Thursday, September 18, 2008

Celine's Return To The Big Apple

The other night, I attended Celine Dion’s concert at Madison Square Garden – her first Big Apple performance in a decade.

Early on in the show, Celine expressed her delight about returning to MSG after such a long absence – and her gratitude about having her 81-year-old mother with her on tour. Celine’s observation resonated deeply with me, having attended her 1998 MSG show just a few days before losing my own mom. I felt comforted knowing that, like Celine, I still feel that my mother is very much a part of me.

With a handful of backup dancers and talented musicians, Celine made good use of the stage’s in-the-round setup. During her two-hour set, Celine hit many of the high notes of her ballad-heavy repertoire, belting out such hits as “Because You Loved Me,” “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” and the title track of her current album, “Taking Chances.” “The Prayer,” a duet with Andrea Bocelli, worked surprisingly well even though Bocelli appeared via pre-recorded video.

Celine belting it out at MSG.

Less effective was Celine’s mid-show take on a couple of Queen songs and 1960’s tunes. Given her robust catalog of hits, the covers seemed out of place. She fared better performing her own upbeat material, including a rousing rendition of “Love Can Move Mountains” that had most of us in the crowd on our feet.

Like she did ten years ago, Celine ended with her most successful hit. Following a few clips from “Titanic,” she emerged from the bottom of the stage in a billowing black gown to perform the movie’s signature song, “My Heart Will Go On.” Whether or not you’re a fan of schmaltz—and I most assuredly am—there’s no denying the ballad is a showstopper.

Though the concert fell flat at a few points, Celine still has the pipes and stage presence to deliver a great performance.

Coming up…the scoop on the “Sex and the City” DVD launch party and more outrageous first date tales.


A-Dawg said...

definitely not my cup of tea but I'm impressed by her ability to suppress her accent.

Melissa said...

I'm impressed by it too. She did one song in French--probably to give her accent suppressing muscles a rest!