Feb 18 2010

Houston Chronicle Reviews Mariah's TX Show

< > Mariah Carey sang, of course, during her Wednesday night show at the Verizon Wireless Theater. It's one of the reasons we love her. Her voice veered from sexy coos to those trademark high notes.

At times, Carey also sang -- as in, "Sang it, girlfriend!" -- most impressively during the gospel-swoop of Fly Like A Bird, the kicky kiss-off It's a Wrap and We Belong Together, the mammoth song destined to soundtrack proms, weddings, graduations and probably a few funerals.

But what makes Carey more than just another multi-octave superstar is her knack for playing the diva. It's silly and ridiculous and probably smells like sugar-cookie perfume. It also wouldn't work if she wasn't in on the joke.

Carey may be demanding, but she makes fun of herself at the same time.

"I know it's a little bit over the top." she said of her first of at least half a dozen sparkly outfits. Carey descended from a swing wearing a gold dress that was equal parts sweet 16 and dream wedding, quickly removing the train to reveal a shorter skirt (of course).

Later, she had a "cleavage meets champagne situation." while taking a sip and paused for a hair and makeup redo -- onstage. The crowd ate it up. Screams of "I love you, Mariah!" were frequent.

She dedicated new single Angels Cry "to those who are still suffering in Haiti" and told fans they could find the new version, a duet with Ne-Yo, on her upcoming Angels Advocate remix disc.

"I'm not sure when it comes out," Carey quipped. ( It's due March 30.) "Call the label. I sleep too late."

Some of the best moments were those with groove. Honey is still playful and smooth; Always Be My Baby had the entire crowd singing along; and It's Like That was a punchy party started.

Feel-good ballad Hero came along and closed the set, sending hands in the air and BFFs into swaying hugs. Well played, Carey.

--By Joey Guerra, The Houston Chronicle
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