It’s time! Mariah Carey brought a flurry of faux snowflakes and winter cheer to Boston Monday night as part of her Merry Christmas One and All! tour. The holiday hitmaker played to a crowd decked out in sequins and Santa hats at TD Garden.
The pop star’s show focused mainly on Christmas tunes — singing songs from her two Christmas albums and covers of famous carols. She also performed famous hits like “We Belong Together,” “Hero,” and a medley of her other top non-holiday songs like “Always Be My Baby" and “Emotions."
Carey entered the arena decked in a glittery red gown and cape, with background dancers dressed as nutcrackers and poinsettias. Complete with multiple outfit changes, appearances from her children Monroe and Moroccan Cannon, a gospel choir and a finale with falling (faux) snow, the show was a festive treat for her loyal fans.
Throughout, Carey kept avid communication with the crowd — she signed a fan’s Barbie version of her and helped a dancer dressed as Santa Claus toss out presents to the crowd. Carey was chatty on stage, taking time to talk to the crowd and make jokes, like asking the audience what exactly a Boston cream pie consisted of.
When taking a break to sip on tea, Carey paid Boston a compliment.
“This [tea] is very good here in Boston, I must say,” she said. “I’ve been to a lot of places and there was something wrong with the tea. I don’t know what it was!”
Jonathan Hanson from Chelsea is a devout fan and was bestowed with a gift from Carey — front row tickets to the Boston show.
Carey routinely gives out primo seats to her fans on social media, and after Hanson tweeted that the Boston show would be his 32nd time seeing the star, she offered him the special tickets.
Wow!!! Would love to offer you front row tickets to celebrate!!!— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) December 11, 2023
Hanson said experiencing the Christmas joy from the front row was an incredible experience and an uplifting end to a tough year for him.
“As a fan, it was such a special experience and it doesn't change any of the things that happened this year, but it's kind of helped put a boost in my holiday season and helped to end the year much better and more festive than it started,” Hanson said.
Carey has been Hanson’s hero since he was 11, and her songs have long brought him comfort. He said Carey’s commitment to her fans keeps the dedication going both ways.
“She is very real with the fans and the people who are coming to see her and support her,” Hanson said. “We feel her love and we know that she appreciates us. When you meet her, it's not like you are with a celebrity diva. It's like you're with a real person who is looking you in the eyes and listening to what you're saying and genuinely, genuinely interested in and cares about what you have to share with her.”
For some concert goers, the reason for turning out was Carey's 1994 hit that has come to dominate the music charts each December.
“‘All I Want for Christmas Is You,’ that’s pretty much the only reason I’m here!” said Vikki Lirco of Saugus.
Carey satisfied Lirco and fans like her by closing out the show with the now classic holiday hit.
“I’m excited for this because I was waiting a long time, seven years!” said seven-year-old Camden Lampel who came with her family. “Mariah Carey is the Christmas queen.”
Cathy Goodman and her daughter Johnita Aleman came to the concert decked out in red and white. The pair traveled all the way from Houston, Texas, just to see Carey in Boston and made a festive trip out of it.
“We wanted to do something to celebrate the holidays and this was perfect. She wasn't coming down south so we had to come and see her,” Aleman said.
“All for Mariah! Mariah brought us to Boston,” said Goodman.
Aleman has been a fan of Carey since elementary school and her mother, Goodman, wanted to make sure the pair could see Carey’s “poise and glam.”
“This has been all I could talk about for three months,” Aleman said. “Her entire first Christmas album, I know it all by heart.”
“No one has ever owned the Christmas season like her,” Goodman said. “This is a tradition we want to start — coming to see Mariah in different cities.”
“The world needs this kind of joy right now that I’m feeling, I’m feeling so much joy here among you guys, thank you for being here for me,” Carey said during the show. “There's no greater joy in my opinion than when Christmas comes.”