PAVAROTTI & FRIENDS CONCERT
On June 9, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the concert entitled "Pavarotti & Friends", to benefit the Children of Liberia. The concert took place in Modena, Italy. Celine performed in duet with singer Luciano Pavarotti the song "I hate you then I love you". She also performed "My heart will go on". During the concert, Celine said "everything that has to do with children is very important, therefore I think we should all do something; for me it is just normal to take hand in hand and go and meet the world. If we can do this through music it´s just wonderful. That´s why to sing with Luciano Pavarotti tonight will be an incredible experience". This concert also featured Jon Bon Jovi, The Corrs, The Spice Girls, Stevie Wonder, Trisha Yearwood, and many others. At the end of the show, Celine was photographed with The Spice Girls, Luciano Pavarotti and with Gina Lollobrigida. The concert was released on CD under the name "Pavarotti & Friends - For The Children Of Liberia", on October 20, 1998. Funds raised from the concert and album sales went towards building the Pavarotti & Friends Children´s Village in the war-torn African nation.
CONCERT IN BOSTON
On August 21, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the FleetCenter in Boston, USA, in front of more than 19,000 people with the "Let´s Talk About Love Tour". This was the inaugural concert of the "Let´s Talk About Love Tour". Originally called "Celine Dion: On Tour 1998", the tour was set to begin August 1998 in Boston, USA this would mark the third time Celine has begun a tour in the city. She says it is the closest USA city to Montreal, Canada and considers it a "lucky charm". The concert was preceded by a press conference where Celine and her manager and husband Rene Angelil, talked about the new tour in USA, to help promote the album "Let´s Talk About Love". In reference to the show, the rock music critic Steve Morse, from The Boston Globe, wrote: "Despite Dion´s nerves, she was able to pull off a successful concert. For pure entertainment, however, this was a volcanic triumph". Celine thanked Boston fans for being "lucky charm people". According to Steve Morse, Celine opened her world tour with a high-tech, in-the-round show (on a heart-shaped stage) that sent a sold-out crowd of 18,300 fans into complete rapture. It was glitzy but glitch-free. Celine had told the crowd there might be "mistakes", but none were visible. And Celine stayed genuine even amid a lighting grid the size of a spaceship and a series of video duets with Barbra Streisand and the Bee Gees that threatened to get hokey. "New shoes, new clothes, new hair!", exclaimed Celine to the audience, whose long, tangly hair weave nearly went to her waist (actually were hair extensions), though she pulled it back Kate Winslet-like for a thrilling encore of "Titanic" hit, "My heart will go on", for which she also wore an Edwardian ball gown and sang from a white railing as though she were on the Titanic´s bow. No sentimentality was spared, but it was an effective moment of pop theater and the crowd loved it. She kept the crowd waiting until the end to hear it, but it sent everyone home in a state of smiling grace. This was an upbeat, entertaining show that focused on Celine´s last album, "Let´s Talk About Love", and was enhanced by some personal (and unrecorded) favorites that allowed her personality to rise above the show-biz effects. These favorites came via an acoustic medley in which Celine gathered her musicians around the center of the stage, as she sat on a hydraulically lifted swivel chair. She mesmerized with delicate rendering of Roberta Flack´s "The first time ever I saw your face", soothed with the Beatles´s "Because", touched hearts with Eric Clapton´s "Tears in heaven", and woke up the romantics in the house with Frank Sinatra´s "All the way", describing it as the favorite "couple" song between her and her husband Rene, who watched nervously from the side-lines. Speaking of nerves, Celine said "I´m so nervous tonight because this is the first show". Those first two songs were the album title track "Let´s talk about love" (augmented by a talented chorus from the W.H. Lincoln School in Brookline, a town in Massachusetts and part of Greater Boston) and "Declaration of love". Japanese violinist Taro Hakase came out for a bravura "To love you more" followed shortly by Celine singing "Tell him" with a video image of Streisand. Then came two French songs (led by "S´il suffisait d´aimer", translated "If it were enough that we love each other" said Celine), before she improvised beautifully on Eric Carmen´s "All by myself". Celine joked that she was hardly by herself because 50 people were working under the in-the-round stage. The overwrought portion of the show came on a Bee Gees medley of "Staying´ alive/You should be dancing" with Celine, in only her first costume change, prancing in a creamy white suit like John Travolta. Celine performed again at the FleetCenter in Boston, USA the following day (August 22, 1998).
