Experiencing Mariah Carey live nowadays is like listening to someone start to make a Forrest Gump reference: You pretty much know what you’re going to get, but you can’t be certain what kinds of twists, turns, and yes, surprises are in store. Mariah’s voice ain’t what it used to be, on account of her being in her third decade of singing her lungs out for public consumption. Sometimes she is good, sometimes she is bad. She’s in the weird position of being a superstar underdog, a singer who’s still a billion times more talented than your average human being but who has been brought back down to earth over the years via unmistakable humanity.
I imagine that hearing her sing is also kind of like watching a once-great sports team. It’s exciting and terrifying and sometimes saddening. (Mariah what are you doing?! You’re aiming for the wrong basket!!!)
All that is to say that it seemed a bit unwise at this juncture for Mariah to sign on for a two-month Las Vegas residency that requires her to sing live multiple times a week. But instead of resting on her laurels and getting mani-pedis with her new best friend in the world (a dolphin), Mariah seems more determined than ever to prove that she’s still got the goods. And you know what? It seems like she does.
This morning, TMZ posted a story whose headline screams, “Mariah Carey — KILLS IT In Vegas Rehearsal...Nails the High Notes” with a clip reel of her doing just that during her #1 to Infinity dress rehearsal last night (the greatest hits show officially opens tonight at Caesars). Here, take a listen:
There’s more where that came from, too. Here’s her doing a stripped down of the Mariah No. 1 single you’re least likely to be familiar with, “Thank God I Found You.”
The tone is on point.
Here is “Hero,” which she always manages to kill, even over 20 years after its release:
Here’s “Touch My Body”:
Try saying no to that.
Here’s her probably lip synching the climax of “We Belong Together”:
And here’s a more or less live recording of her new single, “Infinity,” which almost certainly came at the end of the dress rehearsal and shows that her voice didn’t give out over the course of the 90 or so minutes:
And here’s a little bonus for you: This is what she wears while singing “Honey”:
Fuck yeah, that is a confident woman (who’s probably simultaneously painfully insecure and damaged from the effects of 25 years of fame, but you know, you do what you can and you work with what you have).
That’s one show down, 18 left. If Mariah kills it, great. If she doesn’t, we’ll certainly be hearing about it. The element of surprise means that Mariah offers legitimate excitement in the live arena, which is more than you can say for most divas of her caliber.