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Taking Chances World Tour

Taking Chances World Tour
World tour by Celine Dion
Associated album D'elles, Taking Chances
Start date 14 February 2008 (2008-02-14)
End date 26 February 2009 (2009-02-26)
Legs 5
Shows 9 in Africa
10 in Asia
5 in Australia
35 in Europe
73 in North America
132 Total
Box office US $280.2 million ($308.02 million in 2016 dollars)[1]
Celine Dion concert chronology

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The Taking Chances World Tour is the ninth concert tour by Canadian singer Céline Dion, in support of her 2007 studio albums, D'elles and Taking Chances. The tour marked the return of Dion after performing her groundbreaking show A New Day... in Las Vegas for five years. The tour visited Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.[2] Pollstar announced its total gross at US$280.2 million, making it the second highest-grossing tour by a solo artist at that time, behind Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour. It was eventually surpassed by Madonna's MDNA Tour and others.[3]

Background and development

File:Celine Dion Concert Singing Taking Chances 2008.jpg
Dion performing "Taking Chances" in Montreal

The show, directed by Jamie King (famously known for his work with Madonna), combined Dion's performances with color, fashion and dance. Céline Dion performed some of her biggest hits, along with songs from her latest English album Taking Chances.[4] The two hour show was divided into four segments: soul, rock, Middle-Eastern and, fashion-victim. Dion was supported by eight dancers (4 male and 4 female). Rehearsals took place in December 2007 in Primm, Nevada and MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The tour setup included about twenty LED screens, among them one that orbited above the stage, plus conveyor belts and elevators. Dion pre-recorded a selection of videos for her show. The introduction video showed her driving a car at high-speed, set to a remix of "I Drove All Night" as the beginning of her concert. There have been 2 versions of the introduction video: The first version showed footage of Dion's career, and was seen in all South Africa, Asia, Australia, and some European dates before the second version, which was footage from cities Dion visited during the tour. As the tour went on, the intro video shaped up and more cities ended up being added. Another video showed the singer dressed in varying fashions over the years, with the "My Heart Will Go On" remix in the background.

Jamie King joined the tour on 2 May 2008 in Manchester, England. Before that date, the show was not on a central stage (except in Japan) for logistics reasons. After two and a half months, Dion rehearsed again to perfect the show for the "in the round" setup. Because of Dion's bilingual career and the restrictions of certain arenas and stadiums on the tour, King had to direct and choreograph three separate shows. One show featured a set-list mostly of English language songs, and was performed in-the-round using the full system of mobile screens, elevators, and conveyor belts. A second show also featured the center stage arrangement, but included about ten French language songs for performances in Francophone countries. A third, less complex show was used where the center stage arrangement would not fit into the venue or where it would be impractical to transport the stage. An end stage setup was used in these cases, and featured a massive central video screen and a lighting system that engulfed the stage in brilliant blue and red from above on all three sides. Before the European leg, the central and end stage setups were redone, changing lights and cues, in order for the three separate shows to fit in these two stages. Dion premiered new costumes when the European tour began.

File:Celine Dion Concert - Laser Lighting.jpg
Dion's "in the round" staging used for arenas in Europe and North America

Dion and her band rehearsed about 60 tracks, both in English and French. Among those, about 27 songs were performed in each show, according to each visited market. "Pour que tu m'aimes encore" was performed throughout the whole tour. It is the best-selling French-language single of all time, and one of the only French songs in music history to achieve chart success in many non-Francophone countries. The singer also performed several cover songs, including: James Brown's "I Got the Feelin'" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," and Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "The Show Must Go On" (although the last two were dropped starting with the 27 October Winnipeg show). She also performed Kiki Dee's "I've Got the Music in Me" but the song was removed after concerts in South Korea.[5]

