With a tight band piloted by musical director Rickey Minor, and the complementary harmonics of four backup singers which included brother Gary, Houston’s show was broken up into two distinct segments: the first focused on her older material, while the second half was dedicated to “The Bodyguard,” which to date has sold nearly 52 million copies.
Houston also performed two songs from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and the powerhouse “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls.” Her interpretation of the latter was one of the many highlights.
A Whitney Houston concert would not be complete if she did not perform the songs which firmly established her as a pop diva, such as “You Give Good Love, “”Saving All My Love for You” and “I Want to Dance With Somebody,” which featured a sensitive sax solo by guest artist Kirk Whalum. She received a standing ovation as she fiercely sang “Don’t Walk Away,”closing the first part of the show. Her final farewell was “I Will Always Love You.”
The Prince of New Jack, Bobby Brown, obviously moved by his wife’s performance, ventured to center stage as the elegant Houston was encoring with “I’m Every Woman.” After being greeted with a playful kiss, Brown carried Houston up the stairs and offstage.
Whalum performed “Love Is a Losing Game” and “The Language of Love,” cuts from his latest Columbia release, “Cache,” the followup to his 1989 critically acclaimed “The Promise.”
Show opened with the youngest siblings of the Winan dynasty, Angie and Debbie , whose performance featured songs from their debut release on Capitol, aptly titled “Angie & Debbie.”