CONCERT IN KANSAS
On January 3, 2009 Celine Dion performed at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, USA with the "Taking Chances Tour" in front of about 16,000 people. The tour rang this year on a high note, as her sell-out concert in Kansas City earned a record-setting $1,625,739.00, becoming the highest-grossing concert event in the history of the Sprint Center. Since launching the North American leg of the "Taking Chances Tour" in August of 2008, Celine´s powerhouse performances have been breaking attendance and box office records throughout the U.S. and Canada and has just been named the #2 highest- grossing tour of 2008 by Pollstar magazine. On this show Celine´s dance moves were more amateur than not, although she rocked a few high-karate kicks. But most of the time when she busts a move, Celine looks like a teenage girl dancing like a rock chick in front of her bedroom mirror: some air guitar, some head-banging, lots of fist pumping. She expressed some plain-talk regret for calling in sick in November. She talked about her 81-year-old mother, who was on tour with her, and her 8-year-old son, who was, too. She accepted floral donations from a few fans, and then kissed them all as a thank you. After the show, she walked through the crowd, shaking hands and saying howdy. Celine brought with her a big band and backup singers and sexy dancers, who filled in when Celine disappeared beneath the stage for a wardrobe change. The stage was a "round", with two long runways that led to the seats on opposite sides of the arena.
CONCERT IN DALLAS
On January 5, 2009 Celine Dion performed in a sold out show at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, USA with the "Taking Chances Tour". Celine was personable with the fans, talking freely between songs. She sang with power and pathos, particularly during the breathtaking "All By Myself" and of course her signature ballad, the beautiful "My heart will go on". As expected, that one ended her 105-minute gig. By then she was on her sixth costume, a flowing black gown. Candles flickered atop the lighting rigs, which were lowered to stage level. The anthem was rightfully treated with grand care. At every turn, Celine looked as though she was having a good time, interacting with her 10-piece band and her eight dancers and delivering fun dance numbers such as "I drove all night" and "Shadow of love". Her soul-blues mojo, a cover of "It´s a man´s man´s man´s world" was way cool. "The prayer," with duet partner Andrea Bocelli on the video screen, was elegant. Her take on Jim Steinman´s "It´s all coming back to me now" was drama incarnate.
CONCERT IN NEW ORLEANS
On January 10, 2009 Celine Dion performed at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, USA with the "Taking Chances Tour". In front of a capacity crowd that included Gov. Bobby Jindal, she emerged atop a dazzling square stage set in the middle of the arena floor. The stage itself was a performing entity, with moving sidewalks, lighted panels and platforms that alternately elevated and hid musicians and backing vocalists. In the opening "I drove all night," her voice soared over a modest dance club beat as she strutted atop a grand piano and engaged in a bout of air-guitar. On "The power of love," she sustained glorious notes, only to snap them off smartly. Celine played off her skilled musicians, alternately engaging with a violinist, a pianist and backing vocalist Barnev Valsaint. A troupe of eight modern dancers sketched in the spaces around her. Of the half-dozen costume changes, some were more flattering than others. She looked fabulous in the shortest of cocktail dresses paired with the highest of heels. By contrast, white strips wrapped around her legs looked like leftover bandages from a war hospital. An otherwise fetching ensemble of a black sleeveless T-shirt, upscale hippie vest and bellbottom black slacks was short circuited by an odd, sequined crotch. At the end of the show, one by one, her musicians emerged from the beneath the stage to escape down a gauntlet between the floor seats and first row of the lower bleachers. Celine was the last to leave. She shook hands, waved and paused for photos with fans.
CONCERT IN RALEIGH
On January 21, 2009 Celine Dion performed at the RBC Center in Raleigh, USA with the "Taking Chances Tour" and in front of more than 18,000 people. Originally scheduled for January 20, 2009, this concert was postponed one day due to bad weather. Young and old fans teetered over chunky snow and sheets of ice in the RBC Center parking lot. But they were not disappointed. Celine delivered a vintage performance with powerful pipes, dramatic outfits and melodramatic gestures. Celine provided a lively mix of her old standards and the latest songs from her album "Taking Chances". She said she was traveling with her 81-year-old mother and her 8-year-old son. With this show it grossed $1,583,500.
CONCERT IN MIAMI
On January 23, 2009 Celine Dion performed at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, USA with the "Taking Chances Tour" in front of about 18,500 people. The opening act was tapped from the Golden Nugget. Gordie Brown, a singing impressionist, started with some stale old bread, an impersonation of Hootie and the Blowfish, but then won over the crowd with a ranting Jim Carrey impression. Celine performed most all of her more than 100-minute show in English, save for one French ballad. The thoroughbred knows how to work the stage, and this one was custom made for that. The elaborate set up of floor lifts kept the band in four corners, drums and percussion to the left, piano, guitars and vocals to the right. At one point, the hardwood edging turned into a moving walkway for Celine to glide across to display her most perfected of pageant runway walks. She acknowledged some special guests in the audience including Miami´s favorite pop diva, Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio, whose faces were flashed on large LED screens. At one point, Celine even gave Estefan´s "Conga" a little a capella go of it. The camera was also ready to pan into Celine´s mother, Thérèse Dion, as the singer told the story about the French Canadian 81-year-old who bore 14 children. Celine self-disclosed that she was the youngest. She also divulged that her son Rene Charles, 8, is touring and isn´t being "home schooled" but "tour schooled". "We´ll see how that turns out", she said. "It was a special night with a record breaking audience enjoying one of the world´s most popular artists in a beautiful setting here in Miami", said Mike Walker, EVP of Enterprise at American Airlines Arena.