by / April 20th, 2010 /

Whitney Houston – The O2, Dublin

When we read the first review of Whitney Houston‘s concert in Australia, we put it down to nerves. After all, the woman was a crack cocaine addict and hadn’t really been at it for a while. The subsequent news that Whitney was rescheduling concerts in Paris and the UK due to respiratory problems was slightly alarming but we still thought she’d hit her stride before Dublin. However, YouTube clips of her performance in Birmingham, along with countless complaints about how diabolical she was, did cause a mini-panic: this woman has always been an idol, crack cocaine and all. The Icelandic volcano could have spared her blushes, until we spotted a photo of Whitney on a ferry: no getting out of it now.

Arriving on stage in a dazzling white suit to a rapturous applause from the crowd, Whitney belted straight into a track from her most recent album, which, let’s be honest, wasn’t what most of the audience had paid to hear. However, despite the fact that she was a little off-key, we persevered, and it wasn’t long before she delivered the hits. While the diva herself couldn’t hit all the notes perfectly, her backing singers were there to lend a hand. Indeed the good old Irish singalong was a blessing to her, with Whitney even commenting on how she -appreciated’ the help.

Tracks like -I Look To You’ proved particularly difficult, and it was hard not to squirm as she reached for the high notes -It’s Not Right But It’s Ok’ was easier for her to manage and helped her back in her stride. Golden oldies like -Saving All My Love For You’ were obviously missing, too complicated for a 50-year-old recovering user to master.

Half an hour into the first set, a table appeared and Whitney disappeared to put on some make-up. While some people were horrified by this diva-like behaviour. State was close enough to see the sweat pouring down her face and was delighted she took some time out for a bit of powdering. Not too long after, Whitney announced she was going to get changed into a pretty little dress for us and her brother appeared to sing a few tunes. State didn’t know she had a brother and we certainly didn’t need to know she was getting changed.

The next hour was a mirage of hits sung primarily by her array of singers, with Whitney performing backing vocals. Even the big one, -I Will Always Love You’, the one we all wanted to hear, was murdered by the very woman who had given it life. The only tune she seemed to carry perfectly was her most recent single -Million Dollar Bill’ a track that doesn’t stretch the voice as much as her old hits. Maybe if we’d been a little tipsier, we wouldn’t have noticed the failings so much, but sadly, sobriety and back singing don’t mix, making this one a bit of a catastrophe.

  • phres

    this kind of article is a perfect example why people doesn’t pay much attention to what media has to say. whoever wrote this is apparently ignorant of what music is all about. get a life!

  • Deb

    I agree, she is brilliant and at least she can sing live
    she is still having sell out concert even though the media
    put her down. Get a life go an pick on someone else so you can make more money.

  • Actually, it’s a case of objective criticism – as was this http://www.state.ie/2009/10/album-reviews/whitney-houston-i-look-to-you/. Hardly a media campaign to bring her down now.

  • Sarah Jane

    I think this was well said, fair play, she was an absolute joke, i went to see her after paying 96 euro for a ticket and i was absolutly disgusted, she was dreadful and she might as well of taken my money out of my back pocket and robbed me!! IN MY OPINION she didn’t sing even one song well, she is obviously very eccentric because she couldn’t sing anything or say anything without laughing to herself halfway through. it needed to be said that this concert was a joke, she needs to retire!

  • Nicolle

    I was at her concert on the 20th an it was most definitely not a catastrophe in my opinion. Fair enough she didn’t hit all the notes perfectly, but I thought her older stuff was brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed this concert as I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting for every high note and to my surprise she did a pretty good job for the most part. I think people have been far too harsh on her and fair play to her for performing even though she could have backed out because of the volcanic ash stopping flights. Instead she got a ferry to Dublin and gave it her all, dramatically upping her game compared to her previous performances, proving everyone wrong and made the critics look like asses for coming down on her so hard!!

  • Sarah Jane

    no she didn’t make any crictics look like asses, she was crap and they were rolling around laughing at her, she actually said last night that because she is such a superstar she shouldn’t of got the ferry and started laughing to herself, seriusly she has had it! time to put the slippers on whitney but maybe leave the pipe out this time!!!!

  • Conor

    It’s sad but Whitney’s now a write-off. Her managers/people pulling the strings etc flung her into a world arena tour and now hundreds of thousands of her fans have got a raw deal.

    Could have waited until she was ready, or at least a more forgiving tour of’intimate’ venues. State’s hardly going out on a limb here, reviews and blogs worldwide have been discussing the car crash performances, and no doubt Joe Duffy’s ears have been ringing this week too.

