A Facebook hoax may have claimed that Celine Dion died in a plane and/or car accident last week, but don’t be fooled — the Canadian national treasure’s heart went on (and on) at an intimate concert at New York City’s Edison Ballroom on Tuesday night. “Well, you are definitely bringing me back to life, for sure,” Dion told the enraptured audience.
To celebrate the release of Loved Me Back To Life (out Nov. 5), her first English-language album in six years, Dion performed a 12-song set as a part of the Pandora Presents series of live concerts. (QVC will also air the concert Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., and offer a specially packaged version of the new album that includes five additional bonus tracks.)
Dion opened the show with some of her greatest hits, albeit the truncated versions: “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” right into “The Power of Love” and her first English-language hit “Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” followed by “Because You Loved Me” and “The Reason.” Then came the new songs, including “Water and Flame,” a raspy, bluesy torch song that wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond movie. (Think Celine doing her own kind of Amy Winehouse. Yeah, it’s weird, but it also kind of worked.)
This was followed by “Loved Me Back To Life,” the titular powerhouse ballad and first single from the new album. “‘Loved Me Back To Life’ is such a very strong, passionate song that’s kind of like the in between of my repertoire. Like the strong ballads, but with an edge of today,” Dion said after the show. “That song represents—I don’t want to say the new me, because I’m not reinventing myself. But at the same time, [I'm] not trying to be repetitive and do the same thing all over again.”
Dion rounded out the set with a cover of Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” (which she has performed in her Vegas act; it’s also included on the new album); a rousing, audience sing-along take on “All By Myself;” and a mountainous medley of “Love Can Move Mountains” and “River Deep, Mountain High.”
Naturally, she closed out with her biggest hit. She started singing in what can best be described as a beautiful a cappella rendition of a whale mating call, instantly recognizable as the instrumental opening to the Golden Globe-, Grammy- and Academy Award-winning “My Heart Will Go On.”
Want to hear the new record before its Nov. 5 release date? Check out this sample of Loved Me Back To Life:
by Breia Brissey and Aaron Morales