Although not officially a part of the Taking Chances Tour, Dion performed in front of 250,000 spectators at the Quebec City 400th Anniversary Concert. The concert was held at the Plains of Abraham on 22 August 2008. The concert was part of a year-long festivities to celebrate the founding of Quebec City. It was noted for being the largest crowd Dion has performed for in her entire recording history. The show, exclusively performed in French, featured many special guests, including: Garou, Dan Bigras, Ginette Reno and Jean-Pierre Ferland. The show aired live on Bell TV and was watched by over 200,000 people.[6]

Broadcasts and recordings

File:Celine Dion Sept 2008 Long Island NY with dancers.jpg
Dion performing "River Deep - Mountain High" in Uniondale

On 22 August 2008, the City of Lévis aired Dion's honorary Quebec City's 400th birthday concert on both the web and television. Dion performed in front of 250,000 people.[7] Additionally on 31 August 2008, a special performance of "My Love," aired on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.[8] It became later the official video for the single "My Love."

Official tour photo book, called Celine autour du monde was released on 24 September 2009 in Québec and France and It includes 368 pages with 485 photos by Gérard Schachmes. There are images from concerts and backstage, photos of Dion, her family, tour team, dancers, singers, musicians and technicians, Dion intimate moments with her husband, René Angélil, and their son, Rene-Charles. There are all kind of photographs from walking on the River Thames, in a park with lions, a safari in Africa, to travel in private aircraft, including the arrival of trucks in the early morning in New York City and the spectacular assembling the scene.[9][10][11] The book was released in Canada on 14 October 2009. The U.S. and Japanese editions are also planned.

The tour was chronicled in the documentary, Celine: Through the Eyes of the World, which gave the "unique opportunity to follow Celine everywhere, on stage, backstage, enjoying free time with her family; this movie will show it all."[12] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 11 May 2010.

Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert was released on 11 May 2010. It contains a DVD and a live CD of the English and French setlists (each released separately). The English set list was recorded in Boston (on 12 and 13 August 2008), while the French one in Montreal (on 31 August and 1 September 2008). There is also a deluxe edition including both DVDs and a 52-page booklet and fold-out souvenir postcards.[13][14]

Commercial reception

File:CelineDion concert.jpg
Dion performing "Eyes on Me" in Montreal

Céline Dion set a record in the history of Canadian concerts, when she sold out all her Montreal shows in only a few minutes.[15] After further shows being added, bringing the total to 11, Montreal's audience (with 20,995 in attendance at each show[16]) became the largest on the tour with 227,616 spectators for a single city. Dion performed in Bell Centre 31 times since 1996.[17] Other Canadian concerts were sold out immediately, prompting second dates to be added in Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg, and a third show added in Toronto.[18] In the United States, second dates were announced in New York City, Uniondale, Boston, and Newark.[19] In Ireland 64,000 tickets for her Dublin concert, the largest single concert of the scheduled tour, were sold out in 3 hours.[20]

Dion also sold out stadium audiences in South Africa, Netherlands (50,000) and Denmark (42,000).[21] A second concert date was added for Sydney, Australia after tickets were selling fast in this country.[22] On 22 August 2008 although a free concert (not a part of the Taking Chances Tour), Dion sang in front of her biggest crowd at a live concert, when she performed on the Plains of Abraham to help celebrate Quebec City's 400th Birthday. Tickets were distributed to 250,000 people.[23]

Dion announced she would be playing at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on 7 February 2008. Tickets sold out in a record 15 minutes with more than 125 people queuing the night before for tickets.[24] The performance at the Kansas City's Sprint Center became the highest-grossing concert in the arena's history with a gross of $1,661,827. The record has since been broken By Elton John and Billy Joel.[25] Dion's concert at the American Airlines Arena, set an attendance record, selling 17,725 tickets.[26] Britney Spears broke that record two months later, performing for 18,644 people. However, although singing for a smaller audience, Dion grossed $2,247,233, while Spears managed to gross $1,972,928 only.[27] According to her official website, Dion became the top-selling performer for three venues: Montreal's Bell Centre, Kansas City's Sprint Center, and the New Orleans Arena. The latter concert grossed $1,829,331.[28] Dion's performances at the Bell Centre (in 2008) ranked second in Billboard's Top 25 Boxscores.[29]

