::: Celine in South-Africa :::
:: :::::: From 'Die Burger' :::::: ::
:: Police help smooth way at Celine gig ::
(6:30 a.m. GMT) Extra police on Sunday night prevented a repeat of the chaos on Saturday night when hundreds of Celine Dion fans were forced to turn back, unable to get
into the Lourensford Estate where the singer performed. On Saturday, traffic gridlocked at the Somerset West venue, resulting in only those who had arrived hours earlier getting in, said Lise Kuhle, a
Ticket Connection official. On Sunday night, traffic was flowing freely thanks to a strong police presence, Kuhle said.
On Saturday many of these concertgoers, who had paid up to R866 a ticket, were stuck in traffic for as long as four hours. "Absolute chaos" was the prevailing complaint of people who had queued
for hours. Then, there were only five food outlets for almost 20 000 people. Although organisers Kusasa Entertainment gave at least 300 people who missed Saturday's show complimentary tickets for
Sunday night's show, many fans were angry that what should have been a memorable evening turned into a nightmare.
And it seems no one is willing to take responsibility. Kusasa's Duncan Herefield said on Sunday the "various challenges" were due to a "lack of traffic support", which had a "knock-on effect".
But city traffic department spokesperson Searle Johannes said Saturday's gridlock "categorically had nothing to do with the traffic department". "The organisers were to blame. They opened the gates late
and the parking facilities were not open on time. We had a traffic master plan in place." He said parking areas were "regulated by security guards not trained to facilitate traffic". Also,
"there were more people than tickets", he said.
In Somerset West, Dion was treated to full mega-star status. She and her 75-strong en-tourage, who flew in together last week, booked out the whole of the Lord Charles hotel and she
was escorted to and from Vergelegen in a convoy with a police helicopter hovering above. Last night Dion described Cape Town as one of the world's most beautiful places, and won even more
applause for her attempts at "howzit!" and "dankie, dankie". Around 20 000 people attended Saturday night's show and 11 000 to 12 000 last night. Dion was due to fly to
Port Elizabeth today for her next shows.
[Source: tonight, capeargus]
February 24th, 2008
:: Cape Town Concert Review: "Size counts" ::
(4:45 p.m. GMT) Every performer knows they must connect with their audience as soon as they step on stage. Celine Dion did just that at her first Cape Town show — albeit inadvertently.
Opening, as usual, with 'I Drove All Night' she expressed the feelings of many punters (this one included) forced to battle the gridlock of Somerset West streets en route to the Vergelegen wine
estate. But, traffic problems notwithstanding, what an appropriate venue it was. Only a huge field can properly accommodate a singer whose vocals run the range from overblown to really overblown —
especially when a state of the art sound rig makes that voice startlingly clear for an open air performance.
Couple that impeccable audio quality with a full complement of musicians (including three backing singers) and Dion's live renditions of old familiars, new songs, and cover versions are virtually
indistinguishable from the album versions. 'I'm Alive' gets more rhythm (and African dancers), 'Think Twice' receives a slight blues makeover, 'Alone' appropriately sounds
even more overwrought, and newie 'Can't Fight The Feeling' has a surprisingly rockier edge (rounded off by Dion's sideways shimmying and some shadow boxing).
But ballads like 'The Power Of Love' and 'All By Myself' are just as sentimental as you remember, 'It's All Coming Back To Me Now' loses none of the bombast, R.Kelly
duet 'I'm Your Angel' (performed with backing singer Barnev Valsaint) still sounds like something off a Disney soundtrack, and current hit 'Taking Chances' is spot on.
Real surprises come in the form of a Queen medley (a truncated 'We Will Rock You' is DOA but a fantastic 'The Show Must Go On' is more than strong enough to
withstand her no-restraint voice) and Dion's apparent desire to move beyond the pop and sop. 'Eyes on Me' has her trying a Latin style a la Shakira — backed by four flamenco dancing
couples — while the final portion of the show sees the Canadian following Christina Aguilera into vintage soul and jazz territory — now supported by 'The Cotton Club' extras suggestively going through '30s
Beginning with a medley of 'Soul Man', 'Lady Marmalade' and 'Respect' performed by the backing singers, it also features Dion's renditions of Ike and Tina Turner's 'River Deep, Mountain High' and
James Brown's 'It's A Man's Man's Man's World', threatening to transform the concert into a big budget tribute show. Her own, similarly styled 'That's Just The Woman In Me' and
'Love Can Move Mountains' restore some balance, but it's only the final encore ('My Heart Will Go On' of course) that sees Dion assume control of the show once more.
Nevertheless she gives it her all throughout the slick production, belting out the songs in typical more-is-more style, going through (count 'em) five different outfits, and certainly moving across the
extravagant stage with more verve than Elton John. But for someone who's been performing in public since she was five, her audience interaction is surprisingly contrived, ranging from the
overused ("Thank you so very much") and the localised ("People of Cape Town are lekker") to the bizarre ("We love you Freddie [Mercury]!").
It means she doesn’t truly connect with the crowds, and even though her voice is so huge, Celine Dion the person is almost dwarfed by the show's magnitude.
[Source: Entertainment iafrica]
** Updating **
:: Celine Dion Performing in Cape Town ::
(3:40 p.m. GMT) By clicking here and
here, you will be able to watch
two videos taken from the press conference held in Cape Town on February 22, 2008. Plus, in one of the pictures posted above, you will see the
NEW RED costume that Celine wore at last night's concert in Cape Town during the performance of My Heart Will Go On.
[Source: WireImage, Die Burger]
:: :::::: From 'HELLO' Magazine :::::: ::
(7:50 p.m. GMT) As she kicks off her year-long world tour in South Africa with her family by her side, Quebec-born chanteuse Celine Dion invites HELLO! Canada magazine readers to
accompany her on her moving journey. In this week's issue Celine, her husband Rene and their seven-year-old son Rene-Charles share the special moments of their trip - including a meeting with former
South African president Nelson Mandela. Issue 73's nine-page feature is filled with exclusive, dynamic photos of the international superstar's eye-opening voyage. "I take my son around the world
so that he can understand the privileges he has," she says.
February 21st, 2008
:: Celine Dion in Cape Town (South Africa) - Press Conference (Feb. 21)::
[Source: WireImage, KFM]