Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable World Tour Is No Velvet Rope

Janet Jackson just kick started her “Unbreakable World Tour in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The city is still recovering from the wind storm last weekend, and today the weather is still not great, windy and rainy, but it didn’t stop her fans from going to the Rogers arena.

It was a different kind of experience. I had a blast, I was on my feet all the time, bobbing my head to the beat of the bass, pumping my fist in the air, applauding, singing along, and screaming her name … but each new number I kept hearing Ross Matthews saying, “You’re All Stars, you can do better than this.”

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What Not To Expect

There are no wardrobe changes, this is no Velvet Rope Tour. She wore a corset under a blazer, a belt, drop crotch pants, and sneakers. Except for the stripes on her shoes and the gold material on her top, she wore mostly white. Her shaggy hair is sexy though. I noticed she look a little bit “puffy” and her eyes seems smaller than usual … squinting. It’s hard not to notice these things because the Janet I know is a sexy icon known for her rock hard abs, toned body, exquisite beauty, and great taste in fashion. Now, I’m by no means a fashion expert, but her outfit tonight was not very flattering. It would’ve been forgivable if it was just the first number, but, as it turned out it was THE only outfit she wore for the whole 110 minutes concert. Granting there were three long breaks, I assumed she changed, she has done it before, but no, she came back wearing the same outfit. I can sense the anticipation from some of the other audience then felt a bit “let down” when she came out still wearing the same outfit. When she took off the belt I thought, “this is the reveal we’ve been waiting for.” Unfortunately, it was just that. Her backup dancers didn’t change outfit either. But at least they kept turning the staircase prop on the stage … for variety. I’m being sarcastic on that last bit.

The Venue

I’ve watched Madonna’s, Lady Gaga’s, and Britney Spear’s concert at the Rogers arena, but I remember the seating for their concerts was a bit more. Maybe it’s just that Jackson’s stage which extends almost to the center of the arena. I did like the lighting, like the waving lights and retractable overhead lights. Her stage was minimalistic, just two huge retractable screens in front of the stage and on both sides, and a couple of movable staircases. The six thousand capacity arena was pretty much full, with only very few seats empty. So that was a pretty good turnout.

It’s A Comeback

For the ticket prices she sells, I would expect nothing less of a full-scale concert extravaganza. However, this is her comeback tour, so I waive all that this time. Remember Britney Spear’s comeback performance at the VMAs? That was awful but look at her now, right? So yes, free pass.

janet_jackson_003Real Experience

The wardrobe choice, stage setup, and other concert nuances were merely secondary. The big deal was her performance. She just turned forty nine years-old last May, but the bitch can still move like her very young backup dancers. It’s amazing to watch her dance, especially the iconic dance moves from her music videos, i.e. “IF”, “Rhythm Nation”, and “Escapade.” She sang the way she always sings. She sang a lot of songs meshed in a medley, a mix of old and new. And it’s fun to listen to her sing her hit songs, it gave me goosebumps.

The imagery projected onto the drapes hanging on the stage was pretty good – a computer-generated mechanical crow (or raven) that shatters into pieces mid-air. Is she now fascinated by ravens (or crows)? She can still dance and sing pretty good, I was entertained.

Last Bit

The only thing that seemed strange was that she thrice referred to the audience as “you guys.” And not once she uttered the word “Vancouver,” the hosting city.  She did said “Canada” when she was introducing one of the backup dancers. Maybe I’m just used to concert performers acknowledging the audience by saying the the city’s name, like “Hello Vancouver! How’s everyone doing tonight? “ like what the opening DJ did, but I guess not everyone wants to do that.

So would I recommend this concert to anyone? Hell yeah.

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