Mariah Carey gets a brand new start
After nearly a year away from Caesars Palace, Mariah Carey comes back to the Colosseum this week with a second residency: The Butterfly Returns. Details about the follow-up to No. 1 to Infinity have been kept under wraps for the most part, although last month on Jimmy Kimmel Live! she indicated that her previous production’s focus on her hits that topped the pop charts was a little restraining.
The new show is inspired, in name at least, by Carey’s 1997 album Butterfly, which came out at a time she had liberated herself from her marriage to Tommy Mottola and his vision for her music. Carey ended her engagement with Australian billionaire James Packer and shook up her management team in 2016. Emancipated once more and excited about a fresh start, Carey went on the offensive in her ongoing battle with her up-and-down weight and signed a management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation organization. She told London-based radio station Magic Radio 105.4 FM that she’s working on a new album, and enjoys being back in a creative environment. “I’ve been out of the studio for so long,” she said. “Maybe I’ve done a song here and there but it hasn’t been like the process of making an actual album. And so now, being there, I want to love the songs first and foremost, and hopefully other people will love them as well.”
Carey’s sophomore Caesars Palace residency will include songs that didn’t necessarily hit No. 1 but are loved by her “lambs” (devoted fans). “I’m going to have more freedom with the set list and be interactive, and see what songs they really want to hear,” she told Kimmel. That could mean the addition of No. 2s such as “Shake It Off,” “Can’t Let Go,” and “Loverboy.” Covers including her 1994 No. 3 hit “Without You/Never Forget You” and Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” could be brought into the mix. Songs from her critically acclaimed 2014 album Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse could be played at the Colosseum for the first time.
In other words, Carey has the freedom and flexibility to do whatever she wants. Fans will definitely see a different show during the first two legs of the residency, which run through July 15 and from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10. They have also participated in deciding which songs will be on the set list via Twitter polling. “Can’t Let Go” and “I Still Believe” have made the cut.
Carey will be in Vegas on Sept. 21 for this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival, then prepares for her All I Want for Christmas Is You seasonal tour of Europe. Dates in 2019 for The Butterfly Returns have not been announced yet, but the fluidity of the new residency gives her the option to change it up at will. Lambs who catch her during the first dozen dates of her residency may have the option of coming back next year and hearing a few new favorites, but they can rest assured there will be plenty of No. 1s as well.
Caesars Palace, 8 p.m. July 8, 10 & 14-15, starting at $55 plus tax and fee. 866.320.9763