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photos: Jane Briggs
words: Cale

Just a few quick notes about the show…

I had been planning on attending the self proclaimed World’s Greatest Michael Jackson Tribute Band show @ 9:30 Club ever since I saw it pop up on the calendar. It wasn’t until the news of his death hit that I rushed to get a pair of tickets though, the show selling out shortly thereafter and a second one added.

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As we arrived there were a half dozen media outlets interviewing people on the street about what MJ meant to them. Some people dressed up. There were a lot of fedoras. Hipsters obviously didn’t have their shit together to get tickets in time.

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20 min after the advertised start time and we were getting a little antsy. The crowd started chanting “Michael, Michael”. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, if you’re gonna be a MJ tribute band you better be pretty tight, right? This isn’t Dark Star Orchestra we’re talking about here.

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The musicians took stage, a guitar player, bass player, drummer, and two horn players with a keyboard behind them. They were dressed in typical 80’s garb, but not in an obnoxious way, so it worked. They did a little instrumental number before MJ took the stage and then blasted off with Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough and Rock with You. So far so good.

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The casting of your frontman is obvi what’s going to make or break this project. I mean, this is quite possibly one of the most difficult acts to follow.

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Did he sound like Michael? On most of the older solo material he nailed it. Off The Wall and Thriller sounded spot on. He couldn’t keep up quite as well withall the tics and syncopation of the later years Michael. At times he seemed out of breath or holding back, perhaps pacing himself for the second show? He didn’t try to imitate Michael’s normal talking voice for the out of character in between song banter, but he sort of sounded like him regardless so overall it worked well enough.

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To imitate the greatest dancer ever in the entire world is tough, and I wasn’t expecting anything spot on, but I was at least expecting Cory Feldman level of skills here. He threw out the signature poses, but didn’t have the speed and finesse of the real thing, a little disappointing.

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He was skinny. Sort of had the hair down. Did a bunch of outfit changes. That’s about all you can really ask for.

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The show went on. We were feeling it at first. But eventually we got worn out. “Let me hear somebody scream!” got annoying after the 20th time. When he came out wearing an afro wig and bellbottoms for the Jackson 5 medly I felt uncomfortable. Left during Thriller.

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The crowd was still eating it up though.  And in the end, I got $15 worth of entertainment for sure.


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