Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Mariah owes me 50% of my Jazz money

Published:Tuesday | February 3, 2015 | 2:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

AS a diehard fan from high school days, when we used to pause the cassette player to catch and write off the words to our favourite songs, I have searched the universe for an excuse, explanation or justification for Mariah's mediocre performance at Jazz on my birthday last Friday. I have settled on heartbreak or antidepressants!

A cyaah suh she has been delivering performances all her life. While she was not booed here like she was at a recent performance in the US, it was clear from the audience response that her delivery was wanting in many spheres.

After the pomp and pageantry for her introduction - Mariah the this and Mariah the that, so many number ones, the parade of sultry videos, the full-on drama and ray-tay-tay - the crowd was on their feet, ready for the treat of their lives. Little did they know that her performance would be a series of flatliners after every hopeful resuscitation.

Visibly Stunned

Midway the performance, many people took their seats. Some people eventually walked out before the end of her set. The applause, screams and fanfare that are synonymous with a satisfied audience at the end of a hit song got weaker and weaker as the performance progressed, till people stopped clapping.

Many fans were visibly stunned, numbed, even confused. I expected her to lip-synch at times and expected a change in her vocals - with age and all - and that's OK. I even made peace with the three wardrobe changes.

However, the distracting, self-absorbed, long-talking in-between the sets about rubbish like wardrobe, shoe size and other crap was my biggest problem. I believe it significantly undermined the entertainment value of the performance, killed the little intermittent vibe generated in between, thus ruining the momentum of the whole delivery.

At one point, I wondered if she remembered she had an audience, a discriminating audience at that, which can be very hard to please and unforgiving. It also didn't help that people couldn't sing along to some of their favourite songs because she changed the arrangement.

Oh, yes, she had dancers and they were good. But they didn't compensate for the stillbirth performance. Now about that exit: "Thank you, Jamaica," as she disappeared behind the stage at the end of a song. Braps suh! Never to return - and unbeknown to the MCs or the audience.

Fair or not, comparison must be made with deliveries from much older divas like Chaka Khan and the indomitable Celine Deon, who thrilled us from the same stage two years ago. Really, Mariah? This diehard fan could tek him money back!

MARVIN GUNTER

gunter@unfpa.org