Whitney Wows Glasgow...

Scotsman: Music review: Whitney Houston, SECC, Glasgow
This fallen star's lost her sparkle
Published Date: 03 May 2010
WHITNEY HOUSTON
**
SECC, GLASGOW

THE SECC was hedging its bets, announcing via its video screens that Whitney Houston would be onstage at "around" 9pm. Houston has fallen far in the last decade, both professionally and personally, and her comeback tour has so far been littered with cancelled or postponed dates and reported walkouts from disgruntled fans.

Still, she had made it to Glasgow "around" time too and the crowd were determined in their support, willing on their treasured diva and greeting every successfully held top note like it was a revelation from the Delphic Oracle. You would too if you'd paid 75 for a ticket.

But Whitney is that diva no more. It was obvious from this performance that she has lost her vocal agility, her stamina, her poise and her wits or so it seemed from her nervous laughter, repetitive thank yous and rambling personal tributes. Her band were practiced at covering for her while she took time out to pat away the sweat, re-apply her make-up, impart another nugget of eccentric insight and generally procrastinate.

When she did open her mouth to sing, the results were haphazard. Rather than re-arrange the songs to fit her reduced range or make the most of her new husky tone, she launched herself at over-embroidered renditions and to hell with technical proficiency, riffing witlessly all over Saving All My Love For You or teetered on the edge of mania during A Song For You, which she dedicated tearfully to Michael Jackson.

Eventually, the audience was forced to wrestle back control by taking over vocal duties on The Greatest Love Of All.

In her favour, she seemed to be enjoying herself as she hoofed gamely but laboriously around the stage with her dancers during the upbeat numbers. But even with a ten-minute break during which her brother Gary minded the shop and her backing singers tore into Queen Of The Night she still looked and sounded knackered by the time she was gasping through her closing number called (oh, the irony!) I Didn't Know My Own Strength.

NEWSFILE: 3 MAY 2010
 

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