Music Box Tour

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Music Box Tour
Tour by Mariah Carey
Tour program cover
Associated album Music Box
Start date November 3, 1993 (1993-11-03)
End date December 10, 1993 (1993-12-10)
Legs 1
No. of shows 6 in North America
Mariah Carey concert chronology

The Music Box Tour was a mini concert tour in 1993 by American recording R&B artist Mariah Carey, in support of her Diamond-certified album, Music Box. It is Carey's first headlining tour, visiting six cities in North America. The outing started on November 3, in Miami, Florida and ended on December 10, in New York City.


This was Carey's first tour. She 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 television program, which got a good reception. Then in July 1993, she 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. Thus 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. This meant, however, 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.[1]

Thus, Carey's opening concert at the Miami Arena before 15,000 people drew national media attention.[2][3] Carey 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."[3]

In reaction, Carey said that she used her anger to improve her next performance at the Worcester's Centrum Centre, and got "rave reviews" as a result.[3] Indeed, The Boston Globe called it "a spectacular performance [which] bowled over the crowd with a confidence that grew before their very eyes", after Carey "shook off her nervousness at the start."[2][4] Further, her 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,[1] although The Bergen Record gave mixed notices to the sold-out show.[5] But overall the impression was, especially framed by the opening night, that most critics gave negative reviews to the Music Box Tour.[6] In response, Carey 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."[7]

Carey 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 show[edit]

The performers took the stage to the recorded music of "They Call the Wind Mariah" from the musical Paint Your Wagon.[5] The show featured Carey'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 Carey would revive on some future tours. Dancers were present on stage, but Carey did not dance with them, an avoidance she would maintain until doing a little bit of dancing in her 1996 Daydream World Tour. Unlike her future tours, however, Carey kept costume changes to a minimum, with at most one before an encore.[1] The show was about 80 minutes long.[8]

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 "Just Be Good to Me", which she introduced as "one of my favorite 'old school' songs."[8]

Set list[edit]


List of concerts, showing date, city, country, and venue
Date City Country Venue
North America
November 3, 1993 Miami United States Miami Arena
November 9, 1993 Worcester Worcester Centrum
November 17, 1993 Rosemont Rosemont Horizon
November 23, 1993 Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre
December 2, 1993 Philadelphia The Spectrum
December 10, 1993 New York City Madison Square Garden


  1. ^ a b c Pareles, Jon. The New York Times, "Venturing Outside the Studio, Mariah Carey Proves Her Mettle", December 13, 1993. Retrieved November 18, 2006.
  2. ^ a b People, "At Home with Mariah Carey", November 22, 1993. Retrieved November 18, 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Q magazine, Mariah Carey interview, June 1994. Retrieved November 18, 2006.
  4. ^ The Boston Globe, "Mariah Carey Sheds Shyness in Spectacular Centrum Show", November 10, 1993. Retrieved November 18, 2006
  5. ^ a b Jaeger, Barbara. The Bergen Record, "Mariah Carey Goes Live", December 13, 1993. Retrieved November 18, 2006.
  6. ^ Ankeny, Jason. AllMusic, "Mariah Carey: Biography" Retrieved November 18, 2006.
  7. ^ Shapiro, Marc. Mariah Carey (2001). pg. 145. UK: ECW Press, Canada. ISBN 1-55022-444-1.
  8. ^ a b Johnson, Dean. "Mariah carries Centrum", Boston Herald, November 10, 1993.