Pop: Schmaltz from the heart
CELINE DION WEMBLEY STADIUM LONDON
The scariest thing about all this is that to Celine, it is quite real. When the Bee Gees appear on the screen and ask how the show is going, you get the feeling that she really believes that they are there, despite the fact that she has been acting out the same charade for the past five nights. When she gently pats the heads of her band, positioned like expectant pets at her feet, it might be seen as a display of arrogance except that she seems genuinely grateful for their contributions, and they seem equally appreciative of her praise.
In Dion's eyes, music is about tugging the heartstrings of her devotees, creating a romantic ambience so that punters will return home with a warm glow in their stomachs, their marital difficulties rendered a distant memory.
But it is also about sharing her own feelings. She laboriously expresses the pain of being parted from her husband Renee, who is at home recovering from cancer surgery but thanks to a satellite link-up is "here with us". Later on, she rounds off their special song with a sidelong wink at the camera. But lest we are offended by her desire to be elsewhere Dion collectively embraces the crowd, referring to us as her "second family".
There is no denying the force of Dion's lungs. Indeed, if credibility was measured in terms of volume and the ability to hold a note, she has no competition. But like her predilection for spilling her guts to complete strangers, her singing similarly lacks subtlety. The only detectable nuances between numbers is that each seems more schmaltzy than the one before.
Looking at the crowd, it is as if all 70,000 of us are engaged in some sort of group hug. This lot aren't your average gig-goers - they are all grown-ups with jobs, cars and children, who have come with the sole intention of "letting it all out". As Dion's doe-eyed face looks down from the clouds and her fans look back with beatific smiles, the mutual admiration is overwhelming. Dion's performance may not be the most original, but as therapy, it's revolutionary.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Mike Tindall, Jodie Kidd and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Martin Scorsese 'in shock and sorrow' after death on set of new film Silence
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures