Arts Pop: Mariah Carey and other music performance blunders

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- It was the performance, or perhaps lack thereof, that the world couldn’t stop talking about. To start off the New Year, powerhouse singer Mariah Carey had a live musical meltdown on ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” After singing “Auld Lang Syne,” Carey looked puzzled trying to sing her 1991 hit “Emotions.”

“She said she couldn’t hear in her earpiece,” said St. Louis Post-Dispatch critic Kevin Johnson. “The wrong songs got cued up. Songs were coming in and going out at the inappropriate time. “

While the music played in the background, she paced the stage, complained about a proper sound check, and asked the audience to sing.  Johnson says there may be more going on than technical problems for the pop-star

“I think that the bigger problem is that her voice just isn’t what it used to be. Her voice might be kind of shot.  She can’t hit those notes that she used to hit. “

Mariah Carey isn’t alone when it comes to musical meltdowns.  Think Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl , Brittany Spears at the VMA’s.

“Ashlee Simpson, we can never forget, on Saturday Night Live many years ago when the wrong vocal track cued up during her performance and she didn’t know how to handle it. She ran offstage and did a little jig. “

Here is St. Louis, there have been a few problem performances that live on in music infamy.  In 2010, Kings of Leon left the stage at the then Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre after just three songs, claiming that an infestation of pooping pigeons was ruining their show.

“The venue said that was not true. There was one pesky bird that dropped some things from the ceiling onto the band. “

Then there is the infamous 1991 Riverport Riot.

“Axel Rose, the singer of Guns n Roses, got into it with fan and it just went to complete chaos from there.”

So, what’s the right response? Big stars perform at big events. Things happen on stage and can get out of control, unexpectedly.  Be they are professionals, after all.

“There’s a way to handle everything,” says Johnson. “ Because things are going to happen. It’s about how you deal with it ultimately.

For more musical mishaps, check out Kevin Johnson’s Blender blog from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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