For millions of fans around the world, the answer is yes! Mega star Janet Jackson touched down in Charlotte, North Carolina as part of her Unbreakable World Tour at the PNC Music Pavilion over the weekend. With no opening act, Janet’s DJ warmed up the crowd playing her hits as the audience chanted, “Janet! Janet! Janet!”
The show opened with one of Jackson’s new songs featuring Missy Elliott heaping praise on the singer. A more demure Janet Jackson took to the stage dressed in black and gold and completely covered up; gone are the risqué outfits of yesteryear.
It was just like the audience was having conversations in a café, because the show was a walk down memory lane for those of us who grew up listening to Jackson. From Control to some of the cuts off her highly anticipated new album, Unbreakable, the hits just kept coming. Janet kept rolling out her wad of receipts every time the beat dropped and she sang the first line of the songs, and the crowd was on its feet for most of the 90-minute set. With so many hits, she relied heavily on medleys so that everyone got a chance to hear a snippet of their jam. The show is the evolution of Janet Jackson the artist from the loyal lover, the balladeer, the party girl, the feisty independent woman, to the rocker, and coming full circle as a woman who has taken all of those personas and made them into the person she is today: “Unbreakable.”
The show included new songs like “No Sleeep” and “Unbreakable,” and zeroed in on Jackson’s extensive catalog of hits like “When I Think of You,” “Control,” “Nasty,” “Black Cat,” “If,” and “Miss You Much.” She paid homage to her brother, the King of Pop, by pointing up at him in heaven before launching into a short rendition of their duet “Scream,” and just when fans thought she was about to break out into the dance routine the duo performed in the video, she switched it up and went right into the next song. The show was high energy, with dancers— known as the J Tribe—with lots of personality backing up Jackson’s every move. At 49 years old, Janet is still very much in “Control” of the stage and reminded us with choreography from her videos from “Rhythm Nation” to “Escapade.” The audience was with her every step of the way, dancing like they were her backup dancers in a past life.
Ms. Jackson even tapped into her caring, virtuous nature with a ballad that featured a video screen with photos of the poor and homeless, and protesters with signs addressing their issues. As she sang “We won’t accept excuses,” it was a reminder that runs parallel to the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter movement. The show ended with a thank you to fans for loving her and her family over the years. One thing is for sure, after a four-year hiatus, the Queen of Pop is back reclaiming her throne with a vengeance!
Janet Jackson’s album Unbreakable is due out next month. For more information and to find out if Janet Jackson is coming to your city, check out her website.
Shameika Rene’ is a journalist of all trades. She can usually be found producing television news and writing for various websites such as Charlotte Five, Creative Loafing, Carolina Style Magazine, Uptown Magazine, Sheen Magazine, WEtv.com, or her own websites, www.themofochronicles.com and www.conversationswithmeik.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @mofochronicles.