Queen of pop
Janet Jackson offers energetic set at
By Maurice Bobb
Daily Cougar Staff
Janet Jackson proved in a jam-packed two-hour
performance Thursday night at the Compaq Center that she's still the queen
of rock, pop and
r&b -- and that she's trumped brother
Michael as the icon of the family.
Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Janet Jackson gave a high-octane
performance Tuesday night at the Compaq Center. She performed hits from
her extensive catalogue,
including her latest album All For You.
While a photomontage of her stellar 15-year
career played on enormous screens, Jackson floated to the white-tiled stage
on a small pedestal.
Clad in a tight-fitting cream-colored outfit
that accentuated her chiseled abs and taut curves, Jackson then ignited
the crowd with the blazing
"Come on Get Up" amid eight dancers in
Jackson's newly finer-than-fine body proved
useful as she took it up a notch with her aerobic dance moves and sensual
At 35, Miss Jackson was a visual feast
of naughty and nice as she worked the throng into a heated fervor with
her girlish voice and oh-so-tight
Taking time to bask in the crowd's appreciation,
Jackson asked for a moment of silence to pay homage to the victims of the
recent attacks on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
How many performers do you know who can
quiet a sea of thousands for a full minute? After the moment of silence,
Jackson went full-tilt into
elaborate costumes and set changes, including
an Alice in Wonderland-styled trilogy of "Miss You Much," "When I Think
Of You" and
"Escapade" with a whimsical mix of fantastic
fairies, impossible insects and tumultuous toys.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the
show was Jackson's appearance onstage in a black dominatrix cat suit with
stiletto boots, prancing
about in search of a lucky man to seduce
on the upright gurney.
One man teeming with disbelief was selected,
strapped down and pounced upon by a lustful Jackson, who coyly serenaded
him with "Would
You Mind" as she stroked, petted and frisked
that lucky son of a ... well, I'm not jealous, OK?
Needless to say, that guy will be a fan
And although nobody went home quite as
happy as Jackson's prey, the rest of us were not far behind.
Much of the remaining songs centered on
romantic travails, like the edgy, accusatory "Son of a Gun," which not
so discreetly referred to Jackson's
ex-husband, Rene Elizondo.
The show's unrelenting energy got its juice
from the dance floor as Jackson and troupe served up some fancy footwork
that easily garners
recognition as the best choreography of
any tour this year.
And what made Jackson so endearing was
her willingness to blend in, ensemble-style, with the other dancers. She
often exhorted the crowd to
sing along and never let anyone in the
arena feel left out.
She personalized the entire show as only
she can, while deftly revisiting the discography of hits that spawned her
1995 greatest-hits collection
and a half-dozen others that have toppled
the charts since then.
Fittingly, Jackson's final number was "Rhythm
Nation," a symbolic ode to the unity that music encourages in everyone.
Equally moving was the panoramic sweep
of the audience wielding American flags.
By the show's end, it had helped Jackson
reclaim her post as the diva of dance, and showed Houston, as well as the
world, that the rhythm of our
reserve beats on no matter what.