The hype and excitement surrounding Mariah Carey’s Sweet Sweet Fantasy tour had been steadily building for months.
On Sunday, at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, the dynamic diva lived up to the hysteria, delivering in spectacular, show-stopping fashion.
Having sold over 200 million records worldwide, with 5 Grammy Awards and 11 American Music Awards, Mariah Carey truly is a legend in the music industry.
Adding South Africa to her tour gave the diva’s ardent fans in this part of the world the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see their hero perform live.
Leading up to the show, The Voice ran a quiz competition offering double VIP tickets, transport and accommodation.
The amazing prize was won by Lethogonolo Makwinja, who was understandably delighted.
“I tried my luck eight times with the quiz as I really wanted to win. Apart from Mariah Carey being a legend, I am truly a RNB fan and her music makes part of my preferred playlist any day,” he said.
To add to the magic, Makwinja got to share his prize with his best friend and wife of six years, Babe Makwinja.
“To share this wonderful experience with the love of my life is more than I can ask for.”
And what a wonderful experience it was!
The excited talk amongst the Dome’s 20,000 capacity audience before Mariah took to the stage varied from the diva’s possible outfits to which of her seemingly endless number of hits she would choose to sing.
Some members of the crowd were sceptical of Mariah’s ability to captivate the audience like she used to in her youth.
Kabelo Dipholo was one such member, animatedly saying, “My interest is if she can still hit the high notes. It would be interesting to see if she still has game.”
He need not have worried – she was at the absolute pinnacle of her game.
The awe-inspiring Mariah Carey was incredible, giving a stunning performance that had the crowd hypnotised from start to finish.
The well-lit stage gave the feeling of an exquisite room draped in luxurious red curtains ready to receive the star.
In typical Mariah Carey fashion, two hours after the show was meant to start, she entered the stage carried by hunky, well-sculpted men.
Mariah opened the show with an absorbing performance of Fantasy, following it up with a number of her biggest hits including songs from her Daydream, Butterfly, Music Box and The Emancipation of MIMI albums.
It was a somewhat surreal, goose-bump creating feeling to hear 20,000 voices, young and old, male and female amongst them, ardently singing along to these well known classics.
Those that had wondered how she was going to perform her much-loved collaborations were answered when, through the huge stage backdrop, videos of her songs were played.
These included her songs with Dirty O’l Bastard, Snoop Dog, ‘Heartbreaker’ with Jay Z, ‘When you Believe’ featuring Whitney Houston and finally ‘Loverboy’ featuring Cameo.
There was also an emotional element to the performance, with Mariah singing a touching tribute to Micheal Jackson and Whitney Houston – it was the only sombre part of the night and had a number of the audience in tears.
Changing outfits, from one glamorous, glitzy gown to another, Mariah literally had the crowd on the edge of their seats and it was all-too-soon that she closed out the show with her huge, fan-favourite hit, Hero.
For the 20,000 lucky souls that saw Mariah Carey light up the Dome it really was a night that they’ll never forget – a night that Mercy Thebe, who traveled from Botswana to attend the show, summed up perfectly when she said, “I have loved Mariah for as long as I can remember and own every one of her albums. She is a diva with an unmatched presence and seeing her live completes the journey.”