Michael Jackson’s genius spanned four decades, inspired countless artists, and saw him become the biggest record seller of all time, with Thriller. It was only a matter of time after his sad passing that a worthy celebration of his incredible work and life would come along, and it has, Thriller Live.
We, (lots of us die-hard Jackson fans) were buzzing, so wanting this to work. We weren’t disappointed. As soon as it kicked off with a delicious run of Jackson Five numbers we were swept up into Michael magic. And the show just kept getting better and better as it followed his stunning music’s progression and journey.
Fortunately (and cleverly), there was no chosen star playing Jackson, (well really, who could’ve done it?) The showcase of MJ brilliance was shared with us by the entire highly talented singing and dancing cast, through a superb repertoire of his biggest hits. And it worked beautifully. A top team of seven male and female lead vocalists delivered splendidly, together representing (in utter “Jackson-esque” style) Michael’s extensive range, tones, moods, intensity and vulnerability. Singing solos, duets, alongside of each other or entwined, their voices did fine justice to each one of the many huge hits, be it a moving ballad or up tempo disco piece; presenting for us a total Michael Jackson experience. At times (some singers more than others) sounded incredibly like the man himself.
The massive dance pieces, perfectly choreographed and danced by a world-class team, took us back to the film clips and past mesmerising moments that we all knew so well (and had danced to so often); The Billy Jean white suit and hat moonwalk and the Thriller zombies of the cemetery, wonderfully reminiscent of the real stuff, with all of the other classic sound and style signatures of his life’s work there too. Brilliant routines in – Don’t Blame It on the Sunshine, Black and White, Beat It, Bad and Smooth Criminal, to name a few more.
A multi-media, visual spectacular backed the action, making this production into bigger than big, at times creating mind-blowing light shows, multiple dimensions and dancing characters, mostly hiding the excellent band; though we got a few deserved glimpses. Wandering amped up hot guitarists strolled out and blended in to the extravaganza now and then. Awesome costumes and set design added and kept adding, throughout.
As I flick through the program of talent in Thriller Live, I picture each of the young singers of this large cast, and I can’t help but see that in this production, they are all stars. (I’m not naming any). It is the complete team, the concept, collaboration, and the making of every aspect of this magnificent show which sees it shine as brightly as it does, and into the international success it has become.
This really is something to not miss. Three million people (to date) can’t be wrong! Fan or not, go on this magical Michael Jackson tribute! You won’t forget it in a hurry.