Release Year: 2005
I was playing Michael Jackson The Experience for the DS today and hearing all those great songs really made me want to watch this DVD. And I’m glad I did because I was reminded why it’s one of my favorite concerts of all time. The set list is great, there’s so much energy and it’s really hard to take your eyes off the screen. I still think it’s one of his best concerts to date.
It opens up with the audience waiting for Jackson to appear. After what feels like ten minutes, he pops out of the stage and stands there for what feels like another ten minutes. Then he slowly takes off his sun glasses and then he launches into “Jam.” I swear, he was the only entertainer who could stand there for an entire concert and people would still go crazy.
This is when Jackson was at the top of his game. Dangerous was a hit and this was shortly before all the nasty allegations. Because of this everything is big, over the top and hyped to the max. The set list is a good mix of his classics and new stuff from that time. There’s also a good mix of his fast stuff with his slow songs. The dancing is phenomenal. Jackson and the other dancers are really into what they are doing and every routine is filled great choreography. A lot of it is hyper and energetic, what we expect from Jackson. But at other times it’s beautiful, such as the routines he does for “Human Nature” where he’s singing beneath a lone spotlight or when the angel comes down and wraps her wings around him during“Will You Be There.” For me the highlight was during “Smooth Criminal.” He actually does the anti-gravity lean on stage! It’s amazing.
What makes Jackson’s concerts different from others is that it truly is an experience. Not only is there singing and dancing, there are unbelievable theatrics. This concert is a magic show, a light show, a concert and a play all at once. Of course there are the standard stage effects: fire, sparks, bright lights, but there are several songs where Jackson will seem to change costumes or disappear only to appear on another part of the stage. The only problem for me is I know how most of the tricks work now, but they had me fooled for a long time. Even though it’s obvious Michael didn’t use magic to fly over the audience, it’s still takes your breath away when you watch it.
For his performance of “Thriller,” zombies come out of caskets to dance with Jackson. They even pull him beneath the stage where they suddenly change him into the were-cat from the video. As soon as the last note from the song rings out, Jackson is suddenly hovering over the audience on a crane yelling out the first lines of “Beat It.” These are just some of the great theatrics that are featured in this show. It makes sure that the concert never gets dull and keeps the show moving.
My biggest complaint for this DVD is all the shots of the audience crying, fainting, screaming and reaching for Michael. It just pops up way too much. The point of watching the concert is see to Michael dance and sing, not to see the crowd freak out when he sings one note. After a while you don’t even notice it anymore. Another thing that gets tiring is how long some of the interludes are. I mean it’s probably just standard for concerts, but that doesn’t mean the home audience should be forced to watch them. There’s usually some footage to go along with it, but it’s nothing new.
Overall, I give this concert DVD 9/10. It’s one of the best Michael Jackson concerts and I think one of the best concert DVDs out there. All the songs are great, the dancing is spot on and there’s never a dull moment. This DVD would’ve been a ten if it wasn’t for how often we have to see the audience freaking out. Otherwise, it’s definitely a show to watch whether you haven’t seen it or just want to see it again.