  • Sharon H

    All these comments are very true, was at the concert last night and was a complete joke. she sang 4 songs, well bits of songs in the first 45mins, what other artist would get away with this! Her backing singers carried her through the songs she did attempt to sing! She laughed her way through the show and at one stage made the comment of if your going to drink drink sensibly!!!!
    She chewed gum or sweets throughout the night. The audience even started to stomp their feet and shout sing becos she just wasnt’ singing!!

    Second half she sang 2 good songs, and yes when she hit the high notes she was good, but I don’t think paying £105 euro and hearing the chorus of songs is good enough. She forgot words to songs, and preached about love and the lord – at one stage I thought i was going to need the lord to get me through it. I love Whitney, saved my money to see the queen perform but she didn’t! It was a shambles. I left when she came out to sing her latest single Million Dollar Bill, she sang the chorus! she broke my heart when she couldnt deliver I will always love you.
    I feel robbed.

  • Harriet

    I felt robbed too last night.

  • Sarah

    Totally agree with this article. Went to Saturdays concert and thought it was a complete joke. She could just about talk, let alone sing! As silly as it sounds, Jedward were playing in my home city the same night & I really believe that I would have enjoyed their show better than this one and saved myself a lot of money.

  • r ellis

    I was at Tuesday nights show and i thought it brilliant i was really suprised after reading all the reviews because i wasnt expecting it to be as enjoyable. Its correct she cannot reach the high notes like she used to but she is still a great singer and sings with great emotion. I paid 120 to see britney spheres last year and went to the o2 to see her mime to a backing tape and half heartly dance Whitney sang live all the way through and she deserves some credit.

  • Sarah

    I went to the concert and of course she wasnt like she was 25 years ago but she still got up there!
    She spent about 15 mins talking to a 14 year old and then took a ten min break but She wasnt that bad compared to the media was saying!

  • Julie

    I have to say we saw whitney at the O2 last night and it was really not great! there were glimpses of the old whitney but these were very few and far between……for people to say because we dont think she was great that we dont know good music, thats an insult….I have been to many concert, and not paid the money I did to see whitney and I have been mesmorised……The circus by take that for one!! I love whitney but feel she should never have been allowed to tour, it was sad to see people leaving in their droves as she just was not up to it!

  • Angela

    Spent all day battling the London Marathon traffic to get to see the great Whitney Houston – she just didn’t turn up.The lady I saw was a shadow of her former self, rambling but with the odd glimpse of brilliance. The saddest moment came when she attempted “Saving all my love”, failed dismally to hit the notes & blamed the air conditioning on her “voice not turning up”. People were leaving in their droves at this point whilst others were laughing at her. Things got so desperate that when she occasionally hit a Whitney note the crowd erupted encouraging her but she never sustained it. I was so disappointed & slightly embarressed to have witnessed the end of a superstar’s career. HEr management should be ashamed of themselves. The woman needs help & to retire gracefully so we all remember her as she was. If ever there was an ad for teenagers to understand why you should never do drugs, this was it. We were willing her to carry it off but she never came close. I wouldn’t be surprised if tonight’s extra date gig at the O2 was cancelled. Whitney just didn’t look well.

  • Ann

    I was also at last nights O2 concert, I have always been a great fan and lover of Whitneys voice/music
    I have had a hard time in the last couple of weeks deciding whether I should come over from Spain where
    I live to see her(because of the volcanic ash situation) although I had heard all the comments about how
    bad her concerts had been I didn’t want to believe it, and hoped to come out telling everyone how good she still is. Sadly it wasn’t possible I felt embarrassment at the way she was allowed to make a fool of herself,she didn’t sing one complete song,she rattled on about Michael Jackson and what a good relationship she had with him quote ” I don’t know what you would call him, but I called him Michael and he called me Whitney”!!!
    Surely ther must be one person touring with her that cares for her and is not there just for the money?!!
    I will enjoy listening to her new cd but sorry I bought it before the concert then I wouldn’t have been so upset about how she sang (talked) her way through last night.

  • Annette

    I agree with previous comments about Whitney’s performance last night at London 02. My daughter bought me and my mum tickets as a Christmas present thinking we would really enjoy seeing Whitney, all we were left were feeling pity for the woman she once was. It was embarrasing to watch, people sitting behind us were screaming out “sing Whitney sing”, but sadly she could only manage to croak unintelligible words about Michael Jackson and the Lord. We wanted her to be great and didn’t really expect her to sound how she did 20 years ago, but we didn’t expect her to sound like Eartha Kitt on helium either!!! What a waste of my daughter’s hard earned cash, she should have cancelled the tour.

  • Melissa

    Ann and Angela It is so right what you have wrote..I was there on Sunday I dont regret the money I spent Im just glad I was able to see her.But why would your managment let you go and do something you are not capibale off.