Carey's five-octave vocals in fine form



The Star Theatre/Last Saturday

Though she has made headlines for lip-syncing and other vocal snafus in the past, none of that was present at pop star Mariah Carey’s return concert here last Saturday night.

In fact, her famous five-octave vocal range was in fine form as she went through an upbeat set-list that covered most parts of her three-decades-long career.

Perhaps her recent Las Vegas residencies had sharpened her vocal dexterity, but the 85-minute set was full of melisma-laden R&B pop favourites like My All (1997), as well as her trademark whistle register on hits such as Emotions (1991) and #Beautiful (2013).

She seemed in an amiable mood and there was plenty of easy banter with her four-piece band, trio of backing singers and four dancers.

At one point, she even brought on stage her adorable seven-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, during, appropriately enough, Always Be My Baby (1995).

It was a full-house crowd at the 5,000-seat venue, with the fans, especially those standing close to the stage, giving a rapturous reception to almost every song.

She was especially fond of the “lambs”, her endearing term for the super-fans who made elaborate signs and wore shirts emblazoned with her likeness and her name.

She read out their placards, peppered her set with several compliments on their dressing and even pulled one up on stage to dance and sing along to Touch My Body (2008).

And while she could easily fill the whole set-list with familiar hits from the past, she had new tracks, too, singing The Distance from her upcoming 15th album, Caution.

If there were any complaints about the show, it was the fact that she came on 35 minutes after the stipulated show time. This was certainly not the longest time that audiences here have been made to wait for a marquee act, but it was a minor annoyance nonetheless.

Carey also went through several costume changes, each of them glittery and figure-hugging.

That meant that the show was broken up with intervals for her to go backstage and change.

The concert could have done without such interruptions, but Carey’s sterling supporting cast took over the stage in her absence.

Her backing dancers were ultra-nimble, displaying acrobatic finesse while songs like I’m That Chick (2008) and Dreamlover (1993) played, sans Carey, in the background. They also pulled up a member of the audience, who was only too happy to ham it up by prancing around on stage.

Her singers, which included longtime singing partner Trey Lorenz, and musicians did more than just back her up. They also took on the parts originally sung by R&B vocal group Boyz II Men on their duet with Carey, One Sweet Day (1995).

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