Fans celebrate the resurrection of Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour
Vector Arena, Auckland
Until November 3
Michael Jackson would have loved it. A combination of all his greatest hits along with a contemporary reworking of them, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL is a concert that traces the artist’s career, linking it to his songs, his performances and his aspirations, and demonstrating his genius in creating imaginary worlds.
The show features more than 20 songs and also features original video footage, reworked material, stage performances, a big band, a sensational soloist and some of the Cirque du Soleil's amazing performers.
The first half gets the audience into the Jackson Five early work and the artist’s signature moon walk. The songs ranged from Childhood, Wanna Be Starting Something, Dancing Machine and Smooth Criminal, finishing off with one of his greatest works, Thriller.
Here, as with many of the other performances, the audience was treated to the original choreography along with a reworked stage presentation inhabited by mummies.
The second half included one of the audience favourites, Beat It, as well as They Don’t Care About Us, which highlighted Jackson's political and social concerns, finishing with The Man in the Mirror.
There were some amazing visual effects that Cirque du Soleil has developed, using up to a dozen video screens that featured erupting fire hydrants, performers scaling the sides of buildings and cosmic displays.
Most of the Cirque du Soleil shows try to have a story line, which is generally incomprehensible, but this show provides a superb narrative as well as providing a sense of the singer’s social, political and environmental concerns that reflect the angst of his age.
The Cirque du Soleil performers were stunning with incredible dancing and amazing effects such as dancers with LED suits that changed colour. The musicians put on a fantastic show with stand out performances from cellist Mariko, who was an absolute sensation along with saxophonist Michael Ghegan and trumpeter Keyon Karim Harrold.
One of the problems with the show is at times there is just too much happening. With the band performers, video and the acrobats and dancers, some parts of the action could be missed and it tended to be some of the Cirque de Soleil performers who were lost in the overwhelming power of the sound and visuals.
Overall the show seems closer to being a religious revival meeting than a concert with the fans in ecstasy at the recreation and resurrection of Michael Jackson.