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Butterfly World Tour

The Butterfly World Tour was the third concert tour by Mariah Carey in support of her 1997 album "Butterfly" and included songs from several of her previous albums.

The tour began on January 11, 1998 in Tokyo, Japan and ended on February 21, 1998 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Throughout the tour, Mariah varied hairstyles and outfits, as well as song selections. The tour was very successful; the four dates at Japan's largest stadium, Tokyo Dome, sold out in under one hour, equaling over 200,000 tickets, breaking the previous record that she held at the stadium for show sell-outs.

Background

Since her debut in 1990, Mariah had not journeyed on a large or extensive tour; in fact, she had not embarked on a tour until her third studio album "Music Box" when she performed six arena shows in the United States during the Music Box Tour.

The opening night of the tour received scathing reviews, mostly aimed at Mariah's deemed "obvious" stage-fright and failure to make a connection with the crowd. Succeeding nights were more favorably reviewed, with critics raving about her vocals.

Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote regarding Mariah's live vocals, "Beyond any doubt, Ms. Carey's voice is no studio concoction. Her range extends from a rich, husky alto to dog-whistle high notes; she can linger over sensual turns, growl with playful confidence, syncopate like a scat singer."

However, after the strong media attention, Mariah did not visit the United States on her succeeding Daydream World Tour in 1996, visiting only Europe and Asia.

The tour received critical acclaim from critics and fans alike, as well as breaking ticket sale records. Her three shows at Japan's largest stadium, Tokyo Dome, sold out in under three hours, equaling in over 150,000 tickets, setting the record of fastest show sellouts in Japan's history.

On the Butterfly World Tour, Mariah broke the record, selling 200,000 tickets in under one hour. During 1997, after the commercially and critically successful release of "Butterfly", she had not planned to tour once again, due to the long travel times and strain on her voice.

However, due to overwhelming demand by fans, Mariah agreed to perform in Asia once again, only extending the tour to Taiwan and Australia, as well as one last show in the United States. The rehearsals for the show began shortly after Christmas 1997, extending for a period of two weeks.

Originally, the Butterfly Tour was to have a leg in North America, but due to Mariah's project of filming the movie "Double-O Soul" with Chris Tucker in early 1998, the North American leg was cancelled; however, the movie ended up not being released.

Concert Synopsis

The show began with Mariah standing on a small elevated centerpiece on stage, surrounded by several long draped curtains. She featured three background vocalists throughout the tour: Trey Lorenz, Melodie Daniels and Kelly Price.

As the introduction began with "Emotions", each of the curtains were slowly draped, revealing Mariah atop the platform, dressed in a beige mini-dress and matching sheer blouse and stiletto heels. As she began performing "Emotions", the platform was lowered so she could access the other sections of the stage throughout the song's performance.

After an intimate performance with dimmed lights for "The Roof (Back in Time)", she was joined on-stage by a Peruvian guitar player, who played the Latin-inspired guitar melodies during her performance of "My All".

Afterwards, Mariah sang "Close My Eyes", the only sitting performance of the show. During the song, several male backup dancers performed slow and ample dance routines behind her on a higher level of the stage.

For the second part of the show, Mariah had the second costume change of the evening, donning a long sequined black gown and semi-teased hair. For the performance of "Dreamlover", she was joined by three female back-up dancers, who mimicked her light dance routines during the song.

The next song on the set-list was "Hero", which featured Mariah alone on-stage, without any vocal back-up. After the song's performance, she was joined on-stage by Trey Lorenz, who performed "I'll Be There" alongside her.

Next came "Make It Happen", a song which accompanied yet another wardrobe change for Mariah. She donned a short mini-skirt, alongside a sleeveless white blouse and loose golden curls. On-stage, she was joined by a full church choir, all dressed in long black garments.

After the song's recital, she performed "One Sweet Day", alongside a previously recorded video of Boyz II Men during their live performance of the song with Carey at Madison Square Garden in 1995.

After completing the song, Mariah changed to a pair of leg-hugging blue jeans and a tank top. Her next performance was the "Fantasy" remix, featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard on a large projection screen behind the stage, as she performed light chair dance-routines alongside several male dancers. The performance featured the most intricate choreography Mariah has performed on the tour.

After a low-key performance of "Babydoll", or "Whenever You Call" in other countries, Mariah was once again joined by several male dancers, as she sang "Honey", while re-enacting the music video during a small skit. She once again changed to a beige ensemble similar to her first outfit before performing her debut single, "Vision of Love".

