If Mariah Carey has been somewhat eclipsed by younger models over the years as Top Pop Diva, then no one has told the singer herself.
Mariah Carey| Rating: *** | Hydro, Glasgow
Most of the fun in Carey’s first European tour in over a decade arose from her determination to carry herself like a fabulous higher being – or, in the case of her playful entrance, be carried on a chaise longue, borne aloft by ripped pallbearers in sequined jackets.
The Sweet Sweet Fantasy tour is a trusty hit fest, but no song was permitted to outshine the star, who wore a selection of shimmery gowns to make sure of it and had fun with her diva demands. Mic stands, fans, vocal sprays… no detail was too small to strop over playfully.
Carey is a show-off rather than a storyteller – the trills and frills always get in the way, yet it was remarkable the excitement she could generate for her ability to summon the canines of the city with her dog whistle upper register. Even a solid, emotive ballad such as Against All Odds took second place to Mariah the stratospheric warbler, present in excelsis on a closing run of the big ballads for which she is famed, including the cheesy/inspirational (take your pick) Hero and her melismatic takedown of Badfinger’s Without You.
This was Mariah’s slightly surreal realm and we were briefly permitted to gaze on it, like the shaking fan who was invited on to the stage, it seemed, simply to look awestruck.