She did say it was going to be one that’s up close and personal. And boy, did Janet Jackson live up to that promise.
Performing before a capacity crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with an opening medley of “Pleasure Principle,” “Control,” “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” and “Feedback,” the Queen of Pop, sporting a short crop and clad in a sexy futuristic costume, showed us that she still got the moves.
The concert here, which is part of a 35-city global trek, is in support of her new album Number Ones. Her first outing in three years, it was originally scheduled to begin on February 14 in Hong Kong but the opening date was moved to February 4 in Manila following considerable fan requests.
With a company of dancers, a five piece band and three backup singers, the 44-year old who is on her second stop off her Number Ones, Up Close & Personal World Tour 2011, ruled the stage last night—singing and dancing (like in her Control days). Carefully choreographed and calculated, the singer breezed through high energy dance numbers with a finesse that will put her younger contemporaries to shame.
Although there were some annoying pregnant pauses in between sets: video montages of some of her movies and shots of her past pictorials that were obviously shown to allow the singer to do her costume changes; the crowd (a predominantly older one) don’t seem to mind.
The second set saw Jackson, emerging in a stunning pink gown with sequinned shoulders, slowing things down to sing ballads, showcasing her softer side and vocal range in songs such as “Let’s Wait Awhile” and “Again.”
The crowd was on the quiet side to begin with, but exploded with cheers for hits like “Nasty”, “That’s The Way Love Goes”, “All For You” and “Escapade”.
“Do you want more?” Janet asked her fans mid-way. “Do you want more of this?” she teased, pointing to herself. Of course, everyone did. Although most of her songs came in bite-sized versions, some arranged in medley form, they all nevertheless sounded amazing.
The final set saw the concert taking on a rock and roll edge with a medley of “Black Cat”, “Scream” and “Rhythm Nation” before closing the show with “Make Me” and “Together Again.”
Stripped down and minimal, there weren’t any pyrotechnics or effects to this concert, which allowed fans to connect more closely to Jackson. The performance was, after all, about Janet and her fans. It was all about being up close and personal.