Gig review: Mariah Carey at First Direct Arena, Leeds

Mariah Carey. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Mariah Carey. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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They say that all good things come to those who wait.

But fans at Leeds First Direct Arena were getting impatient waiting for pop sensation Mariah Carey to take to the stage.

At one point the 10,000-strong crowd started booing as they waited for the American superstar to grace the stage with her presence as she ran behind schedule.

But their boos were swiftly forgotten when the glamour puss diva eventually arrived on stage - carried on a chaise lounge by her army of male dancers.

Singing a special mix of Sweet Fantasy the singer whipped the crowds into a frenzy as she belted out the smash hit showcasing her stunning five-octave vocal range.

And, living up to her diva-style reputation, she was soon asking the arena staff to switch up the fans to help give her luscious locks the ultimate showbiz wind treatment on stage - and woe betide the sound engineers when she asked for her earpiece to be turned up.

But her demands could easily be forgiven for the singer who has sold more than 200million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

This independent woman knows exactly what she wants and boy does she know how to put on a stunning show!

She effortlessly ploughed her way through hit after hit as part of her latest six-date UK tour which is her first visit to this side of the Atlantic since the European leg of her Charmbracelet tour in 2003.

Since last May, she’s been in residency in Las Vegas, and she’s set to return Stateside in June.

Mariah certainly gave it her all as she seamlessly sang her way through My All from her Butterfly album, with the fans’ voices echoing around the arena as they joined in.

And there was a touching montage on the big screen behind her, with her two young children beamed in a video to accompany her as she sang crowd pleaser Always Be My Baby.

At one point she plucked a young male fan from the crowd for an extra special dance during Touch My Body.

She then had a nod to the Jackson Five with her remake of I’ll Be There which helped to firmly cement herself as a solo recording artist in the 1990s.

Mariah soon switched sparkly ensembles again to sing a medley of hits including the popular Heartbreaker.

At one point, her dancers dressed like Top Gear Stigs and waved check flags across the stage for Loverboy.

The mega star, who told the crowd she had braved the motorways from London to travel up to Leeds, then paid tribute to Whitney Houston by performing the tear-jerking 1999 Oscar-winner When You Believe.

The solitary spotlight on stage was a fitting way to say thank you to her friend for their musical moment.

And she continued to prove what a vocal powerhouse she truly is as Without You helped bring the whole glamorous show to a close.

As the cheers rose around the fan-shaped arena it just reaffirmed Mimi’s pop royalty status.

And don’t worry about being late - we’ve all been there before!

Gojira

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