Friday, April 18, 2008

Diva Concert Showdown : Celine vs Mariah

Since I mentioned both Celine Dion AND Mariah Carey in my postings this week, I thought "Why not compare their concerts since I attended both?"

And here we go :


Concert Ticket

I paid for numbered seat for both concerts. They were organised by the same company and was held at the same location - Stadium Merdeka.

For RM2xx, I got a very huge, full colour ticket of Mariah Carey's Charmbracelet World Tour, enough for me to 'frame' it nicely in my souvenir book.

At the concert venue, I was seated at the right corner of the middle section. Which means I still can get a good glimpse of her without squinting my eyes. The most expensive ticket was RM6xx, which the fans can get ridiculously close to Mariah.

For RM3xx, I got a very standard ticket stub, with no colour picture of Celine Dion. Chances are the ink on this ticket will fade as time passes by.

I was seated at the left side of the back section of the field. During the concert, I can barely see Celine performing and had to rely on the big screen most of the time. The most expensive ticket was RM1XXX of which you still need to make room for a huge amount of VVIPS sitting in front of you.

Score : Mariah 1 ; Celine 0

Both concerts were attended by royalty, so naturally even the divas have to wait for them to arrive before the concert may begin.

Start time for Mariah's concert : 8:30pm
End time for Mariah's concert : 10pm
Duration : 90 minutes

Start time for Celine's concert : 9pm
End time for Celine's concert :10:30pm
Duration : 90 minutes

Although it's not the divas' fault, I give Mariah slight advantage as the royalty arrived earlier so the concert could begin earlier. Yay!

Score : Mariah 1 ; Celine 0

Karaoke Quality

Generally I think people here watch concerts because they want to sing-along with their idol, or they are into familiar songs (e.g Both Mariah and Celine had great songs under their belt, but whether do they sing all the songs we love?

I have to say I am definitely more well versed with Mariah's hits, and she didn't really sing other songs other than her hit singles, plus a couple of tracks from her new album. Most of time we can hear everyone singing along her songs, and it was evenly spread out throughout the concert. Towards the end, everyone was satisfied and happy since she's already covered most of her hit singles (though I wanted more lah...)

As for Celine Dion's concert, she wowed us all with a series of her hit singles, and everyone was singing along with her. However, she left out some of the duet hits, perhaps no one to sing with her. However during the middle section, she took a different path and started performing some cover versions and songs from her new album. The crowd was definitely quieter this time as they were not familiar with those songs. Until Titanic was played. Then everyone sang along again, this time on a more definite high, as if they were dying to sing more of her songs. And that's it. Finito. I can feel a lot of people were not satisfied, partly because she didn't sing some popular songs, and she just left it as such.

Score : Mariah 1; Celine 0


I am very particular about the audience in a concert. To me, being in a concert is to participate, not sit down, watch and clap hands as if it was some orchestra. Unfortunately, my experience for both has been quite disappointing, as most of the people in the seated area are generally more - ahem - well behaved. This means just sitting down, and only standing up when they feel obliged to.

I know that during Mariah's concert, I was envious of those who could afford the most expensive seats. Those were the true fans who came with banners and giant butterflies, waving madly at her while she performed. Where I'm seated, I was very glad the guy seating next to me was just as a huge fan as I. We were the ones ended up singing out loud, shouting and cheering her name. At the end of the concert, I remember my boyfriend refused to talk to me, saying that I had just embarrassed him in front of the crowd by behaving like a uncivilized person. Well, that's the reason why I regretted not buying the most expensive tickets!

Overall the ambience was good, partly Mariah has quite a number of catchy pop hits that kept the crowd going. Even the encores were louder (I remember because I was one of them).

As for Celine's concert, the audience around me was more responsive, maybe partly there were more foreigners as well. While there were barely people standing up, but I can see many others dancing at the open area on the field.

However, I felt that the overall ambiance was spoilt by those VVIP in front, who I think barely responded to the crowd enthusiasm. The encore was seriously weak, although the two guys next to me were shouting very loud as well. Such a pity.

Score : Mariah (1 for overall, 0 for my section) ; Celine (0 for overall ; 1 for my section, based on relativity)

Costume Change

Now this is one tough situation. Knowing how strict our laws are, both divas have no choice but the adhere to the regulations. It is also this regulation that resulted in Beyonce giving Malaysia a miss during her world tour. Boo to the authorities!!!

Anyway, poor Mariah stuck to only her pink spaghetti strap top and jeans throughout the concert. I read about her other costume changes, but seems we will not be getting to see any coz they were too 'sexy'.

Celine was 'well-covered' but I've seen on the web that that was indeed one of her five costumes for the concert. However I thought she would have changed into something else halfway through her concert. To my surprise, she didn't, and I was worried if she would have fainted coz it must be seriously warm in that outfit! Towards the end, she did change into a yellow chiffon gown while belting out "My Heart Will Go On". What a relief! But i'm still puzzled why she didn't change, was it too sexy? Celine, sexy? Hmm......

Score : Mariah 0 ; Celine 1


What keeps the concert going is not only just the singing and dancing. I believe that one needs to also keep in touch with the audience time and again.

Mariah started by greeting her fans although I can't remember if she said any Bahasa greetings or not. Throughout the concert, she would occasionally ask questions and saying lots of 'Love ya' to the crowd. She even introduced her entire band during the concert, which I thought is such a great gesture.

Apart from greeting the fans with some simple Bahasa verse like "Apa Khabar", she also mentioned that she was honoured to be performing in front of the King and Queen and hope they enjoyed her concert. However, after that it was just mostly singing, with an occasional explanation why she sing certain songs. She did joke around with the violinist but that's about it. No introduction of her backup singers and band members as well.

Score : Mariah 1 ; Celine 0

Final Verdict : Mariah wins!

I enjoyed both concerts, but perhaps I am biased towards my preference of Mariah over Celine, simply because I'm a Mariah fan. But I do think Celine could have done better in terms of interacting with the audience.

While writing this, I had a crazy thought of comparing them with Jay Chou's 2005 concert at Stadium Merdeka as well, but held off that thought. Concerts by Chinese artists are always one of its kind, and Jay's concert was a class of its own. I wouldn't want to put the divas to shame with the King of Mandopop :)


lilium said...

U were at Mariah's concert as well?? OOo..I was there too paying the RM2xx ticket. Prob won't know u coz I haven't join the company =)

runwitme said...

Hi! You obviously a huge Mariah fan. I was at both concerts too but I enjoyed both and wouldn't care to compare the two divas. What's the point? We should be thankful that they even come here to perform.

n i l e e y said...

Hi runwitme, i am thankful that we had the chance of them performing here, just posted this out since it was on my mind :)