I’d had such high hopes. I really did. I’d bought myself and five other members of my family tickets to Whitney Houston’s London concert for Christmas. We were apprehensive, but decided to “keep hope alive.” She wouldn’t be on tour if she was that bad would she? I mean, maybe all these stories about weak performances were exaggerated, surely?
Turns out there was no exaggeration.Â WeÂ walked outÂ about halfway throughÂ because we just couldn’t cope sitting through that karaoke-like performance Whitney was struggling to pull off.
It was during “I Will Always Love You” that I had to walk out — in fact I wanted to do it several songs earlier. But Whitney’s an icon and I wanted to believe that she would finally get her ‘ish together. In the first 45 minutes, she sang FOUR songs. FOUR! Too much chat, not enough singing. Too many gaps in the middle of songs where she was obviously trying to find the strength to sing the high notes. In fact she stopped mid-way during a couple of her most well-known songs, as though she couldn’t face the rest. I say a couple, because to be honest — she hardly sang any of the old stuff, I suspect — she knew her voice couldn’t handle it.
It hurt. I mean, it really hurt to see her in such bad shape. She blamed the air-conditioning for her poor performance. She said her voice, aka “the old girl,” was a tad temperamental at the moment. Blah blah blah.Â A bad carpenter never blames his tool Whit. You just need to realize you can’t do it anymore. In fact, “her people” need to be honest and tell her the truth. She’s no longer capable.
I was sinking further and further into my chair as she struggled. It was just so embarrassing. She said her mum, Cissy Houston, was in the crowd, so I hope she at least gave her a talking to at the end. I was one of several hundred who also walked out during “I Will Always Love You” in my seat section, whilst some stayed and boo-ed.
“Shit-ney” was being yelled by the information desk as people were queuing up toÂ find out where they could get a refund. We all know that’s not gonna happen. Some people had paid almost 300 pounds for a ticket — thankfully not me, but my six tickets weren’t cheap either — and I’d be pissed if I’d paid that much. It was all everyone could talk about on the way back to the subway station; how disappointed they were, and how they suspect she’s still not fought all her demons. She seemed, you know, not quite “there.”