CONCERT IN PHILADELPHIA
On August 25, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the CoreStates Center in Philadelphia, USA with the "Let´s Talk About Love Tour". According to the music critic Tom Moon from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Celine Dion came to the CoreStates Center Tuesday August 25, 1998 with a clear agenda: to talk and sing about love. The Canadian uber-diva made like the CEO of Love Inc. trying to drum up business: For nearly two hours, she offered paeans to love in all its vexing guises. She sang about love redeeming a wretched soul, love melting a cold heart, love that lasts until the end of time. She told a rapt capacity crowd that love was all that mattered. Her towering, majestic ballads portrayed love in a manner familiar to readers of romance novels - as an ultimate triumph, a blessed event worthy of a slow-motion victory lap in front of a cheering throng. Rarely have the joys of love been celebrated with such militaristic precision. Celine, 30, years ago mastered the art of the heartstring-tugging, cookie-cutter production number, and for this "Let´s Talk About Love Tour", presented in the round, she pulled out all the stops. She interpreted such hits as "All by myself"' and "Love is on the way" to exact factory specifications. Though the lyrics sometimes addressed love´s anguish, Celine rarely let the messier aspects of passion overrun her melody lines. She sang poignantly in brief solo testimonials, and was equally convincing riding the cresting, orchestral flourishes provided by her backing band. She honored love by rendering every phrase with remarkable composure and a persnickety sense of perfection. The show began with a Dion infomercial, featuring taped testimonials from Barbra Streisand, Luciano Pavarotti, and other friends and colleagues. After an extended drone, Celine emerged on a platform rising from stage center, wearing a simple black pantsuit and a silver ringmaster's topcoat. The stage, shaped like a heart, employed special hydraulic lifts for the backing band; sometimes the musicians and singers were in full view, sometimes they were lowered out of sight. The stage was modified slightly for the encore, "My heart will go on", Celine´s mega-bombast hit from the movie "Titanic" (and in which she wore a long dark dress). Up popped a version of the railing where several key scenes were filmed. Celine stood at it, her (newly wavy) hair blown by a wind machine, singing resolutely about a love that endures through any kind of blockbuster calamity. Backed by a local children´s choir, Celine opened with "Let´s talk about love" (accompanied by the Bill Jolly Children´s Choir), the title track from her latest album. With this, she established a pattern that would prevail throughout the show. After several lumbering ballads, she´d switch gears and tackle something moderately funky, such as the lecturing "Treat her like a lady", that allowed her to belt in a slightly different context. Most of those dance numbers were competent, though a sluggish medley of Bee Gees songs from "Saturday Night Fever", "Stayin´ alive" and "You should be dancing", suggested that Celine is more comfortable in less rhythmically taxing settings. Among the ballads, there were several surprises. Streisand reappeared, via video, for "Tell him". Though it was slightly strange to watch Celine singing live to an image on a video monitor, she tried to emulate the elder vocalist´s restraint, and mostly succeeded. The Bee Gees appeared as well, also on tape, to add their keening voices to "Immortality". Celine sang two songs in French, the language of amour; she introduced one, a rueful ballad titled "S´il suffisait d´aimer", as a new song. The show´s highlight came when Celine gathered her musicians around the center pedestal for a set of acoustic covers of familiar songs. Those included a song that aligned perfectly with her sappier side (Eric Clapton´s "Tears in heaven", which was given a glossy, emotionless spin); a song that displayed her skill as a harmonizer (the Beatles´ "Because", which was note-perfect); and a selection that exposed her shortcomings as an improviser ("All the way", which she attempted with an off-the-cuff, Sinatra-style demeanor). Also in that set was Roberta Flack´s "The first time ever I saw your