Date: August 4th 2011
Venue Link: www.bethelwoodscenter.org
As the lights dimmed on the Bethel woods stage on Thursday evening at 9.30pm (30 minutes later than scheduled) Janet Jackson appeared on stage, well, on a screen on the stage. Janet Jackson’s opener on her “Up Close and Personal” tour was a music video. Janet herself did not appear onstage for another 5 minutes or so. So while the show opener was fairly anti-climatic and seemed to go on forever things kicked up a notch as Janet and her band and group of dancers rocked and ran about the stage for the next 90 minutes-not including the several costume changes.
While these costume changes are to be expected at a Janet Jackson show they seemed to be excessive and to take way too long, to the point where any momentum and excitement she had built up in the audience was practically completely gone by the time she returned.
Another issue I had was several of her hits were just included and presented as part of a medley, so the audience didn’t get the full experience of their favorite songs. Some of the songs the crowd enjoyed included “Nasty Boys,” “Lets Wait A While” and “Rhythm Nation.” It was also hard at times to tell when Janet was singing live and when she was just lip-synching (which she certainly did at times, if not throughout). Janet’s voice is light and paper thin at the best of times so it wasn’t that big a deal if there was a lot of lip-synching going on.
The audience of 5000 or so (mostly female) certainly did not care (or notice) if Janet was lip-synching and seemed to love every minute of the show. Perhaps with the exception of the jeans she wore at one point with the sweat seeping through the groin! The only slight reference Janet made to her big brother(not Jermaine….OR Tito) was to thank the audience for supporting her family through the years, which got a huge cheer.
All in all, not my cup of tea by any means but 4,999 other people seemed to love it!