Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘dance’

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.


Dream Jobs

What job would you do if money, connections and skill set were no obstacle? I have often wondered about this. I have done personality tests over the years, and they all seem to point me in a creative direction. So the jobs I would pick that would be very cool to have are:

Concert Creative Director
As fans of this blog know, I am a big music fan. I have seen some amazing shows in my years of sitting in the Cheap Seats. All of the different stage sets, with moving platforms, all the costumes, dancers and choreography. Add in the lighting, smoke and strobe effects, plus large video screens too. It would be awesome to put something like that together.

Fashion Designer
I have learned that my creativity is not limited to one area. I have never tried to design clothes, but it looks like it would be fun. I love watching “Project Runway” and how ideas proceed to execution. I would probably specialize in men’s clothes. Fashionable and funky — not something you would see on the average guy — but something different.

I am also a big fan of the movies and TV. To have the ability to play people so far removed from yourself and be believable in those parts, is a skill. Back in the day, it would have been cool to be on “90210” — now I think I would be the gay best friend in some romantic comedy movie.

Wedding Planner
I have always been an organized person, in addition to be creative. I am the type of person who likes to plan things too — from vacations to parties. So imagine helping a happy couple bring their vision to life… I think it would be a fun job. Stressful for sure, but ultimately fulfilling.

To be able to dance like a pro would be an awesome job. To entertain, and move people with your body. I am sure it is very thrilling. It would cool to be a lead dancer on a big tour like Madonna’s. Or to choreograph a big routine in the next “Step Up” movie.

To shoot the Undergear catalog or some erotic coffee table book featuring barely dressed and fit male models, sounds like fun to me. Having the models make love to the camera for a few minutes, as I snap away.

So that’s my list… what would your dream job be? I would love to hear from you.

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.

Dancing for Fun

I enjoy dancing. Am I any good at it? not really. But I have fun with it. It is a great way to let off steam and shake off your worries.

When I was growing up, I remember seeing guys dancing on awards shows and thinking that would be fun to do.  Then came the 80’s and music videos. So many of them had great dance routines: Michael, Janet, Madonna. My friend, Damon used to love to dance. He was the one with a drink in his right hand and snapping his fingers on his left hand. I remember many nights going to Rage or Studio One in West Hollywood and staying to closing. We would dance song after song.

I even met my first boyfriend at a dance club. He was there dancing, and we exchanged numbers. I called him first, and then we started going out. We went out for over a year.

After Rasheed and I moved in together, we actually tried a dance class for a few weeks. It was at Millenium Dance Studio in North Hollywood. We took the introductory hip-hop class. It was a challenge! But it was fun… and definitely quite a workout! I remember sweating more in that class, than I ever do when I go to the gym on the regular. They even had a semi-celebrity there teaching the advanced class — Oliver, the token straight guy from Madonna’s “Truth or Dare.”


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