The house lights went down Friday at Allstate Arena and the crowd stood on their feet, cheered, whistled and erupted in deafening applause. It would be a few more seconds before the iconic R&B/pop diva would take the stage.
The house lights went down Friday at Allstate Arena, and the crowd stood on their feet, cheered, whistled and erupted in deafening applause.
It would be a few more seconds before the iconic R&B/pop diva would take the stage. But the anticipation of Janet Jackson on stage was enough to ignite the crowd.
She opened the Chicago leg of her Rock Witchu Tour dressed in a fitted metallic gold, studded ensemble that showed off her cinched waist and ample backside, singing her hit song "Pleasure Principle," with pyrotechnics blasting all over the stage.
For the next two hours, Jackson put on a performance that showed she was definitely in "Control," and that kept fans on their feet almost the entire time.
Complimenting Jackson’s vocals was a dance troupe whose choreography was fluid, acrobatic, razor sharp and full of jaw-dropping pleasant surprises. And at 42, Janet Jackson, known for her tight dance moves, showed that she can still get down too.
Though the venue’s sound system often muddled Jackson’s vocals, the audience proved to be her greatest backup, singing along to all of their favorite tunes.
Song after song, Jackson, whose career spans over 25 years, showed how timeless her music is.
Young girls in the crowd were beaming as Jackson performed "Control." Then older ladies could be seen swooning, with their eyes closed and swaying back and forth, as Jackson, dressed in a hugging one-strap glitzy red dress, sang "Come Back to Me."
Jackson, herself, looked ageless as a close-up camera shot of her on the jumbo screen showed the youngest of the Jackson family clan still looking just like Penny from the "Good Times" sitcom. Janet Jackson played a tween rescued through adoption from an abusive mother on the hit show.
More than a recording artist’s concert, Jackson’s performance was a theatrical medley that infused culture, history and technology with futuristic creativity, dancing and, of course signature Janet Jackson style. With dancers rising up on the stage from the floor and Jackson appearing onstage amid smoke screens, the concert was full of surprise out- and in-takes. To boot, the costumes and video intros gave concertgoers some bang for up to $200 they paid to see her.
A highlight of the night came as she performed music from her "Velvet Rope" album. A young man was pegged from the audience and put in a contraption on stage. He was seen on the jumbo screen mouthing “oh my God” as Jackson simulated sex acts with him.
Janet Jackson made her solo debut in 1982 with the release of her self-titled album. Since then, the singer/actress producer–and sex symbol–has put out nine albums, starred in several TV shows and crossed over to the big screen. She starred last year in Tyler Perry’s blockbuster "Why Did I Get Married?"
Her 1986 Control album, followed by "Rhythm Nation" in 1989, moved Janet from the shadows of her King of Pop brother, Michael Jackson, and catapulted her to her own fame.
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