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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
THE JACKSONS ROCKED CONEY ISLAND
Every summer, people flock to Coney Island to ride their rides, eat franks, seafood at Nathan's, as well as snack on some funnel cake, and while many were enjoying the food and rides, many had also flocked to see The Jacksons perform live, and they didn't disappoint either. Fans were excited to see the brothers, who are embarking on their first tour in over 28 years, and they were excited to see them do what they do best-give a great show with smooth harmonies and great dancing, and showing the world that they can perform without their late brother Michael, who died three years ago. (Youngest brother Randy opted not to tour). When I learned about that the Motown legends were going to be performing at the famous amusement park, I contacted by brother Garry, who was eager to go. Who wouldn't want to see them perform live. Especially since the seats were only five dollars?! The show began with a video montage featuring clips from their past performances, including their record breaking "Victory" tour, which had the crowd cheering and screaming, and before it, Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine Jackson walked onstage wearing dark sunglasses, and received a standing ovation. They slowly removed their glasses and went into their classic "Can You Feel It" with each of the brothers singing lead including Tito, who played a hot guitar solo, while the other brothers stood and posed. This was followed by an updated version of "Blame It On The Boogie" which featured hot and funky breaks by their band, smooth vocals by Jermaine and hot dancing by Marlon who hyped the crowd throughout the show. The brothers took the crowd down memory lane while performing Michael's classic "I Wanna Be Where You Are" with Jermaine on lead singing with so much passion that it had fans singing alone and screaming 'sing it Jermaine." Jackie then asked the crowd how you feel, and after the crowd screamed alright, they launched into their version of "Rock With You" with Marlon showing off his singing and dancing, while Jackie strutted across the stage and displayed his trademark tenor and falsetto, which had the crowd wanting more. The crowd went crazy when the brothers performed their U.K. top charting hit "Show You The Way To Go" and what made this performance hot was the call and response between the Jacksons and their background vocalist, and Marlon, Jackie and Jermaine holding contests to see which section could sing the song's chorus the loudest. They also showed their fun side, when Marlon joking reminded Jermaine that he knows the rules and regulations of the contest. Afterwards they funked out the crowd with their classic "Lovely One" where they performed their famous wanna fight dance step and asked the crowd to join them to sing the bridge of the classic. While the brothers took a break, the crowd was shown more videos of the group including their performance on the Ed Sullivan show. "Did you enjoy the memories" Marlon asked while the group returned to the stage. Tito also asked the brothers did they remember the first time they went to Detroit and they spoke about their audition for Motown, and proceeded to take the fans back down memory lane with their performance of their classics "Looking Through The Windows" "Time Waits For No One" and "Heaven Knows I Love You Girl" where they showcased their harmonies and during the latter, Tito drove the women crazy with his sexy baritone voice. The true Jackson fans went crazy when the Jacksons performed "Man of War" and right after they sang the last line of the song, a picture of their brother Michael came on the monitor, and the fans couldn't help but to call his name and scream we love you Michael. After the brothers hugged, Jermaine took center stage and performed an emotional version of Michael's hit "Gone Too Soon" which everybody in the audience (myself included) shedding tears. (I was crying so much that my brother had to console me) What made the tribute touching was the various photographs of Michael that flashed on the monitor including a shot of The Jacksons at the 1997 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and shots of Michael and their sister at the 1993 Grammy Awards. Afterwards, Marlon started to talk about getting the brothers together and was joking saying how Jermaine was in the Middle East and Jackie was in Hawaii, but when he spoke about how Tito was working on a car, he was corrected very quickly. "I was working on my fourth child" Tito joking said before they performed their famous Motown medley of "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "The Love You Save" with Jackie and Marlon singing lead and doing the same famous routines so well that you couldn't believe that they brothers are in their 50's and 60's. The brothers also added a few surprises: they performed "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "All I Do Is Think of You", which featured Jermaine on lead having the crowd go crazy. Especially during the performance of the latter. The crowd joined the brothers during an emotional performance of "I'll Be There" where Jermaine sang Michael's part and Marlon sang Jermaine's part with passion. Jermaine then took center stage to perform a medley of his solo hits and he didn't disappoint either. His performance of "Dynamite" was hot. It featured funky breaks, hot synsersized strings which added elements of New Wave and Caribbean flavor to the classic. Jermaine then had the crowd out their seats while he performed his Grammy-nominated hit "Let's Get Serious" where he showcased his musicianship by playing hot and funky bass lines on his silver bass. Fans were screaming "Go Jermaine! Go Jermaine during his bass solos. He then serenaded the crowd with his classic ballad "Do What You Do" which had couples holding hands and singing to their loved ones. Jackie, Tito and Marlon return to the stage and had the crowd in their hands when they performed Michael's album track "Can't Let Her Get Away" which featured the brothers performing a one legged hopping dance step and posing. The Jacksons gave each of their band members opportunities to perform various solos, and in between each introduction, Marlon constantly performed various free-styling dance moves that had the crowd chanting "Go Marlon. Go Marlon, but the hottest parts of the seagment was when Jermaine playfully smacked Marlon, who did a spin and split that had the crowd laughing, the brothers performing a routine from Michael's "Dangerous" routine and when the background singers sang the bridge of the song. The Jacksons them launched into "Heartbreak Hotel" which hot sound effects during the chorus, hot bass licks, and a hot solo by Tito and the band's guitarist, who did a great job blending well while the brothers and background vocalist sang great harmony, further displayed during "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" which had a great performance by their percusionist who mixed African and Latin rhythms to his performance while the group and and crowd sang the song's famous chant. "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" could have been longer, but having Michael's original intro and the brother's dancing compensated for he loss. The concert ended with the group performing their platinum-classic single "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground), which had everybody out their seats singing and performing the group's famous routines without a care in the world. What made this performance hot was when the guitarists, bassist and background singers joined Jackie and Tito to perform their famous funk shovel dance routine while Jermaine played bass and Marlon danced and lead the audience into a call and response. Jackie also asked the crowd to put their hands in the air and clap. Marlon then acknowledged his younger brothers Michael and Randy before asking the crowd to say 'shake your body.' The brothers then walked towards the edge of the stage holding hands, bowed to the audience with Marlon and Jermaine playfully hitting each others backs. Then they walked off the stage and greeted the fans in the front row as they made their exit to their trailers.
The Jacksons' concert was hot! It was great that they included many of their underrated hits and album tracks in their show, but it would have been hotter had they performed "I Am Love,' "Forever Came Today," "Enjoy Yourself," "Torture," "Body" and "Nothin' (That Compares 2 U)." Jermaine's solo set was great, but it would have been hotter had he included "Daddy's Home," "That's How Love Goes," "Don't Take It Personal" and "Two Ships" in his set. All in all The Jackson's concert was great, and I'm glad that they are performing and honoring their family's legacy with their harmonies and dance moves. I do wish that Michael and Randy were able to be with their brothers, but the good thing is that Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon are still able to perform, and I can't think of any other group who is capable of honoring their little brother and their family's legacy. Hopefully Randy will rejoin her brothers so the group can perform their radio hit "She."
This review is dedicated to Randy Jackson and to the memory of Michael Jackson.