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On Saturday, October 8th, thousands of Michael Jackson fans flocked to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for "Michael Forever - The Tribute Concert".
I've been a fan of the 'King of Pop' since I can first remember. My first album bought for me was "Bad" on cassette (ask your parents!) and I almost wore it out by listening to it so much. My love for the singer grew even stronger with "Thriller" and re-visiting "Off The Wall". Daily I would try to copy the singer's dance moves. I had posters of Michael on my bedroom wall. He was my idol!
When "This Is It" was announced, I bought my tickets. Unfortunately, as you no doubt know, Michael Jackson sadly passed away on June 25th 2009. A sad day and one I will never forget.
Then, two years on, a tribute concert was announced. "Michael Forever - The Tribute Concert".
The stage was set, the acts confirmed (despite certain artists pulling out) and the crowd were ready...
First on stage was r'n'b star Ne-Yo who opened with the 1983 number one, "Billie Jean". A good rendition I have to say, especially at the end when he recreated the famous Motown 25th Anniversary set by bringing on a suitcase, putting on the now famous white glove and fedora hat and moonwalking his way around the white-glove-shaped stage.
To follow, JLS sang "The Way You Make Me Feel" and were then joined by Jackson brothers, Marlon, Tito and Jackie for "Blame It On The Boogie".
Some of the other highlights for me were Leona Lewis singing "I'll Be There", Craig David with "Human Nature" and Alexandra Burke with her cover of "Who's Lovin' You".
A nice surprise for the evening was Michael's children, Prince, Paris and Michael Jospeh Jr. (aka 'Blanket') who didn't seem as though they were used to the spotlight as much as their father and 3T, Michael's nephews, were obviously overcome with emotion.
There were bad points too. The show was definitely made for TV/DVD and not for the live audience as the numerous gaps indicated, leaving us as a live audience, at times, bored! I personally felt like there was no effort put into 'production' - by which I mean lavish sets, lighting, pyrotechnics, etc. as you'd expect in a Michael Jackson show.
Plus, when the show had finished, I heard many questioning where some of the BIG hits were, i.e, "Thriller", "Beat It", "Bad" and even some of the songs he performed as a mini-Michael were left out.
Obviously there was also a lot of controversy BEFORE the show even began with artists pulling out, tickets not being sold and members of the family not wanting anything to do with it, which is a true shame for such a legend in music.
Personally, I don't feel like the true majesty of the King of Pop was re-lived for this gig, but maybe some day in the future a true tribute will be made.