Music’s royal family, the Jacksons, almost seem like a myth that only exists on the television screen or on the radio. However, when you step into whatever arena they are playing, it becomes real. For the first time since the Jacksons toured as a group in 1984’s Victory Tour, four of the surviving members of the original Jackson 5–Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon–have answered the call of many fans asking for a glimpse of the magic that ruled the airwaves, concert halls, and part of the Motown dynasty. The Unity Tour kicked off this summer with several dates across the country.
The Unity Tour represents more than just what some deem as an attempt to revive the Jacksons’ fame; in fact the Unity Tour represents what the late Michael Jackson’s life was about, L.O.V.E. The Unity Tour brings together fans that have a love for music, the Jacksons, and of course Michael Jackson.
Many had their doubts; some swore they wouldn’t put on a good show because an integral part of their act–the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson–is missing, while others didn’t think the tour would even come to fruition. Luckily, they proved the naysayers wrong. There were even some rumblings about how the brothers would pull off some of the songs that had Michael’s signature stamped all up, down, and around it with a ‘hee- hee’ and ‘shamone’ on the side, but the crowd was quickly reminded that the entire group is talented. Each brother has a talent that’s still recognizable even decades later during their 26-song set that features a blend of their top hits and some of Michael’s solo chart toppers. Jackie’s voice is most similar to MJ’s and he takes the lead on several of the old classics, Marlon is still just as quick on his feet, and Tito , well, nobody can jam harder than he can and two step with a guitar, shoveling the funk while making the ladies scream “Poppa T!” Jermaine showcases his vocal talents by taking the lead on several of Michael’s hits during a tribute to their brother with songs such as “Wanna be Startin’ Something,” “Rock With You,” and an eerie reminder that MJ is “Gone too Soon.” They performed abridged versions of their hit melodies “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “I’ll Be There,” and Jermaine also wowed the crowd with songs from his own catalog, with hits such as “Let’s Get Serious” and “Do What You Do.”
The brothers come off as a family that truly genuinely loves their fans. In 100 degree weather at an outside theater in Atlanta, it is evident the fans love them in return. The brothers, all over the age of 50, dancing and singing as if the weather wasn’t “Torture”, show Joe Jackson’s iron hand training and that “the show must go on” is still the mentality. Truthfully, most people would’ve said, “ Can we cancel and try this inside air conditioning?” The dance routines haven’t lost their vintage flavor, so if you have seen them perform on television, then you’re sure to jump right in and dance with the siblings. While Michael Jackson isn’t there, you can still feel his spirit on stage as the brothers stroll down memory lane. The brothers are still the “Dancing Machines” that can make you “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).” The tour has wrapped up, but if there is a part 2, make sure you are in the audience. After all, only the Jacksons can perform a show to remember the King of Pop and the legacy that he helped build. It’s a show that is sure to make fans around the world answer the call when the Jacksons ask, “CAN YOU FEEL IT?”
Shameika Rene’ is a journalist of all trades. She can usually be found producing television news and writing for various websites such as Charlotte Vibe, Creative Loafing, or her own site, www.themofochronicles.com. She’s also a special guest contributor on The Social Hour on Urban Soul Radio. Follow her on Twitter @mofochronicles.