The final song on the tour was "Butterfly", which featured large stills of butterflies and flowers projected onto the large screen behind Mariah. She donned a long brown sequined gown for the performance, being joined on stage once again by her trio of back-up singers.

During the shows in Japan, Mariah performed her holiday classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You", alongside various male and female dancers on stage who performed light dance routines alongside her. During the song, she donned a Santa suit and matching hat, while being carried on a large stage prop by the dancers

Set List

  1. "Looking In/Butterfly (Intro)"
  2. "Emotions"
  3. "The Roof"
  4. "My All"
  5. "Close My Eyes"
  6. "Daydream Interlude (Fantasy Sweet Dub Mix)"
  7. "Dreamlover"
  8. "Hero"
  9. "I'll Be There" (with Trey Lorenz)
  10. "Make You Happy" (Trey Lorenz)
  11. "Make It Happen"
  12. "One Sweet Day" (featuring pre-recorded Boyz II Men)
  13. "Ain't Nobody (Band Interlude)
  14. "Fantasy (Bad Boy Remix)"
  15. "Whenever You Call" (performed on select dates)
  16. "Breakdown" (performed on select dates)
  17. "Honey" (featuring pre-recorded Mase)
  18. "Vision of Love"
  19. "Butterfly
  20. "Without You" (performed on select dates)
  21. "Butterfly (Outro)"
  22. "All I Want for Christmas is You" (performed on select dates)

Personnel

  • Walter Afanasieff: director, keyboard
  • Dan Shea: keyboard
  • Vernon Black: guitar
  • Randy Jackson: bass
  • Gigi Conway: drums
  • Peter Michael: percussion
  • Gary Cirimelli: music sequencing
  • Trey Lorenz: vocals, background vocals
  • Kelly Price: background vocals
  • Cheree Price: background vocals
  • Melonie Daniels: background vocals
  • Cindy Mizelle: background vocals

Concert Dates

List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue, tickets sold, amount of available tickets and gross revenue
Date City Country Venue Attendance Revenue
Asia
January 11, 1998 Tokyo Japan Tokyo Dome 200,000 / 200,000 rowspan=4 Template:N/a
January 14, 1998
January 17, 1998
January 20, 1998
January 24, 1998 Taipei Taiwan Taipei Municipal Stadium Template:N/a Template:N/a
Australia
January 31, 1998 Brisbane Australia Brisbane Entertainment Centre rowspan=6 Template:N/a rowspan=6 Template:N/a
February 2, 1998 Sydney Sydney Entertainment Centre
February 6, 1998
February 10, 1998 Perth Burswood Entertainment Complex
February 13, 1998 Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
February 16, 1998
North America
February 21, 1998 Honolulu United States Aloha Stadium 30,415 / 30,415 $1,744,210

Reception

Virtually the entire tour was an instant sell-out; the four shows at Japan's largest stadium, Tokyo Dome, broke Mariah's previous ticket-sales record, selling out all 200,000 tickets in under one hour.

Additionally, the entire Australian leg sold out within hours, leading Mariah to extend the tour one more date in the United States.

The show at Hawaii's 50,000 capacity Aloha Stadium sold out as well, making her one of the few acts in the stadiums history to sell out the entire venue.

Aside from its commercial success, fans and critics raved about the show's visuals as well as Mariah's vocal delivery.

Broadcasts and Recordings

During the tour, several bits and performances were filmed and later edited into a VHS and DVD entitled "Around the World." The VHS featured performances from Tokyo Dome, Aloha Stadium as well as few other skits and scenes that were later compiled into the video.

The film first begins with performances in Hawaii, where the song's recitals are cut into halves, excluding the second verses and bridge to shorten the bulk length of the video.

Afterwards, Mariah's performance of "My All" is shown in inter-cut scenes from Japan and Taipei. After the conclusion of the song, scenes of her conversing with singer Brenda K. Starr are shown, which eventually lead to a tribute to her at a small and intimate New York club, where Mariah performs "I Still Believe".

Soon after, her performance in Japan with Trey Lorenz for "I'll Be There" is shown, leading to scenes of Mariah swimming with dolphins in Australia.

The next title on the video is her live rendition of "Hopelessly Devoted To You", where she is joined by Olivia Newton-John on stage in Melbourne.

A scene of a fans gathering outside of a New York City studio is shown, following a performance of "Honey," and "Hero" at Aloha Stadium.

The VHS was a commercial success, being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over 100,000 units. The video was also certified gold in Brazil by the Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos (ABPD).

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