Critical reception

The concerts received mixed reviews in the press. Diane Coetzer of Billboard claimed Dion's first performance in South Africa "may not have ultimately succeeded in presenting her as a multi-faceted performer, but it definitely confirmed that Dion is a singer of unparalleled ability. Performing in a stadium that ordinarily holds rugby fans and flanked by two huge screens, Dion used her astonishing voice to captivate the near-capacity crowd." Coetzer praised the dancing and visuals, but believed the choice in covering soul songs and songs from Queen (band) made the show awkward until the closing in which "My Heart Will Go On" was performed.[30]

Jon Caramanica of the New York Times wrote that Dion "showed off a few new tricks without violating her core tenets of scale and pomp." On the other hand he described some of the other songs, such as "My Love" as "a technical exercise, a singer practicing her vocal workout in front of thousands of people."[31] The Independent gave a negative review of Dion's performance in the London concert, by awarding the show 2 stars out of 5 and claiming, "Many singers perform in their second language and manage to sound convincing. Despite selling a reported 200 million albums – including 27 million copies of that Titanic soundtrack – Céline Dion is not one of them."[32]

Randy Lewis's article in the Los Angeles Times was more enthusiastic, opening with, "It's a no-brainer why Celine Dion's Taking Chances tour is shaping up as one of the highest-grossing North American concert attractions of 2008... hundreds of thousands of fans are filling arena after arena to hear Dion deliver emotional climax after emotional climax, goosebump-inducing vocal thrill after thrill, sweeping chorus after chorus filled with spirit-lifting affirmations and enough technical razzle-dazzle to dwarf the Super Bowl halftime show. And that was just her opening number." The article was expanded, claiming "her vocal workouts are all about perfection — and without a hint Auto-Tuning in sight — she succeeds at letting her human side come through in the spaces between songs. That gave some tangible ballast to the often overblown arrangements that typify her middle-of-the-road pop songs. The album from which the tour draws its name does indeed take a few chances —stylistically, placing her in harder-hitting rock settings than she, or her fans, have been used to. And she included a healthy dose of the new songs, pumped up by her razor-sharp band and three singers, who were joined by eight dancers on several of the night’s biggest numbers." Like in the previously mentioned Billboard article, the soul covers were not appreciated.[33]

Sarah Rodman of the Boston Globe wrote positively, "There was never a dearth of stimulation, be it her own costume changes, the intricate lighting, the video imagery, or her cadre of dancers, deployed judiciously. It's a testament to her skill however, that even when the songs weren't strong, Dion was."[34]

CTV News acclaimed Dion's performance in Montreal, "Dion's stock moves were also on ready display - the fist jabs in the air, the sweep of the arms which makes her look as though she's going to take flight, and the cantering across the stage. However, the trademark chest-thumping move dubbed 'the defibrillator' by comedians and critics wasn't as prominent. The 'Taking Chances World Tour' marks Dion's return to the road after a five-year gig in Las Vegas and Celineophiles were tingling with excitement as they lined up to get into the Bell Centre. Dion had the crowd in the palm of her hand to the point that when she swaggered over to a corner of the stage during various songs, the crowd in that section rose as one as though on command and reached out."[35]

Much of the critical division came towards Dion's new image as someone who came back from a Vegas showcase. Dave Simpson of The Guardian gave the Manchester concert 3 stars out of 5 and stated, "in her nine-year break from touring (apart from a residency in Vegas), Dion has clearly been abducted by aliens and replaced by CelineBarbie, a dancing sex goddess who makes raunchy smiles at the camera, dances with musclemen, performs rockers penned by Pink's songwriter Linda Perry and, bizarrely, turns Roy Orbison songs into gay disco."[36] An article in Sun Media gave the Toronto concert 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated, "Is Celine Dion really taking chances anymore? Well, the name of her current world tour would say that she is, but the 40-year-old mega-selling pop star is basically Vegas personified."[37] On the other hand, The Vancouver Sun after praising the show's set-up, stated, "The idea here is presumably to humanize the diva, as it were, and, fittingly, during the show Dion makes use of two protruding catwalks to “mingle” with the audience. It’s worth questioning how humanizing an influence doting devotees who can justify spending $520 for two hours of light entertainment really are, but that’s a whole other thesis."[38]

