The Music Box Tour was a 1993 concert tour by Mariah Carey in support of her album "Music Box."
It was Mariah's first headlining tour, visiting six cities in the United States. The tour began on November 3, 1993 in Miami, Florida and ended on December 10, 1993 in New York City.
Mariah had not done a lot of public singing in her early years in the music industry (partly due to stage fright) and she had become a big star with two top-selling albums and five number one singles before she ever gave a significant performance before a live audience; that had come in 1992 on the "MTV Unplugged" TV program, which got a good reception.
In July of 1993, Mariah had given a concert before a largely private audience in Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, New York, which was used to make a NBC television special and later the "Here Is Mariah Carey" video release.
In late 1993, she decided to conduct a short United States tour to promote her album Music Box, which had been released two months previously. However, this meant that she would be starting at the top of the venue scale, playing her first real concerts in arenas, rather than working her way up from smaller venues as is more customary.
Thus, Mariah's opening concert at the Miami Arena before 15,000 people drew national media attention.
She later related that "I was OK until I had to walk up this ramp on to the stage and I heard this deafening scream and it was kinda like everything in my life, this whole incredible whirlwind I'd been going through, it had all been leading up to that insane moment and there I was.... And then they killed me. Not the audience – they knew it was my first show, they were very supportive. I got really bad reviews, though. Well, there were a lot of critics out to get me: this girl's sold all these albums, she's never toured, let's get her. So they did. I turned on the TV in bed that night and the CNN guy was saying, 'The reviews are in and it's bad news for Mariah Carey.' It really hurt me a lot."
In reaction, Mariah said that she used her anger to improve her next performance at the Worcester's Centrum Centre, and got "rave reviews" as a result; The Boston Globe called it "a spectacular performance [which] bowled over the crowd with a confidence that grew before their very eyes" after Mariah "shook off her nervousness at the start."
Further, Mariah's highest-visibility performance in the tour closer at Madison Square Garden in New York City got a very positive review from Jon Pareles of The New York Times.
The Bergen Record gave mixed notices to the sold-out show, but overall the impression was, especially framed by the opening night, that most critics gave negative reviews to the "Music Box Tour". In response, Mariah said, "As soon as you have a big success, a lot of people don't like that. There's nothing I can do about it. All I can do is make music I believe in."
Mariah would avoid North America on her next two tours: the 1996 Daydream World Tour and the 1998 Butterfly World Tour, and would not tour the continental United States again until seven years later during the 2000 Rainbow World Tour.
The performers took the stage to the recorded music of "They Call the Wind Mariah" from the musical "Paint Your Wagon."
The show featured Mariah's main collaborator at the time Walter Afanasieff on keyboards along with a band. A gospel choir appeared on a few numbers, a practice that Mariah would revive on some future tours.
Dancers were present on stage, but she did not dance with them, an avoidance that she would maintain until doing a little bit of dancing in her 1996 Daydream World Tour. However, unlike her future tours, Mariah kept costume changes to a minimum, with at most one before an encore.
The show was about 80 minutes long.
The shows' set list was focused on her hits, with occasional non-singles from her studio albums mixed in. The one new song she introduced was her rendition of The SOS Band's 1983 R&B hit song "Just Be Good to Me", which she introduced as "one of my favorite 'old school' songs."
- "They Call The Wind Mariah" (Intro)
- "Love Takes Time"
- "Now That I Know"
- "Without You"
- "I Don't Wanna Cry"
- "Make It Happen"
- "All in Your Mind"
- "Just Be Good to Me"
- "Anytime You Need a Friend"
- "I'll Be There"
- "Vision of Love"
|November 3, 1993||Miami, Florida||United States||Miami Arena|
|November 9, 1993||Worcester, Massachusetts||Worcester Centrum|
|November 17, 1993||Rosemont, Illinois||Rosemont Horizon|
|November 23, 1993||Los Angeles, California||Universal Amphitheatre|
|December 2, 1993||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||The Spectrum|
|December 10, 1993||New York City||Madison Square Garden|