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Live Review and Photo Gallery: Celine Dion at United Center

| December 3, 2019

Celine Dion

Sunday, December 1, 2019

United Center

Over a decade has passed since Celine Dion performed in Chicago. Still, as the dynamite vocalist proclaimed at the start of another United Center sell out, “It’s All Coming Back To Be Now.” Indeed, the women who captivated the generations between Barbra Streisand and Adele sounded as if no time had passed, while effortlessly slaying each nearly-impossible note.

Granted, the 51-year-old Canadian megastar never really gave herself a chance to get rusty, instead landing as one of Las Vegas’ leading ladies. And she certainly brought along Sin City’s visual pizazz, glamorous gowns galore and musical variety to the Courage World Tour, turning in tons from yesterday, briefing sampling today and going reasonably far outside the expected lines when it came to covers.

Accompanied by a 14-piece band and trio of background singers, Celine was downright crystalline, delivering a string of monster ballads that led to nearly 250 million album sales thus far, including “If You Asked Me To,” “The Power Of Love” and “Beauty And The Beast.” When it came to newer cuts, “Imperfections” fared better than “Courage,” though at least they were both surrounded by the knockouts “To Love You More,” “All By Myself,” and a solo edition of the Andrea Bocelli duet “The Prayer.”

After the beautiful “Because You Loved Me,” Dion tossed off her easygoing gloves for a feisty medley of rock n’ roll surprises, including David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust,” alongside soulful slices of Prince’s “Kiss,” Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High,” and Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade.”

The only peak to climb at that point was “My Heart Will Go On,” in all its syrupy glory, though regardless of its love-it-or-loathe it status, Dion’s flawless ability to scale even its most “Titanic” peaks were undeniable as star-like drones enveloped the entertainer with one eventually landing in her outstretched hand. She left the enraptured audience with another curious choice:  John Lennon’s “Imagine,” though rather than simply paying tribute to a late legend, it echoed out across the arena as a hopeful coda for a better tomorrow.

-Review and photos by Andy Argyrakis


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