AdelaideNow: Whitney shows fans at Adelaide Entertainment Centre concert
she still has diva quality
fans came to judge pop icon Whitney Houston for themselves last night, and
she showed them she's still got "it" - just not consistently.
Fans took their seats at the Entertainment Centre last night unsure if they
would see a triumph or trainwreck.
In the end they got a bit of both - all for a tidy $200.
Houston's first Australian tour in 22 years has brought with it not only the
ageing pop star but a barrage of controversy as she was slammed after her
opening show in Brisbane for being "breathless".
No doubt curiosity about her health and well-being enticed many Adelaide
supporters to hold on to their tickets and the majority were glad they did
as they danced their way through her star-studded set.
The moment the film, music and fashion star stepped on stage in shiny silver
spandex leggings the crowd jumped to its feet and screamed for one idol.
Opening with For The Lovers, off her latest album, I Look To You, Houston
shimmied and gyrated alongside her all-male dance troupe, and let the
adoration from the audience wash over her as she closed the number with some
deep, composing breaths.
Yet everyone was still to pass judgment on whether she could still sing...
and she could.
At times Houston let her vocals loose and with a collective gasp of
excitement the crowd remembered how and why she became such a superstar in
her heyday. Yet, there were times when all - including Houston herself -
were reminded she's now 46, has overcome serious drug addiction and an
abusive relationship to make it this far in her career and she's tired.
There's one thing for sure. Houston is an entertainer at heart.
She knows how to engage a crowd and keep the fans eating from the palm of
her hand. She'll tease with a knowing and tuneful hum, or tell a story about
what brought her to today. Last night it was the moment when she called her
daughter, Bobbi Kristina, up on stage for everyone to sing happy birthday to
while they shared hugs and tears that endeared Houston to all. After all,
she's a mother of a 17-year-old in her spare time too.
Though it was her rally through the hits - including I Learn From You and I
Wanna Dance With Somebody - that kept the crowd pumping, all the while
anticipating that magical moment... the opening bars of I Will Always Love
The first half was undoubtedly a mess. Poorly executed and a slightly more
casual interpretation of the song left fans wanting more, chanting "we love
you Whitney" as she paused before the second chorus.
Then she nailed it. Like the day she first recorded it, Houston held the
power note that made her an icon. Albeit with an eye-roll to conclude and
the admission "that's really hard you know".
But, despite her slightly eclectic style on stage (she announced she would
be drinking plenty of water - "don't get it mixed up" - and applied make-up
at one point) Houston was still loveable and commendable after all these
NEWSFILE: 4 MARCH 2010