I haven’t posted anything, obviously, since the Grammy update. I was experimenting with Tumblr (d1esel6.tumblr) and wrote some quick music reviews there. And than I was contemplating closing this blog out, but maybe I just need to revamp how I go about this.
So anyway, I thought maybe I should start by reviewing what I saw this weekend. This past Sunday, the LOGO network had a cool little Pop Diva marathon. They were showing Behind the Music when I woke up (Eve and Jennifer Hudson), and than after that they showed 4 concerts in a row. Concerts that I actually had on my Netflix Q, Mariah Carey‘s “Adventures of Mimi Tour”, Christina Aguilera‘s “Back to Basics Tour” and P!nk‘s recent “Funhouse Tour”. I’m pretty sure most of the shows were edited down for time and commercial breaks (I know, for instance, that P!nk not doing “Stupid Girls” or Christina not doing “Genie in a Bottle” was more of an editing thing because to not perform those hits seems strange) but they gave a good indication on whether or not the shows were any good.
Mariah’s show, well I give her an A for effort.
“The Adventures of Mimi” came after her big comeback with the album “Emancipation of Mimi” and I think she felt like she had to pull out all the stops. So there were big dance numbers and elaborate set pieces, and her scantily clad throughout. Mariah is great with her interaction with the crowd, that’s definitely where she excels. She was fun and funny, and at times genuinely heartfelt. Her voice, at times, was still phenomenal although not flawless. There were times when she kind of fell off the melodies, or just hit the wrong notes, but those were few and far between. And her stage presence, well it ain’t that great. I feel like her problem is that she’s too overly conscious of every move she makes. Though sometimes she busted out some dance moves that looked really natural on her. At the end of the show, I was satisfied with the concert. She ran through pretty much ALL her big hits and it was fun taking a trip down memory lane (I hadn’t listened to “Dream Lover” in I don’t know how long and I forgot how much I love it), she even brought out Boyz II Men (well three of the four original members) to do her gigantic mid-90’s hit “One Sweet Day”. Mariah really did give her all, she really tried and you can’t really fault her for the mis-steps, just comparatively it wasn’t the best show out there. Obviously great for True Mariah fans like myself.
Rating: 7 of 10
Christina Aguilera’s “Back to Basics Tour” faltered only because she pretty much sang nothing but “Back to Basics” material, and that’s not my favorite Christina album.
I respect the album because she truly did go for the sound that she was into and didn’t get persuaded to change it, however that R&B meets Old School Jazz meets Pop sound doesn’t lend itself well for a big arena tour. I also should add, I think this was the most edited show of the three I watched. I just kept feeling like “Okay, WHEN is she gonna sing a song I know” and it didn’t come until the end. (I also got the feeling she was lipping big chunks of her show… I just never heard her BREATHE which is an indication) Where Christina excelled on this show was her confidence and her stage presence blew me away. She was ripping up the stage, and not that she was doing intricate dance moves or anything like that, she just was all over the stage with sass and attitude that was necessary for the material. Even the overall staging of the show was superb, “Makes Me Wanna Pray” and “Candyman” specifically were really well thought out as far as look and utilizing the stage. Towards the end, Aguilera lost some steam it seemed like. She ended with her classic “Beautiful” (terribly oversung) and “Fighter” which I felt was an ODD closer, but it worked. Overall, the show seemed a little disjointed and out of sync (and I think it’s because of the LOGO editing) but she LOOKED great, and her stage presence was on point. Better than I expected, but still not all that impressive.
Rating: 6 of 10 (based on the LOGO broadcast which I still think was heavily edited)
Now I saw P!nk’s tour in support of “I’m Not Dead” on DVD a few years ago, and it blew me away. I always knew she was a great singer and great performer but that concert was just EVERYTHING you’d want in a show.
Her most recent “Funhouse Tour” took it up a bunch of notches. The stage presence that Christina had, and the interaction with the crowds that Mariah had, combined with some real Cirque du Soleil stunts, true musicality, and wonderful costume and set design really OWNS both the other concerts. I guess the thing that P!nk has is pure energy and not taking herself too seriously. And I should add, true versatility. She goes from Rock Anthems (the excellent cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”) to slower acoustic sets (“I Don’t Believe You”) to pure Pop extravaganzas (a great rendition of “Get the Party Started”) all while joking with the crowd, making fun of her dancing, and being playful with her band. Of the three shows (there was a 30 minute Lady GaGa show I didn’t watch) P!nk really just seemed like she was the one actually having fun up on stage, and of course the audience and the viewer enjoyed it more because of it. Immediately after watching, I added the show to my Amazon playlist because I could definitely imagine myself giving that more than 10 viewings.
Rating: 9.5 of 10