T.O. TURNS ON TO MARIAH
Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
TORONTO - It's been said in the past that pop music's uber-diva Mariah Carey doesn't like
to tour due to stage nerves.
But that certainly wasn't the case last night at the Air Canada Centre when the seven-octave singer finally
made her Toronto performing debut with a relaxed and rambling 2 1/2 hour show.
In fact, it was Carey's first-ever Canadian concert despite a staggeringly successful previous decade of No.
1 hits too numerous to mention and album sales of 125 million worldwide.
The sold-out crowd of 17'000 screaming, sign waving fans were obviously jazzed about getting to see her in
a live setting, which -- incidentally-- was being taped for an upcoming TV special.
Also adding to the drama was the fact that the 30-year-old performer had earlier postponed her April 7 concert
here due to a case of food poisoning and dehydration. Bad raw oysters in Atlanta were to blame.
``What's up Toronto? I finally made it,'' said Carey, initially dressed in a skimpy, silver halter top, hip-hugging
jeans and silver high-heeled sandals, before making enough costume changes to make even Cher jealous.
Carey's entrance was preceded by a way-too-long video skit in which she fought off her evil twin - the black-haired
Bianca - while several stars, ranging from Aretha Franklin to Barney, made testimonials about their supposed rivalry.
Still, being silly - even cheesy at times - seemed to be a high priority for the child-like Carey,
who staged everything from a WWF-like boxing math during her recent hit Heartbreaker to a beauty contest (complete with a
sash, tiara, and red roses) during the old favourite, Dream Lover.
Trust me that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of play-acting.
Carey also stopped repeatedly to sip tea, have her face attended to by make up artist ``Chris,''
who appeared in drag during the beauty contest skit, and was downright chatty and indulgent with fans.
In fact, she invited several concert-goers - one carrying a sign that said: ``No more oysters! Stay diva-licious!''
- on stage with her.
And she rewarded all of her young fans, even one from Ottawa whose introduction brought a chorus of boos given
the current hockey play offs with the Leafs, with Champagne and chocolate.
It turned out the Toronto concert was the last concert on Carey's month long tour in support of her latest
album, Rainbow, and her first North American jaunt in seven years.
She told the crowd she was feeling down about the road trip coming to an end.
``I'm kind of sad,'' she said. ``I've gone through a lot of emotions `cause you know I don't tour a lot.''
The good news for local Carey-lovers is that the singer is scheduled to begin filming the often made A Star
is Born in Toronto later this summer.
In the meantime, they'll have memories of her often-thrilling voice as she hits high notes during such guilty
pleasures such as Emotions and Vision Of Love.
Some audience members may have something even more tangible, given Carey threw many of her costumes and set
pieces into the audience as the concert wound down.
``This is the last show of the tour,'' she said. ``Everything must go! Alright I'm losing my mind!''