“*Damn* that woman can sing!”


It must have been 1994 when we had that memorable, musical Christmas.
My dad tried to surprise Bernhard and me by giving each of us a CD. And boy, that was a surprise! I got Luther Vandross, who had a quick straw fire of popularity back then because he sang a duet with Mariah Carey, “Endless Love“. Mariah was huge back then and I am sure I do injustice to poor Luther, but my take was the guy did not have much more to offer than trying to cash in on a duet with a real star. And I would put “real” in air quotes back then, of course.
Now, I got Luther, but dear Bernhard got the Mariah Carey Christmas CD, Merry Christmas, which had been released just a month earlier.

Bernhard and I were shellshocked.
We were far too cool to like Mariah Carey and I felt particularly insulted by getting a Luther Vandross CD, so I could not even manage to fake a thank you. I rather behaved like I had just found a 6 weeks old flounder in my undies:

Leo: What the… what is this?!
My dad: Hey, hey. This is great! That’s Luther!
Leo: I don’t care! The guy is terrible.

Note to self: dads don’t have it easy.
I think I likewise lectured my dad that it was as worse to give Bernhard a Mariah Carey CD. And the worst: a Christmas CD. Sellout! Stupid songs! Not even written by herself. Bah! The worst, worst, worst!

I still think that the Luther CD was crap.
But regarding that Christmas CD I have to admit that over the years, I realized I really liked Mariah’s versions of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and of course “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Yes, only two songs, but Mariah used to be a total no-no for me, so this change of heart was already quite big (plus there were some other songs from other albums that grew on me).

Over the years I got much milder when it comes to music.
I am now listening happily to songs which 15-20 year ago I would have taken as a reason not to talk to someone. Ah, hypocrisy – isn’t she beautiful?

Anyway. Fast forward to yesterday night. Lamia and I had bought tickets for the Mariah Carey concert at the Singapore stadium. Not because either of us is a fan (though we have a song of her: “Get My Number”), but same thing as with JLo: if a big international act gets lost and finds their way to Singapore (and we don’t hate them too badly), we go.

After a surprisingly good pizza at a Pezzo franchise we entered the arena to find our seats.

But, oh shucks!

Upsetting! From this position you really cannot see Jack Shit. And part of that small video screen is even covered by speakers. You got to be kidding me: one ticket is 170 SGD!

We decided to move to the left and after a few times of being chased away from seats by rightful ticket holders we eventually found some where we could stay for the rest of the show, see much better and enjoy the concert (I am still going to write a complaint. It’s unacceptable to ask so much money for such a shit view!).

My first thoughts as Mariah came on stage were of a mocking nature, of course. While I’ve just admitted above that I liked a few songs, I thought I was still far too cool to really be at a Mariah Carey concert.

And while I stick to this tweet, there was something else about her that made those few additional pounds since last I saw a video of her quite irrelevant. There was something I did not expect: she seemed to have so much fun on stage. And with her, all the other musicians and most of her dancers.

I did not know most of the songs she performed, but she made everything feel light and really enjoyable and had such a captivating stage presence. I admit I was impressed. And as the show continued she also sang these high notes that normally I find rather annoying. Not tonight. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised.
Paired with her generally wonderful performance I could not help but write:

So in short, despite the outrageous seating which we luckily could improve on, we had an enjoyable evening.

So far so good.
But there are repercussions. Remember how I gave my dad a hard time buying us CDs of or with Mariah Carey? Well, it turns out that someone had read my tweets:

Hallo Sohn,

ich fand schon vor Jahrzehnten, daß sie mindestens eigen und besonders singt.
Auf Wunsch könnte ich Dir eine Weihnachts-CD vermitteln.

Liebe Grüße,

Alright, alright…
But no need for that Luther Vandross album, ok?

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