face", one of the most austere, plaintive love songs ever written. Celine sang this magnificently. Sensing that the prayerlike line required something different from her, she avoided her pet melismatic swoops and cut out the excess emotional embellishments she usually relies on. She held the long low notes until they hurt, and allowed her voice to trail sullenly away rather than end her phrases with a flourish. She showed how devastating she can be interpreting a durable, genuine melody. Twenty-four lucky kids in Philadelphia got the chance to sing backup for Celine at the CoreStates Center. Musician and arranger Billy Jolly was conducting a search of boys and girls between 8 and 12 to sing on a choir when the pop diva performs her hit, "Let´s talk about love". Jolly met the mega-star four years ago when he was choir director for Michael Bolton and she was Bolton´s opening act. He said Celine has a thing for Philly singers. During the performance of "To love you more", Celine was accompanied by Japanese violinist Taro Hakase.
CONCERT IN WASHINGTON D.C
On August 26, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., USA with the "Let´s Talk About Love Tour". This was the fourth concert of the tour and the third venue, after two concerts in Boston and one in Philadelphia. According to The Washington Post, after an obligatory "Titanic" overture, Celine opened the sold-out concert performing in the round on a heart-shaped stage at MCI Center. Her band and backup singers arrived onstage via risers, and a children´s chorus encircled Celine as she insistently sang "Let´s talk about love". For most of the evening, Celine sang about love. In fact, seven of the 16 songs in her set had "love" in their titles (including one in French: "S´il suffisait d´aimer"), and almost all were suffused in its glow. When those songs were strong or smart, Celine invested them with an appealing grace and engaging energy that put her remarkable voice to good use. When the songs were less compelling, so was Celine, who at times resorted to the volume-for-passion substitution that endears her to Michael Bolton fans, but to few others.
CONCERT IN UNIONDALE
On August 31, 1998 Celine Dion performed at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, USA with the "Let´s Talk About Love Tour". According to the press, Celine shined beneath the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum´s spotlights on August 31, 1998. Known for her bittersweet love ballads, the Canadian songstress had soared in popularity the previous year with "My heart will go on", the theme of the 1997 blockbuster movie "Titanic". Celine wedged the Long Island show between stops at Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey and Madison Square Garden in New York. The show at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum featured many changes from previous concerts of same tour. Especially on Celine´s costumes and hairstyle (not more hair extensions). With a black blouse and a long skirt silver color, Celine appeared onstage to performed the first song of the show, "Let´s talk about love" (in which she was accompanied by a local children´s choir). Then, she took off her skirt to reveal a sexy Celine in black pants. Celine performed "Declaration of love", "Because you loved me", "The reason", "It´s all coming back to me mow", "To love you more" (in which she was accompanied by Japanese violinist Taro Hakase), "Treat her like a lady", "Tell him", "S´il suffisait d´aimer", "Love is on the way" and "All by myself". Celine also performed a medley with some of her favorite songs including Roberta Flack´s "The first time ever I saw your face", the Beatles´s "Because", Eric Clapton´s "Tears in heaven" and Frank Sinatra´s "All the way". Then came "Love can move mountains" in which Celine had a costume change. In the middle of the song, while the backing vocalist Terry Bradford sings to the audience, Celine appeared onstage again, this time dressed with white pants and jacket. She also performed a Bee Gees medley with "Staying´ alive" and then, "You should be dancing" with Celine dancing as John Travolta. Then, Celine performed "Immortality" and the only encore of the show, "My heart will go on" in which she wore a long bordeaux color dress (same as the show of August 21, 1998 in Boston, USA).