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Flying with Mariah Carey at Borobudur

Bambang Muryanto

The Jakarta Post

Magelang  /  Tue, November 13, 2018  /  08:17 am
Flying with Mariah Carey at Borobudur

A diva comes along: Mariah Carey (center) greets her adoring fans on Saturday on a stage set up in front of the gigantic Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java. (Courtesy of PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan dan Ratu Boko/-)

Thousands of audience members in the Lumbini Park at the Borobudur temple compound in Magelang, Central Java, cried in excitement when world-famous diva Mariah Carey appeared on the stage.

A piano accompanied Carey as she sang her first song, “Fly Away” from her Butterfly album, during her performance on Nov. 6.

“Don’t be afraid to fly, spread your wings, open up the door, so much more outside,” she sang and was promptly greeted with hysterical cries from the audience.

Carey, 48, who performed for the “Himbara Borobudur Symphony 2018 — Carey Live in Concert” asked the audience to become a “butterfly” and fly to the sky in excitement.

So, some 7,000 who attended the show that evening became butterflies for about 30 minutes to enjoy her performing 18 songs.

They looked satisfied with the performance of the golden-voiced singer and they were also very lucky because the rain that had been pouring down stopped as Carey’s show started.

Carey shared the same excitement because her stage featured the world heritage Borobudur temple as its backdrop, with beautiful lighting showing the magnificent structure of the 9th century building.

“What an incredible experience it was to perform in front of the beautiful Borobudur temple. Thank you so much for a great show, Indonesia,” Carey wrote on her Twitter account @MariahCarey.

During the one-and-a-half-hour show, Carey who has released 15 albums since 1990, did not interact much with the audience. She only gave several short introductions before singing particular songs.

Terima kasih [thank you], I am getting better with the language,” said Carey before singing her sixth song that night, “Always Be My Baby”.

Four male back-up dancers named Madison, Terrel, Christopher and Lanier accompanied Carey’s performance with energetic movements, making the stage livelier amid the singer’s calm and elegant performance.

Right from the first song, the audience enjoyed the music that was accompanied by three backing vocalists. They sang along when Carey delivered hit songs like “One Sweet Day” and “I Don’t Want to Cry”.

Some audience members moved their bodies to the music while others hugged their spouses.

Carey — who was born in Huntington, New York — changed her costumes twice during the show, changing from a long black dress to a short black one then to a golden yellow one.

At about 10 p.m., Carey ended her show with “We Belong Together”. She went backstage but the audience cried out “We want more!” repeatedly and eventually she returned to the stage to give an encore.

The singer, who has also starred in 16 movies, then sang her hit “Hero”, a Billboard Hot 100 song that she released in October 1993.

The song promptly carried the audience away until Carey disappeared behind the stage and the supporting band continued the song to the end.

Carey’s fans came from various cities to be in the audience.

Jaclyn Vee, a cabaret dancer who often portrays Carey in her show in Yogyakarta, arrived in a long dress.

“Now I will be able to do as Mariah Carey does, especially her hand movements and her dresses. I will imitate her,” Jacklyn said.

Jacklyn said she liked “Hero” the most because the song reminds her of when she first portrayed Carey in a cabaret show.

“Many people say I look like Carey; after the show many audience members asked to take pictures with me,” Jacklyn said.

Separately, Hartawan of Semarang, who wanted to see her idol live with his own eyes, said that Carey was very feminine and beautiful that night.

“It was an extraordinary concert. Her performance at the stage is much better than the ones shown in video clips,” he said.

After performing at Borobudur, Carey who is touring with 51 crew members including her family, flew to Bangkok for her next concert.

Meanwhile, the director of PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko, the event’s promotor Edy Setijono, said that Himbara Borobudur Symphony 2018-Carey Live In Concert was held to lure more tourists to the world heritage site and to further promote it internationally.

“The promotional effect of Mariah Carey’s presence in Borobudur is extraordinary,” he said, adding that her show would go viral on social media and could be a trigger to lure some 2 million tourists to the temple every year.

The event’s consultant, Rajawali Indonesia Communication CEO Anas Syahrul Alimi, said that Carey turned out to like jajan pasar (traditional Indonesian snacks).

“Carey said they’re strange, but she likes them,” Anas said.

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