Those who grew up watching MTV in the 90s couldn't help but fall in love with Mariah Carey.
The good girl with the five-octave golden voice conquered stages, and pleased more and more ears every time her videos aired.
Tuesday, about two and a half decades too late, the Israeli audience at the Live Park Amphitheater in Rishon Lezion got a Mariah that was a little different. One who is in the middle of the fifth decade of her life, looks very cautious, calculated, and, it seems after her recent vocal incidents, one who's afraid of taking risks.
The concert started and hour late, and opened with a few mediocre performances, in which the background singers covered for Carey through every single song. When Carey did manage to reach the famous tones that made her who she is, the audience applauded enthusiastically, and she replied by saying "Toda" and "Ani ohevet etchem" ("Thank you" and "I love you" in Hebrew, respectively).
Some comfort came in the last third of the show – after a few rest periods and a change of dresses – when Carey came on stage to perform her classic hits "Without You" and "Hero". Only then, long after 11pm, did it seem that something had opened in Mariah, and happily it wasn't one of the ultra-tight dresses made by the Israeli designer who provided her wardrobe.
Finally, at this point Carey managed to supply the goods, and for the first time in a grueling night, to come ever-so-slightly close to touching the emotions of those present. But it was too little and nearly too late.
After a night where Carey didn't bring her famous voice, hardly moved on stage at all (as we said, condom dresses), and always took the safe side – with the background singers and excellent orchestra accompanying her and overshadowing her vocal abilities – it wasn't really satisfying, even considering the fact that this was the diva's first show in Israel after all these years.