Review: Janet Jackson Brings State of the World to Bowl

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It’s been almost 24 hours and I am still on a high from Janet Jackson’s performance at the Hollywood Bowl!

Every number was seamlessly and ingeniously merged into one huge, continuous, 2-plus hour Vegas-like spectacle. The set-list was a blend of skillfully played, strategically abbreviated tracks from her old-school and current album Unbreakable, and between the band, the DJ and superbly remixed tracks, they made songs that are literally decades old, sound new again.

It was that hot!

I even loved the fact that for portions of the show she helmed much of the stage solo, and for a 51-year-old woman who just had a kid, she danced, sang and sassed her way through the production like she had something to prove.

So thorough and comprehensive are the song selections, that for all its sensational show-stopping numbers and dynamic, high-powered wattage, it has a distinct feel of a farewell tour. Though fresh off a months-long hiatus, Jackson–and the staggering pace of the show –is merciless as she pummels the audience with hit after hit after hit.

The State of the World Tour is a perfect primer for newbies, but stays a highly entertaining and magnificent beginning-to-end greatest hits extravaganza.

The most compelling and emotional highlight of the evening was when she took the stage with more than 30 past and present dancers, choreographers, background singers and band members (all of whom flawlessly featured their own amazing array of diversity in terms of age, gender, race, etc.), and without so much as a set of notes, introduced, thanked and detailed to the audience their exact contributions to her career, projects and previous tours.

It was the most moving, classy, impressive and touching moment of the entire night.

Having seen the Rhythm Nation and Velvet Rope tours, this makes for my third experience and it was definitely on par, if not better than those two. If you’ve never seen a Janet Jackson show, this is definitely one to go to.

-Andre Kelley

Andre is a Los Angeles-based writer and stand-up comedian.

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