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Let’s be upfront about something. I would by no stretch of the imagination call myself a Mariah Carey fan. Her music has never really spoken to me. I did, however, love her ‘Heartbreaker’ video when it played on MTV back in the day so that reminds me a little bit of my childhood. Oh, and ‘When You Believe’ of course. The Prince Of Egypt was epic. So, when Big Concerts announced that Mariah Carey would be bringing her Sweet Sweet Fantasy Tour to South Africa, I wouldn’t say I was excited.

That being said, I know Mariah is a legend. C’mon! As a lover of music I couldn’t miss the opportinity to see one of the world’s greatest musicians live. She is a diva. Her voice is one of the most recognizable voices in the world and she has a staggering 18 number one singles.

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So, I made my way to the Ticketpro Dome on the 1st of May – the first of two nights in Johannesburg. The venue was packed. People came out in their masses to watch the diva live – and rightfully so. 947 DJ Vin Deysel was the show’s opening act. Why? Who knows. This is what happens when sponsorship politics come into play. The crowd wasn’t feeling him at all and his set was more like background music.

I liked how Mariah decided to create a more intimate setting by making this a seated event. Her show was more of an experience than a concert which made it something special. Mariah brought her A-Game. Sure, the stage looked rather bare but in all honesty, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Yes, coming from someone who isn’t a fan! She rocked it. I’ve read some reviews recently which said that her vocals are starting to fall flat but I can now confirm it’s all nonsense. Sure, she loves her backing vocals but this girl can sing. Really well in fact.

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As mentioned, this was more of an experience than a concert. Mariah was carried in by her four dancers, flirted with the crowd, gave on a hell of a show and rocked her outfit changes. My favourite moment of the show was when the diva sang ‘Always Be My Baby’ to her kids who were in the audience that evening. Mariah sang hits such as ‘I’ll Be There’, ‘Shake It Off’, ‘Hero’, ‘We Belong Together’ and many more – and slayed every song.

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However, the show wasn’t perfect. I feel a bit more effort could have been done with the screens. Firstly, Mariah is such a diva that the screens were vertical and only showed full body shots of the singer – no face shots. This was highly frustrating to those sitting towards the end of the arena. Secondly, playing old music videos in the backgroud was a bit tacky, Mariah. Then, I know this is stupid but the way Mariah was singing to the crowd instead of talking was so annoying. It’s not like she was singing one of her songs – it was purely a conversation with the crowd. The only reason I didn’t like it was because it was hard to hear.

That being said, the show was incredible. I wouldn’t say she converted me into a fan just yet but I do have a new appreciation for the singer and her music. She really is a living legend.

Pics: Big Concerts

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