Set list

Tour dates

List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue, tickets sold, amount of available tickets and gross revenue
Date City Country Venue Attendance Revenue
Leg 1 — Africa[2]
14 February 2008 Johannesburg South Africa Coca-Cola Dome N/A N/A
16 February 2008 Pretoria Loftus Versfeld Stadium
17 February 2008
20 February 2008 Durban ABSA Stadium
23 February 2008 Cape Town Great Lawn at Vergelegen
24 February 2008
27 February 2008 Port Elizabeth EPRU Stadium
29 February 2008 Johannesburg Montecasino
1 March 2008
Leg 2 — Asia[2]
5 March 2008 Dubai United Arab Emirates Four Seasons Golf Club N/A N/A
8 March 2008 Tokyo Japan Tokyo Dome
9 March 2008
11 March 2008 Osaka Osaka Dome
12 March 2008
15 March 2008 Macau Macau Venetian Arena
18 March 2008 Seoul South Korea Olympic Gymnastics Arena
19 March 2008
Leg 3 — Australia[2][39]
31 March 2008 Brisbane Australia Brisbane Entertainment Centre 7,835 / 13,156 $1,719,321
2 April 2008 Melbourne Rod Laver Arena 12,266 / 15,431 $2,314,928
5 April 2008 Sydney Acer Arena 20,605 / 21,752 $4,176,200
6 April 2008
8 April 2008 Perth Members Equity Stadium 10,086 / 15,613 $1,648,288
Leg 4 — Asia[2]
11 April 2008 Shanghai China Shanghai Stadium N/A N/A
13 April 2008 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Stadium Merdeka
Leg 5 —Europe[2][40]
2 May 2008 Manchester England Manchester Evening News Arena N/A N/A
3 May 2008
6 May 2008 London The O2 Arena
8 May 2008
10 May 2008 Birmingham National Indoor Arena
13 May 2008 Antwerp Belgium Sportpaleis 45,352 / 46,955 $7,619,814
14 May 2008
16 May 2008
19 May 2008 Paris France Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy N/A N/A
20 May 2008
21 May 2008
24 May 2008
25 May 2008
27 May 2008
30 May 2008 Dublin Ireland Croke Park
2 June 2008 Amsterdam Netherlands Amsterdam Arena
5 June 2008 Copenhagen Denmark Parken Stadium
7 June 2008 Stockholm Sweden Stockholm Globe Arena
9 June 2008 Helsinki Finland Hartwall Areena
12 June 2008 Berlin Germany Waldbühne
14 June 2008 Frankfurt Commerzbank-Arena
16 June 2008 Stuttgart Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle
18 June 2008 Cologne Lanxess Arena
20 June 2008 Hamburg Color Line Arena
22 June 2008 Munich Olympic Stadium
24 June 2008 Zurich Switzerland Hallenstadion
26 June 2008 Prague Czech Republic O2 Arena
28 June 2008 Kraków Poland Błonia Park
1 July 2008 Vienna Austria Wiener Stadthalle
3 July 2008 Milan Italy DatchForum
5 July 2008 Nice France Stade Charles-Ehrmann
7 July 2008[A] Arras Place d'Arras
9 July 2008 Geneva Switzerland Stade de Genève
11 July 2008[B] Monte Carlo Monaco Salle des Etoiles
12 July 2008[B]
Leg 6 — North America[41]
12 August 2008 Boston United States TD Banknorth Garden 32,493 / 32,493 $3,813,519
13 August 2008
15 August 2008 Montreal Canada Bell Centre 167,957 / 167,957 $23,135,338
16 August 2008
19 August 2008
20 August 2008
23 August 2008
25 August 2008
27 August 2008 Toronto Air Canada Centre 36,122 / 36,122 $4,776,796
28 August 2008
31 August 2008 Montreal Bell Centre (look above) (look above)
1 September 2008
3 September 2008 Buffalo United States HSBC Arena 16,343 / 16,343 $1,381,696
5 September 2008 Philadelphia Wachovia Center 18,061 / 18,061 $2,246,374
6 September 2008 Ledyard MGM Grand Theatre N/A N/A
8 September 2008 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center 16,845 / 16,845 $2,225,458
10 September 2008 Newark Prudential Center 31,902 / 31,902 $3,605,530
12 September 2008
13 September 2008 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 32,432 / 32,432 $3,586,695
15 September 2008 New York City Madison Square Garden 36,291 / 36,291 $4,476,480
16 September 2008
