Culture & Social

Celine Dion: Beauty Can Come Out of Ashes

Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace Hotel has been the home of French-Canadian musical icon Celine Dion since 2011, when she received an official residency to perform there.

Celine has so far performed over 1,000 shows in the hotel and one would think that with a schedule like that, she would prefer not to sing during her summer breaks.

Yet Dion has spent her three-month summer break almost every year touring instead.

She just cannot stay away from the one thing she does best and loves, and thankfully, that passion managed to finally take her to the corners of the rarely used Sentul International Convention Center in Sentul, Bogor, on Saturday, putting that eyesore of a venue to good use.

From the beginning, it was clear that this was a concert that many, many Indonesians had been anticipating for about 30 years.

Dion walked out to begin her performance in a casual gold jacket and pants outfit.

Immediately, the legend hit the audience with a six-song punch of some of her biggest and most well-known hits.

Most artists tend to spread their biggest hits evenly throughout their set, so as to keep the audience’s attention throughout their performance.

But Dion has nothing to lose really. There is no way this crowd of both young and old was going to be bored by anything she did on stage.

Opening with “The Power of Love” and going straight into “That’s the Way It Is”, “I’m Alive” and the wonderful ballad “Because You Loved Me”, the audience did not stand a chance. Celine had them in the palm of her hands the moment the first notes rang out.

“Jakarta! We finally made it! This is the first time I’ve ever been here, please forgive me for taking so long. My house is kind of far away,” she welcomed the crowd.

The onslaught continued with her wonderful new song, “Ashes”, notable for being the theme song for the Marvel film Deadpool 2, and probably her closest bridge to relevance with the younger generation.

From there, she finished her combo with yet another film theme, the iconic “Beauty and the Beast”, sung with one of her backing singers.

It should be noted that almost all of Dion’s movie ballads have since become iconic on their own, sometimes almost outliving the films that carried them. But as we all know, there is one theme song that will always stand above the rest.

That one song from that one film about a sinking gigantic ship had yet to arrive. That ship was lingering in the minds of the crowd, but it had not reached Jakarta yet. Dion had a lot of time to get it there, and she used that time well.

In between he songs, Dion spent good amounts of time talking to the audience, making use of all her time on stage.

Hershow was divided into five small acts, indicated by her change of costume after each act. Most of the songs making up the second to fourth acts were covers (that she has made her own), such as Carole King’s “The Reason”, and Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself”.

Despite her best ammunition being used up in the first two acts, there were still a few Celine originals that came to the fore, to the crowd’s delight.

Love Can Move Mountains” transitioned into a stunning cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain”, while “To Love You More” got several middle-aged dads dancing freely without fear of being judged by their kids.

Another original, “Recovering”, brought the hall to an earnest mood as it addressed her emotional struggles following the death of her husband Rene Angelil in 2016.

After the night’s fun fifth and final act channeling a colorful, soulful and upbeat atmosphere, closing the main set and getting the entire hall on their feet, the idol left the stage in preparation for the encore.

Inevitably, it was time for the most iconic song that soundtracked the most iconic ship in cinema to wade into the harbor. After being notably absent from the 19-song set, there it was, rising like the shadow of a mountain jutting over the horizon. The foghorn was sounded. No icebergs today. The Titanic has successfully landed in Jakarta.

“Every night in my dreams, I see you I feel you […],” went the icon, starting the immortal ballad “My Heart Will Go On”. Thundering through the crowd, as majestic as the Titanic itself, was the song that immortalized Dion’s place in pop culture history.

The Jakarta Post


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