Views on pop culture through my eyes

Welcome Back Janet Jackson!

Janet Jackson in Concert
Friday, October 16, 2015
The Forum

Unbreakable World Tour

Songs performed: Burn It Up!, Nasty, Feedback, Miss You Much, Alright, You Want This, Control, What Have You Done for Me Lately, The Pleasure Principle, Escapade, When I Think of You, All for You, All Nite (Don’t Stop), Love Will Never Do (Without You), After You Fall, Again, Come Back to Me, Let’s Wait Awhile, I Get Lonely, Anytime Anyplace, No Sleeep, Got ‘Til It’s Gone, That’s the Way Love Goes, Together Again, The Best Things in Life Are Free, Throb, Black Cat, If, Scream, Rhythm Nation, Shoulda Known Better, Unbreakable

Merchandise purchased: T-shirt

Comments: Janet Jackson made her triumphant return to Los Angeles as part of her Unbreakable World Tour. It’s been 14 years since I last saw Janet on her “All for You” tour. And it has been 7 years since she last released a full studio album — 2008’s “Discipline” and 4 years since the Number Ones Tour in 2011.janet-jackson-unbreakable-tour

As a long-time Janet fan, the last few years and projects have been disappointing for me. After “All for You,” it was all downhill for me. But, with the new “Unbreakable,” she seems to have taken her time and come up with something good again. Plus she has always ruled the concert stage, and now it is selling out all over the world. The promoters keep adding more and more dates.

So what does Janet look and sound like in 2015? Read on for my review:

The concert started about 8:35 PM for an 8:00 show time. There was no opening act other than a DJ who was mixing in some of Janet’s new songs with some of her collaborations with Shaggy, Busta Rhymes and more.

Janet was first shown in silhouette against a white backdrop. She started into “Burn It Up!”, her collaboration with Missy Elliott off the new album. She was dressed in a black body hugging outfit with drop crotch pants and some sparkly sneakers. She was wearing a big necklace and her hair was long in red auburn curls.

From there, it was a non-stop hit party for the next 2 hours. She basically did all of her hits from the “Number Ones” collection minus a few tracks, and added in a few from the new CD too.

Janet was backed by a dance troop of young women who served as her backup dancers for the night. She had 4 backing vocalists and a full band.

The production was more stripped down and simple compared to recent tours I have seen. So no moving stages, or long catwalks, or outrageous costumes, or large scale video screens, lasers, or other special effects. There were some pyrotechnics, and some strobe light effects on the stage, with 2 movable staircases on either side.

Did she need all of that stuff? Not really. When you have the song catalog that she has and are as polished and engaging of a performer as she is, you don’t need added special effects to make the performance.

For me, this show was about Janet reminding us why we loved her to begin with. The emphasis was on the music: her songwriting, her artistry and her unbeatable performances. Her voice was strong and showed no signs of wear and tear. And add in the fact that she was dancing to all her uptempo numbers just like in the old days, and you know you were in the presence of greatness. She is one of the most exciting performers I have seen in my life, and to see her again at this point in her career was awesome.

There were so many great stand-out moments in the concert for me. It was a trip down memory lane for sure. I enjoyed the new songs very much also… and wish she had actually done more from the new album too. The ballad segment during the middle of the show was very nice, and I loved the stripped down version of “I Get Lonely.” And the 1-2-3 punch of “Black Cat,” “If” and “Rhythm Nation” had the whole arena going crazy. She left the stage after those songs, to come back for her encore.

She sang “Shoulda Known Better” from her new album. On the screens were shown images of social injustice. It is a sequel of sorts to the themes talked about on her “Rhythm Nation” project. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (her long-time collaborators) came out after that song, and congratulated Janet on her #1 album and #1 song (“No Sleeep”). Janet thanked her fans for all of their love and support and reminded everyone that her family had been in show business for 50 years now. The final song of the night was the title track off of “Unbreakable.”

Thanks to Janet, the band, and dancers for a fantastic evening. You are a superstar and truly deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Comments on: "Welcome Back Janet Jackson!" (2)

  1. guy.hubbard@att.net said:

    Dan, That sounds like a fantastic concert. I always loved Janet live (which I saw with you) and wondered if she included some of the extraordinary dance routines from her previous tours. I particularly loved the ensemble dance sequences. I wanted to see her this time but the ticket prices were a little rich for me. I’m glad you had a great time. Do you have the new album? If so, what do you think of it?

    Guy

    >

    • It was a fantastic show. Time has not slowed her down… she was doing the moves she did 30 years ago. She definitely works hard for her fans. The new album “Unbreakable” is her best in years. I definitely recommend it. And I hated her last 2 ones. “No Sleeep” is one of the weaker songs off of it… interesting that it was the first single. There are echo’s of Michael on there, plus a few nods to her past also. Dance, pop, funk, R&B, ballads — it has it all. She is coming back to the LA area in January in Anaheim and in May at the Bowl.

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