Will Fans Always Love Whitney?

The Australian leg of Whitney Houston’s Nothing But Love tour is not going over so well. One fan said Monday’s performance at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondall was so bad it “couldn’t entertain a dead rat.” But was the show really that bad or are fans expecting too much from the 46-year-old diva and her comeback?

According to the Agence France-Presse, Houston only made it through two songs before having to step away from the spotlight for an extended break. She reportedly sang through six more songs before she was forced to leave the stage, handing the microphone over to her brother Gary.

Houston ended her show by sitting through some acoustic versions of her hits and barely pulling off her classic “I Will Always Love You.” AFP noted that Houston coughed throughout the show and paused to take a sip of water and towel herself off in the middle of “I Will Always Love You,” right before the epic high note.

One fan said that Houston “can’t sing, couldn’t perform and was the worst act we’ve ever seen”, according to the Guardian.

“She was not fit to perform,” another unhappy fan wrote on the The Courier Mail’s Web site. “She seemed to be on another planet and the concert was laughable.”

One fan sadly noted that “This show was like watching a slow and painful death of a living legend.”

The Courier Mail reported that many fans walked out of the show early and that some ticketholders hoped to get their money back.

Photo: AP Photo
Saitama Arena, Tokyo, Japan

Concert promoter Andrew McManus, defended the singer in a written statement.

“[She] is now up on stage, warts and all, presenting herself like an open book for the world to see and they want to ridicule Whitney,” he said in a written statement, according to the Guardian. “I am personally amazed at the few who are trying to derail the project. If they expected to hear Whitney of 20 years ago, go buy a CD.

“If they wanted to see a true professional artist give 100 per cent, well come along and enjoy the ride of an amazing talent, on stage, letting her heart and soul out for us all to enjoy.”

McManus admitted to the AFP that “her throat was a little croaky” and that she was out of breath in a “couple of songs” but he stressed that “it was not a train wreck.”

Photo: AP Photo
Saitama Arena, Tokyo, Japan

Houston followed up Monday’s highly criticized performance with a Wednesday show at Acer Arena in Sydney. The Daily Telegraph gave the show a mixed review, writing that, “for the first 50 minutes, both performer and the 12,000 strong crowd seemed to be having a great time.”

The paper noted that the diva’s acoustic and gospel sets didn’t fare so well as she started coughing and straining her voice – and disappointed fans started walking out the door.

Most of the crowd stuck around though and Houston still managed to hit “some impressive high notes and girlishly [engage] her fans, blowing kisses and reminding them how much she appreciated their support through the tough times.”

Houston has four more dates booked in Australia before she kicks off her European tour, playing the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Click here for the Agence France-Presse story.

Click here for the Guardian story.

Click here for Brisbane’s The Courier-Mail story.

Click here for Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph story.