Overheard at Celine Dion


Celine and that Tourettic right arm

Except for the hokey-ness of her soul-wrenching power ballads and Tourettic right arm, Celine Dion doesn’t really deserve to be made fun of. The power of her pipes is undeniable, and the conviction with which she expresses her affinity for true and painful love is admirable, if not a bit mysterious. But the hot mama in a hot-pink minidress has to know she’s a borderline drag queen, evident from the crazy faces she makes whenever she nails one of her signature, monumental notes, as if to say, “I can’t believe that just came out of me either, but fuck it, now we’re on a roll.” At which point she basically has sex with the audience one hip thrust, leg kick, weaponlike belt, and anal bead at a time. Celine delivers.

With a sampling of some of her biggest hits, and a few covers, the Canadian light-rock queen kicked off the start of the six-night Tri-State area leg of her Taking Chances Tour at Newark’s Prudential Center on Wednesday. Here’s what the crowd had to say:

“Couldn’t they get that puppet guy from America’s Got Talent?”
Girl in the audience, about the opening act, which was actually Las Vegas fixture/presumed karaoke champion Gordie Brown

“I’m a member of Team Celine. I pay $25 a year and get to have special seating. For $500 a ticket. In Indianapolis.”
28-year-old gay guy on why he’s here

“I’m here to get fucked up.”
35-year-old gay guy on why he’s here

“My job is glorified babysitting… Before the show, she makes everyone Riverdance.”
A member of Celine’s tour crew

“Can you believe it’s been 10 years since we were last in New Jersey? Way too long.”
Celine, flat-out lying to the audience

“I bet Heart is ok with this one.”
Woman in the audience, responding to Celine’s rendition of “Alone”

“I couldn’t do a show without singing at least one song in French.”
Celine, at which point a third of the audience got up and left

“We will, we will rock you.”
Celine, confirming her place in the world as the female Freddie Mercury by doing a Queen tribute

“She’s very much a showgirl.”
Post-show thoughts from a woman in the audience

“Was this your first time? Mine too.”

Investment analyst on the train ride home from the show

— Sharyn Jackson

The gay boys who love Celine Dion

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