Coming from the American institution known as The Jackson Family, Janet Jackson has always been a little different from the rest of her family. Forging a career early on as an actress on the 70’s sitcom “Good Times”, Janet eventually (and reluctantly at first) moved into the family business, releasing several recordings before her breakout album Control. From there a long string of number 1 hits seemed to be never-ending, leading her to the current tour she is on, the “Up Close And Personal” Tour.
After keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats in anticipation, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium went black suddenly, followed by an explosion of smoke and brightly colored lights. A personalized video appeared on the screen while the band and back up singers filed on stage, with a message from Janet thanking all of her fans and letting them know which song was going to be dedicated to San Francisco that evening. For every city this tour hits, a different song is dedicated to the fans of that particular area.
Pomp and circumstance aside, Janet then appeared with short-cropped hair, almost shorn, sporting a black tank top, combat boots, and bedazzled suspenders on her fatigue-like pants. Launching into such early hits like “Control” and “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” the crowd went wild. The performance was seemingly very stripped down, which only involved a band, 7 dancers, and no costume changes. This tour was to be, as Janet had said on her website before it began, all about the songs and the fans.
Her first set of high energy tunes came to a close, followed by a video montage showcasing Jackson’s acting work from beginning all the way to the present. As this concluded, the singer appeared center-stage, solo, to sing a set of her ballads, such as “Again” and “Let’s Wait a While.” Slowly the songs began to build, Jackson’s voice still showing no signs of fatigue after a solid hour of singing and dancing simultaneously. Suddenly the dancers reappeared and the last set of high-energy songs began. Such mega-hits that Janet is known for like “Rhythm Nation”, “If,” “When I Think About You,” and many others were included in this last portion of the show.
The shock of the evening was her performance of “Scream,” a duet with her now-deceased brother Michael. After all these years, Jackson still knows how to put on a show, and certainly doesn’t need a huge production to give it to her fans. A night to remember, for sure.
The night’s dedicated to San Francisco song was “Love Will Never Do”… listen and watch: