LIVE: Celine Dion Dazzles at Times Union Center 12/7/2019

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Music Icon and living legend Celine Dion brought all the glitz and glam of Las Vegas with her to the Times Union Center in Albany on Saturday, December 7th. After 16 years of Residency in Sin City, Celine hit the road with a massive world tour, named after her recently released and first album in 6 years, “Courage.”

Photo by Jim Gilbert

The anticipation was high as concert goers began filing in to the nearly sold out show, catching glimpses of themselves dancing with excitement on the big screen. The lights dimmed and the screams were deafening as Celine rose in grand fashion from the stage in a tight, red sequin dress. She opened with a thunderous “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” followed by an upbeat “That’s The Way It Is” accompanied by a full band, pianist, 4 string quartet and vocalists. There was a moment where Celine briefly tripped but gracefully caught herself. Like a true performer, Celine was quick on her feet and joked about falling into the crowd to body surf. It was a running joke for most of the night.

The set continued with a heartfelt “If You Ask Me To” and “The Power of Love” with the crowd cheering every crescendo. It’s comforting to see her live in concert and have her vocals match perfectly with her studio albums. “Love Can Move Mountains” brought the first outfit change of the night and mighty gospel vocals. The steady rhythm and electrifying strings with empowering lyrics got big crowd reactions. Quite possibly the biggest “aww” of the night was with the beginning notes of the Disney classic, “Tale as Old as Time” from Beauty in the Beast. Dion pulled up one of her backup vocalists, Barnev Valsaint, a sensational tenor, to join her in this charming ballad.

Photo by Jim Gilbert

The show wouldn’t be complete without hearing a few songs off her new album. Celine sang “Courage,” an emotional anthem of heartbreak and “Imperfections,” a modern pop song with kicks and snaps. One of the most beautiful moments of the night was her solo rendition of “The Prayer.” A song she typically duets with Andrea Bocelli, originally off her holiday album, These Are The Special Times. The passionate, control of her voice as she floated between English and Italian lyrics with long crescendos were chilling and humbling. Celine kicked it into high gear with a medley of classic rock jams setting the neon lights a blaze. In true rock star fashion, another outfit change called for even more sequins with flare pants. She covered David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, Queen’s “Another One Bite’s The Dust” into Prince’s “Kiss” showing off her playful side as she began to unwind with looser dance moves.

For the encore and final outfit change of the evening, Celine Dion emerged looking like a vision in a ruffled, white ball gown. The obvious song to end it all was the ever famous, “My Heart Will Go On” which featured dozens of drones, gently flying around Celine in a beautifully orchestrated dance. But the show wasn’t over as Celine led the arena in heartwarming rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and the crowd sand along, illuminating their cell phones to look like the night sky.

Celine Dion knows how to put on a show. She’s engaging, loving, dramatic and fierce, just like her music. Don’t miss your chance to see her on her Courage World Tour that continues into 2020.

Photo Gallery by Jim Gilbert

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