18 September 2008 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (look above) (look above)
20 September 2008 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall 14,590 / 14,590 $2,142,875
22 September 2008 Columbus Value City Arena 16,986 / 16,986 $1,399,218
24 September 2008 Cleveland Quicken Loans Arena 17,343 / 17,343 $1,486,401
26 September 2008 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills 19,486 / 19,486 $1,959,845
27 September 2008 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre 18,262 / 18,262 $2,363,217
29 September 2008 Milwaukee United States Bradley Center 17,443 / 17,443 $1,193,896
14 October 2008 Sacramento ARCO Arena 15,213 / 15,213 $1,442,044
16 October 2008 Portland Rose Garden 18,001 / 18,001 $1,247,473
18 October 2008 Tacoma Tacoma Dome 20,665 / 20,665 $1,765,386
20 October 2008 Vancouver Canada General Motors Place 34,348 / 34,348 $3,587,340
21 October 2008
24 October 2008 Edmonton Rexall Place 32,958 / 32,958 $3,105,627
25 October 2008
27 October 2008 Winnipeg MTS Centre 29,062 / 29,062 $2,586,462
28 October 2008
7 November 2008 Ottawa Scotiabank Place 13,531 / 13,531 $1,803,586
29 November 2008 Anaheim United States Honda Center 15,587 / 15,587 $1,785,579
2 December 2008 Los Angeles Staples Center 16,776 / 16,776 $2,157,110
6 December 2008 Glendale Arena 16,283 / 16,283 $1,739,928
9 December 2008 Mexico City Mexico Palacio de los Deportes 16,316 / 16,417 $1,323,694
11 December 2008 Guadalajara Arena VFG 9,442 / 13,244 $936,565
13 December 2008 Monterrey Arena Monterrey N/A N/A
16 December 2008 Chicago United States United Center 17,191 / 17,191 $1,943,436
18 December 2008 Minneapolis Target Center 15,503 / 15,503 $1,814,517
21 December 2008 Indianapolis Conseco Fieldhouse 14,538 / 14,538 $1,154,402
3 January 2009 Kansas City Sprint Center 16,106 / 16,106 $1,661,827
5 January 2009 Dallas American Airlines Center 17,661 / 17,661 $2,161,548
7 January 2009 San Antonio AT&T Center 12,882 / 12,882 $1,164,271
9 January 2009 Houston Toyota Center 16,396 / 16,396 $2,225,019
10 January 2009 New Orleans New Orleans Arena 17,006 / 17,006 $1,829,331
13 January 2009 Nashville Sommet Center 16,352 / 16,352 $1,602,595
15 January 2009 Birmingham BJCC Arena 14,733 / 14,733 $1,065,830
17 January 2009 Atlanta Philips Arena 16,919 / 16,919 $2,300,783
21 January 2009 Raleigh RBC Center 16,527 / 16,527 $1,583,500
23 January 2009 Miami American Airlines Arena 17,725 / 17,725 $2,247,233
28 January 2009 Tampa St. Pete Times Forum 17,909 / 17,909 $1,843,187
30 January 2009 Sunrise BankAtlantic Center 18,147 / 18,147 $2,233,198
31 January 2009 San Juan Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum 13,812 / 13,812 $1,625,045
2 February 2009 Tulsa United States BOK Center 15,933 / 15,933 $1,570,961
4 February 2009 St. Louis Scottrade Center 17,283 / 17,283 $1,351,246
7 February 2009 Windsor Canada The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor N/A N/A
9 February 2009 Quebec City Pepsi Coliseum 20,903 / 20,903 $2,941,651
10 February 2009
12 February 2009 Montreal Bell Centre 59,659 / 59,659 $7,002,234
14 February 2009
15 February 2009
20 February 2009 San Jose United States HP Pavilion at San Jose 16,862 / 16,862 $1,897,276
22 February 2009 Salt Lake City EnergySolutions Arena 16,212 / 16,212 $1,245,743
24 February 2009 Denver Pepsi Center 16,461 / 16,461 $1,413,647
26 February 2009 Omaha Qwest Center Arena 15,783 / 15,783 $1,260,362
TOTAL 1,285,990 / 1,307,803 (98%) $152,267,725
Festivals and other miscellaneous performances
A This concert was a part of the "Main Square Festival"[42]
B These concerts were a part of the "Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival"[43]
Cancellations and rescheduled shows


