Janet Jackson: State of the World Tour

I saw Janet Jackson in Boston last weekend and it was fantastic. I’ve been waiting to see her for almost 2 years since her tour was put on hiatus in 2015. Sally bought us tickets as a gift for my 30th birthday, back when it was called the Unbreakable Tour. After two delays, surgery, and a pregnancy, I wasn’t expecting the tour to ever happen.

Luckily it did. I’d love to write a review of the concert but there are plenty out there that will do a better job. Instead I’d like to run through some quick thoughts.

  • Songs
    • She covered a huge range of songs from almost all of her albums including several from her latest album. I find it frustrating when established artists only sing older hits. Janet had a nice balance.
    • She sang three medleys, each with 2 – 4 songs, complete with dancing, in the first 30 minutes. It was crazy. And entertaining.
    • What About, from her 1997 album The Velvet Rope, was really powerful. It is a song about emotional and physical abuse that I’ve been listening to for years because it is so poignant. It’s one of those gems that was never released as a single. It’s a pretty rocking song but was even more so with the live band playing and the dancers acting out scenes of abuse and retaliation. Janet burst into tears at the end, which she has done at many of the concerts on this tour, but it seemed pretty real.
  • Structure
    • The concert was divided in to three major sections. The first and last contained the dance routines and the middle was more calm, with Jackson sitting on a stool singing her slower songs
  • The audience was a really nice mix of races, ages, and genders. It was cool to see all of the different people together in support of an artist with a positive message
  • Speaking of positive, Jackson employed a really cool crew of dancers. She had different genders, races, ages, and even body styles. There was a heavy-set woman who was an extremely talented dancer. She received huge support from the audience which was amazing. I’ve never seen a woman of that size dance with a pop star and I’m glad Janet is taking her on tour with her.
  • Show(wo)manship
    • Janet has always been an artist who can sing and dance at the same time. She’s never been a lip-syncer and is one of the few that can pull both off. She did lean on background vocals during her performance but she was also definitely singing too. I could certainly hear her voice, even if it wasn’t during every part of a song.
    • Her dancing is really quite on par, especially given that she is 51. Many of her medleys included full dancing throughout and she was crisp and accurate. It wasn’t a matter of her keeping up with her younger dancers; she was still the master.

Overall I was very impressed by the show. It was very fun and entertaining. I never got to see Michael in concert but I’m glad I saw Janet!



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