Hitfix covers the Michael Jackson concert announcement
First, let's get the facts out of the way: Yes, there will be 10 concerts at London's O2 arena this summer, starting July 8. Pre-sale tickets go on sale March 11, while tickets to the general public go on sale March 13. You register for the pre-sale at the above website.
Jackson says these are his last shows, but what's unclear are if these are his last shows ever or his last shows in London-you'll see what I mean from his quote below.
Back to the announcement, which was supposed to start at 4 p.m. in London at the O2 arena. I don't know how he's supposed to make it on stage in July if he can't make it to his own press conference on time, but MJ finally shows him up 90 minutes late. On the website, there's a placeholder with "King of Pop. Michael Jackson. This is It."
Jackson is preceded by some guy in a suit, I'm sure he's a famous British television or radio presenter, who introduces footage of Jackson, but, of course, the video won't play. Awkward!!! After a few minutes of stumbling, a video reel of Jackson opens with him marching through the streets as if he's just overthrown a government. Women are fainting. There's a huge-I mean probably 30 feet tall-statue. I remember this footage- I think it first came out when "History," his greatest hits came out. I remember laughing at it then and it's still hilarious... and scary... in its megalomania.
But a few seconds later, the tape goes to a collage of clips of Jackson performing and my heart stops. I grew up on the guy. All of the clips are him as an adult-in various stages of plastic surgery, but most are from the late '80s and '90s, when he was already Wacko Jacko, but he was still performing. And the clips are amazing. Even on my computer, with tinny sound and a small screen, just how electrifying he was as a performer comes through.
Years ago, I stopped being able to separate the talents of the artist from the oddities (at best) and alleged pedophilia (at worst) of the man, but this tape simply shows what he was-one of the most astonishing, gifted performers ever, whose own demons ruined his magnificent, breathtaking talents.
The announcer then says, "Please welcome, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson." (Yes, they are contractually obligated to call him the King of Pop). And, again, awkward. We see MJ get out of what looks like an armored car, he bypasses a golf cart-yes , getting in that that would seem to send the wrong message, so he walks. This must take awhile because the presenter is just left standing there. Waiting. The assembled crowd of fans, no clue how many they are, but they've apparently been there for five hours, screams half-heartedly.
Jackson finally walks on stage and he looks, for him, almost normal. He seems fit. Not hunched over or in pain. He looks impossibly skinny. And, to be quite honest, I'm not so sure it is him, no kidding. I'm still not. His hair is straight, he has on very big shades. His lips have clearly been plumped up. He's in a black, epauletted jacket and pants-variation of the same outfits he's been wearing for decades now. The voice sounds like him, but it's lower and calmer.
He chants "This is It," the crowd half-heartedly joining in. Clearly, someone spent a lot of time coming up with that tag line and they're going to us it. Crowd shots show fans screaming and capturing it all with their video phones.
His words are few and he often steps back to accept cheers from his adoring public-although, the cheers aren't as loud (or at least not on the webcast) as he seems to be acknowledging. It's all a little "Sunset Blvd"-esque. Come to think of it, there is definitely a Norma Desmond quality to him.
"These will be my final show performances in London," Jackson says. "When I say 'this is it,' it really means 'this is it.' I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear. This is it. This is the final curtain call. I'll see you in July"
See what we mean? Are these his final shows that will take place in London or will his final shows ever, take place in London? Given that he hasn't really performed in more than a decade-it's probably safe to be these are the last shows ever. If these even take place. As a number of other websites have pointed out, his track record is very spotty. This is the closest we've gotten to shows taking place, but he hasn't performed in an arena setting since he played briefly with his brothers at Madison Square Garden in 2001. There are other shows where he's appeared, surrounding himself with children (don't get me started), such as when he appeared at the World Music Awards in London in 2006.
Jackson tells the crowd, "I love you, I really do, you have to know that, I love you so much, from the bottom of my heart." He then repeats the tag line, 'This is it," just in case we hadn't grasped that yet. Then raises both arms in giving the peace sign, just like Richard Nixon when he left the White House and disappears through a curtain, just like the Wizard of Oz.
Want more music news and analysis? Sign up now for HitFix Blog Alerts and get The Beat Goes On in your inbox every day.
Don't stop the music! Click here to add The Beat Goes On to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience today.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
Let Streaming Genie help you.