Urging Whitney On...
Herald Sun: Willing Melbourne fans urge on Whitney Houston at Rod Laver
REPORTS of Whitney
Houston's career-death have been greatly exaggerated.
Given some of the post-show comments - by journalists and the public - after
Houston's Brisbane and Sydney shows you half expect her to collapse on stage
or not sing a note.
On the contrary - her sold out Rod Laver Arena show last night was - for the
majority - pure superstar material. Houston is just a more human superstar
in 2010, now with added flaws that give her character.
Were you at Whitney Houston's Melbourne concert? Tell us what you thought of
the show in the comments below
She hits all the right notes in I Look to You, the new song about what she
calls her ''down times.'' Indeed every time she hits a huge note her devoted
audience break into applause.
I have rarely seen an audience so behind an artist, willing her on. Before
THAT note in I Will Always Love You the audience give her a standing
ovation, someone even yells ''You can do it'' - and she does, 90 minutes
into the concert.
Those saying Houston should not be on tour are misguided - these are her
people and they are thrilled to see her back on stage. And Houston knows
she's in her element.
Perhaps all the haters (Houston referenced her bad Australian press during
the show) have spurred her on - there was no hint of train wreck and Houston
looked defiant with something to prove.
Sure she's eccentric - at times looking in her own world and slightly
bonkers - but who wants normal stars? The feeling of `What will she do
next?’ was quite exciting – reminding you she’s a diva, unlike many of
today’s beige robotic, over-thought performers.
At one point Houston did her own make up on stage, once sang directions to
staff and giggled to herself. However there were no signs of excessive
sweating, minimal holding onto towels and hardly any coughing.
Yes she went off stage for a costume change that lasted around 15 minutes.
Many other artists call this an interval (there's one in the George Michael
show for instance). However instead of stopping the show, Houston's brother
Gary performs a gospel number and her backing singers get a moment to shine
on Queen of the Night.
Yes it would have been great to have Houston join in, but it wasn't like she
shied away from uptempo numbers once she returned to the stage.
Houston belted out hits like The Greatest Love of All, All at Once and Step
by Step with that spine-tingling voice in full effect.
My Love Is Your Love and It's Not Right But It's Okay were delivered just as
you remembered them.
Unlike Britney Spears' autopilot show, Houston chatted and engaged with the
crowd. She got emotional on a Michael Jackson tribute and got well and truly
in the vocal zone during her gospel segment.
And going into this show expecting little, it feels patronising to comment
that she can still sing or compare her voice to what it used to be. You
presume Houston and the team around her (she's managed by members of her
family) would not put her on stage if she could not deliver.
The only niggles were the talk-singing of I Wanna Dance With Somebody and
How Will I Know at the end of the show, with the audience singalong and her
amazing backing vocalists saving the day.
But they're minor gripes - if she keeps up this quality - Houston, we do not
have a problem.
Houston returns to Melbourne to play at the Plenary on Saturday.
Special mention should go to support Anthony Callea's impressive performance
– including a brilliant cover of Heart’s Alone.
Note: The Herald Sun did not receive free tickets from the promoter after
review tickets were withdrawn yesterday.
2 MARCH 2010
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