Diva! Celine Dion Live

2008-02-26 16:26
Watch Celine strut her stuff in this exclusive live video
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We arrived at Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West at 2pm only to find thousands of people already there, melting in the hot sun. The organization was terrible with thousands of people queuing and no toilets, no barricades and no shade. No barricades meant that crowd control was non-existent so those who came early were not even rewarded for their troubles.

By late afternoon the situation had worsened - people were grumpy and calling for the gates to be opened. The police were on hand to help control things but were largely ineffective. When the gates didn’t open on schedule at 6pm, the mob started to push. The security that stood arm-in-arm to hold them at bay was overrun by folks who ran down the avenue to reach the gates. Once there, they had to cram through a tiny entrance to get into the venue. Inside they were compensated though by a well laid out setting with plenty of toilets and food and drink stalls.

Finally the sun set and people settled down on their picnic blankets. Jody Williams, the winner of last year’s Idols came on at 8.10pm looking cute, sexy and elegant in a short ruffled ivory dress. The crowd was blown away by her confidence and power as she performed three Whitney Houston songs, followed by her new single.
But it was Celine everyone had come for. She opened with a blast of radiance, colour and Roy Orbison's "I Drove All Night". I was pleased to see her accompanied by a troupe of dancers, backup singers and a full live band, made especially effective by the incredible sound direction.

Her concert was divided into four medleys bounded by her well known classics and her new single Taking Chances. Dion has never been known as conventionally stylish and she didn’t disappoint here, trotting out a collection of dreadful sequined dresses rounded out with a bizarre S&M bullfighting outfit.

The crowd loved her, only being lost to boredom during the Soul medley - a collection of classics like "It’s a Man’s World" and "That’s Just a Woman". Although I could see she was trying really hard to get the crowd involved they just weren’t interested - except in her truly tiny gold sequined dress. She recharged them by performing Tina Turner’s pulsing "River Deep, Mountain High" - the energetic highlight of the concert.

The French-Canadian diva closed the show with her biggest hit, Titanic’s "My Heart Will Go On", in a version that had just the right amount of emotion without resorting to giving the audience diabetes. By far the best live performance I have seen, it will be remembered as a night of excitement tempered by some shoddy planning.

- Philip Langley

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She is one of the biggest selling female artists of all time, a performer so popular that she could fill a massive venue in Las Vegas every night for five years. She is loved and hated across the world for her unique mix of power and schmaltz. She is Celine Dion. And she was in South Africa to kick off her new world tour.

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