Monday, September 21, 2015

Live review: Janet Jackson, PNC Music Pavilion (9/18/2015)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 9:55 AM

Janet Jackson
PNC Music Pavilion
Sept. 18. 2015
click to enlarge img_1146.jpg
The legendary Janet Jackson hit the stage at PNC Pavilion and showed the world that she’s still got it — at least, for those fans who were lucky enough to be in the venue when she began her two-hour set Friday night. Packed to the last blade of grass on the lawn, there were still people streaming into the amphitheater an hour into her set, dying for a glimpse of the legend after sitting in traffic around the venue. 

It was unfortunate that long lines on the roads around PNC put a damper on the evening for some concertgoers (not to mention the poor management after the show, as hundreds of people were basically stranded in their cars in the lots for two hours, hoping to make it home sometime before morning). Even if they were only able to make it inside for one of Jackson’s dozens of hits, it was almost worth it (almost).

The woman who forever altered pop and R&B, whose music video dance routines inspired choreographers all over the world, commanded the stage like the Jackson that she is. Draped head to toe in much more modest garb than we’ve seen her in in decades past, Janet Jackson blew the roof off the place with hit after hit.

It’s been four years since Jackson has toured, even longer since she’s released new material; Unbreakable will be the first new album of hers in seven years. She’s the sister to the late King of Pop, but any Janet Jackson fan worth their salt knows she has more than made a name for herself in her own right. She has sold more than 100 million albums, is the 11th best-selling female artist in the U.S. to this day, has six Grammy awards, dozens of American Music Awards and the list goes on and on. It’s hardly surprising that mere days ago Jackson announced a third North American leg to the Unbreakable World Tour due to unprecedented demand. She’s been out of the public eye since her 2012 marriage, essentially, and the world has missed her.

She knows it too. Miss Jackson (if you’re nasty) plowed nonstop through her classics spanning from her first album, 1982’s Janet Jackson, to new hits like the title track from her upcoming album. Jackson mixed it up nicely, adding newer hip-hop elements with songs featuring artists including Missy Elliot (making a video appearance to spit her rhymes) and sampling Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, and brought a little bit of new life to some already classic songs.

And with Jackson’s killer dance moves? It was impossible not to shake it. Her music videos are iconic for the choreography alone, and, at 49, Jackson is like a commander in an army of dancers, who flank her and mimicked her every step. She hardly seemed to break a sweat as she pulled out the stops for "Rhythm Nation," her army of dancers surrounding her and repeating a moment in history as they brought back the moves from the music video.

Simply put, Janet Jackson still manages to span the age gap and bring out fans spanning three decades of her work; young and old lost it when she rocked out to "Black Cat," and as she sang "Scream" (with vocals from late brother Michael of course), everyone in the audience was clinging to each other and jumping to their feet. Jackson has lasted this long in this industry because she is such a force to be reckoned with, there’s no doubt about it.

Intro (Unbreakable intro with Missy Elliot)
Miss You Much
You Want This
What Have You Done for Me Lately
The Pleasure Principle
When I think of You
All for You
All Nite (Don’t Stop)
Love Will Never Do (Without You)


After You Fall
Come Back to Me
Let’s Wait Awhile
I Get Lonely
Any Time, Any Place
No Sleeep
Got ‘til it’s Gone
That’s the Way Love Goes
Together Again
The Best Things in Life are Free (cover)
Black Cat
Rhythm Nation
Shoulda Known Better

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