CELINE DION @ Fiserv Forum – Milwaukee, WI

CELINE DION @ Fiserv Forum – Milwaukee, WI

November 3, 2019

Review by Rick Kramer
Photos by David Urmanski

Website: www.CelineDion.com



International superstar Celine Dion is one of the most widely respected and successful performers in music history. Having sold over 250 million albums and won five Grammy Awards, two Academy Awards, six American Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, 12 World Music Awards, 20 Juno Awards and 45 Félix Awards, the Canadian singer is embarking on her fourteenth concert tour in support of new album Courage. The Courage World Tour kicked-off in September with the first five tour dates in Quebec City and Ottawa, Canada before taking the tour to the United States in mid-October with the fourteenth stop bringing the returning artist to southeast Wisconsin after an eleven year lapse. Along with a 14-piece band, three vocalists and a dizzying array of special production effects, Dion delivered a performance that obliterated expectations and set the bar for future performances at the Fiserv Forum.

Before the striking headliner took the stage, a DJ spun an array of pop-tunes and dance classics while a video monitor displayed shots of the crowd dancing and whooping it up, making for an interesting change of pace from typical opening acts. After several hilarious moments, the entertainer did his due diligence to successfully get the audience energized for Queen Celine with the “dance party” ending abruptly at 8:20pm accompanied by a boom from the sound system and fading lights met with an enthusiastic shriek from the eager audience. Seconds later, high definition monitors across the front and sides of the stage came alive in a cycle of flashes and special effects, interspersed with a video montage of Celine preparing for a show.

The screens and forum went dark yet again. Mere moments later the iconic vocalist could be heard singing a preview to the opener, “It’s all coming back to me now,” and as the last lyric rung out, the singer emerged from beneath the stage elevated by a rising platform under a single spot light. The anticipation had been so masterfully built up by the elaborate sound, video and effects that, when Celine finally emerged, the crowd was nearly delirious with delight. The deafening welcome appeared to choke up the legend as she put a hand to her heart as if to thank the crowd for the warm welcome before diving into the opening number.

Throughout the evening Dion’s powerhouse vocals ranged from jaw-dropping heights to soulful lullabies and everything in between. There are not enough adjectives to adequately describe such a powerful performance, but the best homage might be what a multitude of fans exclaiming as being “Blown away!” following the sensational show. Dion’s unrivaled vocal dexterity reached its zenith during a remarkable rendition of “The Power of Love,” and the audience again responded so enthusiastically that the icon nearly choked up again. One of her backup singers joined her for the duet “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as pulled double duty during “The Prayer” when she not only sung her own part but also pulled off the majesty of Andrea Bocelli from the studio recording. Collectively, the night was a masterclass in performance and vocal gymnastics.

There were four wardrobe changes during the evening (during which time video montages played on the monitors) with the evening ensemble opening with a sequined, vermilion wedding-guest dress and ending with a billowing white gown that was only matched in grandeur by the iconic encore performance of “My Heart Will Go On.” For “All By Myself,” which included a stunning a cappella chorus, Dion appeared in an dark, long gown. The majestic artist also added a bit of comedy relief during the show stating, “I’ll keep my pants on” after tearing the sleeves off a modified tuxedo and “Calm down people, that wasn’t that hard” after the audience shrieked following an impressive vocal run. Dion also joked about having been locked away in Nevada while discussing the duration between visits to the Cream City by announcing, “Well, I escaped!” However, as much as she joked, her meaningful and relentless appreciation to the adoring crowd for their enthusiastic responses rang true to her authenticity as the superstar she is.

Dion was visibly emotional after singing the title track on her new album Courage. Before the performance she talked about going through tough times, certainly a reference to the death of her husband in 2016 followed by the passing of her brother weeks later. “Courage don’t you dare fail me now” was the lyric that really impacted her emotionally and proved to be among the most moving moments of the evening.

Though the diverse makeup of the crowd definitely leaned toward the female persuasion, there were plenty of men in the audience who showed significant signs of serenity with ages ranging across the board to include a smattering of young children. No matter the age or gender, the excitement was distributed evenly throughout the venue as evidenced by old and young alike taking selfies and videos of themselves throughout the show to include a pair of best friends, and retired nurses, who excitedly posting their experience of a lifetime to their social media timelines.

The diva also reminded the audience that she is quite capable of singing anything, and pulling it off, when knocking out a compilation of rock songs to incluce “Let’s Dance,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” “Kiss,” “River Deep, Mountain High” and “Lady Marmalade” as she danced, kicked and struck her trademark poses in a Vegas-esque, sequin jumpsuit. The show closed with an encore of smash hit “My Heart Will Go On” accompanied by a cloud of “firefly” drones that flew over the stage, hovering and circling the iconic singer. Her final number of the night was John Lennon’s “Imagine”, which she sang to her legion of fans as a parting gift and “hope” for the future.

It’s All Coming Back to Me Now (Pandora’s Box cover)
That’s The Way It Is
I’m Alive
If You Asked Me To (Patti LaBelle cover)
The Power of Love (Jennifer Rush cover)
Love Can Move Mountains
Beauty and the Beast (Alan Menken cover)
The Prayer
You’re the Voice (John Farnham cover)
Tous les blues sont écrits pour toi
To Love You More
All by Myself (Eric Carmen cover)
Because You Loved Me
Let’s Dance / Another One Bites The Dust / Kiss / River Deep, Mountain High / Lady Marmalade

My Heart Will Go On
Imagine (John Lennon cover)

1 = Poor
2 = Average
3 = Good
4 = Excellent
5 = Extraordinary

CELINE DION Concert Rating: 5