Mariah Carey Concert Review

May 22, 2023
David Sunnyside

Whether you love her or hate her, it's impossible not to admire Mariah Carey's sheer willpower. The diva of the pop century continues to deliver hit after hit and, despite some flubs over the years, her voice remains unimpaired. When she belts out the high notes for a finale of "Without You," it's a reminder why her name is in lights on every concert poster.

Despite a few too many tiara-shaped snares, Carey's show was full of charm. Her band is solid, her backup dancers are spirited and her co-producer, Walter Afanasieff, is a gifted keyboardist. The set follows arena-pop conventions, with costume changes, a number sung seated at the edge of the stage and cues for audience participation. A gospel choir and male dancers join the band for uptempo tunes, but she wisely keeps things focused on her vocal mastery.

Aside from a brief hiatus during the non-Christmas songs, Carey is fully in her element. Her biggest hits come from her first Christmas album and are sung with the kind of ferocity that can make a theater-full of fans burst into tears.

Even when she's singing the schmaltzy "When Christmas Comes," you can't help but feel uplifted. Throughout the night, Carey is sweet, endearing and funny, joking about her lack of athleticism and playing up her vanity by bringing her makeup artists out onstage to do touch-ups. At times, she's cloyingly sentimental and the production's glitz can get a bit gaudy, but that's the point when it comes to holiday shows.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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