Janet Jackson, the queen of pop music, travelled to Memphis Monday night and, to no surprise, lit up the town with breathtaking performances. I mean, the show was unreal and Ms. Jackson herself didn’t seem a year over 25 as she danced on stage. Greeted with an overflow of purple lights, Jackson took the stage performing her song, “BURNITUP!” Accompanying the popstar was a crowd of dancers and her personal band. The energy level was high and the Queen was in her zone as she began to take Memphis to another level.
Introducing her backup singers, Jackson performed her hit song, “The Pleasure Principle,” as she joined her dance crew in a coordinated routine. Jackson had a move for every beat of the song, bringing the crowd to their feet; cheering her on as she made her way to center stage.
It was incredible how fast paced everything was, with there being little to no interruption between songs. You could tell that it was more than a concert, that Jackson truly wanted the audience to feel like it was an adventure. Right after she ended “The Pleasure Principle,” Jackson introduced her next hit, “Escapade” with fireworks that launched across the stage from one side to another. The hue of purple quickly changed to a flashing red as the stage lights matched the flames erupting from the ground. Bass filled the room and you would have thought the roof had been blown off the Forum because the crowd lost it. Everyone in the audience was so amazed by the pyrotechnics that it took them a while to get back into the songs. Remember how I said it felt like an adventure?
After all of the intensity lightened, Jackson performed more of her hits, such as: “When I Think of You,” “All for You,” and “All Night.” Soon enough, the popstar had to take a break, so she let her DJ take the stage as he mixed current pop anthems with songs that Ms. Jackson had written. The break didn’t last long, however, as the lights dimmed and two curtains drooped down from the ceiling. The curtains worked as screens as they projected a cloudy scene which set the mood for Jackson, who returned wearing black leather from head to toe. Jackson took a seat on a stool at center stage as she performed her song, “Again.” There really was no need for her to sing, however, as the crowd overtook her and sang the song in its entirety; from start to finish they knew every word.
Finishing off the night, Jackson stayed in touch with her younger generation, performing hits like “Poetic Justice,” by Kendrick Lamar, and even playing her chart topping “No Sleep,” featuring J. Cole, accompanied by a holographic J. Cole portrayed on the curtains. Of course, Janet Jackson could not possibly perform without showing respect to her late brother, Michael Jackson. She performed Michael’s hit, “Scream,” in which she was a featured artist.
Ultimately, the girl’s still got it. Miss Jackson can still rock the stage with the best of them and seemingly not even break a sweat. With all this being true, the popstar is still very humble as well. Closing out her set, she introduced every member of her band, dance crew, and backup singers by name. However, Jackson saved the best introduction for last as she gave praise to Kyndall Harris, a 12-year-old backup dancer from none other than Memphis, Tennessee! Harris embraced Jackson as you could tell all of her dreams had seemingly come true in one night.
The Unbreakable tour wasn’t just good, it was incredible. There was not a time in the night where people weren’t moving to music and Jackson wasn’t in complete control of the arena. Any word she said was applauded Jackson acknowledged the applause with wide smiles, showing her gratitude. She thanked Memphis for its musical influence and gave one last wink to the crowd as she left the stage. The city of Memphis showed up for Janet Jackson, and Janet Jackson showed out for Memphis.