Thursday, September 20, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 21


Queen of pop

Janet Jackson offers energetic set at Compaq Center

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 bohemian-styled outfits.

Jackson's newly finer-than-fine body proved useful as she took it up a notch with her aerobic dance moves and sensual gyrations.

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 for life.

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.

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