all Ã‚â€“ all live.
Mariah's voice was strong for her Las Vegas performance. Even the usually softer parts of her songs were sung in full voice and she often ventured into her lower register for an added twist.
At the introduction of her gospel ballad "Fly Like A Bird," she announced, "I know we're in Sin City and all Ã‚â€¦ and this may not be the most demure ensemble you've ever seen, but sometimes you've got to mix it up to get the message across." Pastor Clarence Keaton, who is featured on this record, was not in attendance for the Las Vegas performance after a few incidences of absenteeism on his part in previous tour stops.
Peppering in her old hits, Mariah also sang a snippet of "Can't Let Go."
"That one kinda broke my streak of number ones," she muttered into the microphone, afterwards. "But I'm not bitter!"
She brought out Trey Lorenz for their early 90s remake of "I'll Be There," by the Jackson 5. "Even the old folks know this one," Mariah said. Lorenz said he wasn't in his usual voice, after a night of poker and drinks, so as a duo they invited the crowd to sing most of the song.
As Mariah changed clothes, Trey Lorenz did a tribute to Luther Vandross, with "Never Too Much," "A House is Not a Home" and then broke into an unexpected version of pop-group Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."
Mariah performed on a second stage, then returned to the main stage to sing "Hero." She thanked the crowd and said good night around 10:15, but every true fan knew she was planning an encore. She returned to perform an amazing "We Belong Together" and a reprise of "Butterfly" to conclude. With that, the rollercoaster ride came to an end.