  • Manager: René Angélil
  • Tour director: Denis Savage
  • Tour manager: Michel Dion (talent)
  • Tour manager: Patrick Angélil (production, logistics and media relations)
  • Production manager: Rick Mooney
  • Assistant production manager: Shari Weber
  • Stage manager: Alexandre Miasnikof
  • Artist’s personal security: Nick Skokos
  • Tour rigger: Cindy Beaumariage
  • Lighting director: Yves “Lapin” Aucoin
  • Front of house engineer: Francois “Frankie” Desjardins
  • Monitor engineer: Charles Ethier
  • Audio system engineer: Mario St-Onge
  • RF engineer: Marc Theriault
  • Health Services/Chiropractor: Trevelynn Henuset DC
  • Assistant lighting director/lighting head: Karl Gaudreau
  • Video director: Veillet Mireille
  • Head back-line tech: Jeff Dubois
  • Computer programmer and keyboard technician: Guy Vignola
  • Head video: Martin Perreault
  • Production assistants: Sharie Weber, Stephanie Duval
  • Tour accountant: Sylvia Hebel
  • Creative director: Jamie King
  • Tour director: Jim Allison, Concerts West
  • Production director: Lonnie McKenzie
  • Lighting, audio, video vendor: Solotech, Montreal


  • Musical Director, Keyboards: Claude "Mégo" Lemay
  • Drums: Dominique Messier
  • Bass: Marc Langis
  • Guitars: André Coutu
  • Violin: Jean Sebastien Carré
  • Keyboards: Yves Frulla
  • Percussion: Nannette Fortier
  • Background Vocals, Tin Whistle: Élise Duguay
  • Background Vocals: Mary-Lou Gauthier, Barnev Valsaint
  • Dancers: Amanda Balen, Melissa Garcia, Kemba Shannon, Addie Yungmee, Zac Brazenas, Dominic Chaiguang, Aaron Foelske, Miguel Perez, Chris Houston, Tammy To


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  10. ^ Celine autour du monde on Amazon
  11. ^ New Celine Book
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  19. ^ "New USA Concert Dates Announced - TeamCeline Ticket Pre-sale Begins Monday". Dion’s Official Website. Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  20. ^ "Second Show Date in London and Manchester Just Announced!!". Dion’s Official Website. Retrieved 11 June 2007. 
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  22. ^ "Additional Concert Announced in Sydney, Australia - TeamCeline Tickets On Sale Now!". Dion’s Official Website. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  23. ^ "250,000 Capacity for Quebec Concert!". Dion’s Official Website. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
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  39. ^ Australia box score:
  40. ^ Europeam box score:
  41. ^ North American box score:
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