As the lights came up and the stage filled, the music started to take me back. Back to listening to Michael Jackson in my basement on a cassette tape. Back to buying CD’s and watching MTV videos. Good times. Great music. Now music that must live on by parents playing it for their kids, pulling up the videos and break out the record players. These new generations didn’t grow up listening to Michael. But listen to his music and you will open Pandora’s box of pop culture and a true legend. Now an immortal, but brought back through this show, so perfectly scripted, Michael might have just wrote it himself.
The Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil came to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for two nights. I had friends who had seen the show in Las Vegas and said we were in for a treat. The only thing missing from the performance was Michael himself. And at times during the show, I did actually think that he was finally going to make an appearance and we would hear the crowd grow wild, just as if we were actually at a live concert.
We decided to take my 2 oldest children to this show as they have seen Cirque du Soleil shows in the past and have LOVED them. My 8-year old daughter, who is a performance gymnast, sat next to me and has been talking this show up for weeks. Not only does she believe (as do I) that she will be a future Cirque du Soliel performer, but it is so fun to watch things through her eyes and with her perspective.
The show was an amazing spectacle of lights, music, special effects and raw talent like never before seen. Live music blended with Michael Jackson’s songs, that combined performers to bring to life his music, his moves, his stage presence and his vision for the world through his music was brilliant. The two-hour show took us through Michael Jackson’s messages and bought them to life.
Watching these shows with my daughter puts an interesting spin on things. She is watching the gymnasts. Do amazing feats. On one hand. One one leg. In the air. Hanging by a thread. Is she dreaming that it might be her? I see it in her eyes. She is thinking that she can do some of this so what if she continues to work hard. We always say that hard work pays off, right? She gets ideas for new routines. She enjoys the costumes. The show is like magic for kids. I highly recommend you take your children and help keep these dreamers dreamin’.
A few of my favorite scenes were behind a few of my favorite songs and the performances that accompanied them:
On a black star-lit screen, artists representing constellations wearing multicolored LED costumes are suspended in the air performing traditional “cirque” acrobatics as they soar, swoop and float in the air.
Using the iconic accessories, his glove and penny loafers, he comes to life on stage in true Michael fashion.
A little scary for my kids, but my husband and I LOVED it! Choreographed perfectly to the Thriller video, the iconic moves were preformed on stage with dancers dressed as mummies, through the coffins and tombstones of the graveyard. Perfection.
Mega Mix (Can You Feel It/ Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough/ Billie Jean/ Black or White)
As the show came to a close, this high-energy number had everyone on their feet and I seriously expected Michael Jackson to make a guest appearance. My son LOVED this number as he had heard many of these songs before. Again, Cirque du Soleil performers can put on a show that will have everyone in awe as they move from stage to sky with one pull of a rope.
I loved hearing the messages of his songs through visual reminders of why we are on THIS earth. The “Man in the Mirror” scene played as the finale, as this was also a song that Michael often chose to end his concerts. Having never scene a concert in person, I am sad that I never will have an opportunity to. However, it was a reminder of life lessons that we can pass on. “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…Just look in the mirror and make that change.” As Mia said during the show, “Kind of like what we are learning in Girl Scouts.” I swear kids really do listen.
The montage of classic Michael Jackson music at the finale of the show left me wanting to run to Target and buy every greatest hits album of Michael Jackson. Yes, in CD. Maybe I will download them to my iTunes play list, to play them over and over again whenever we want, but also to remind my kids of the fun night we had together. It was definitely magical and a show worth seeing with my kids. It truly was a celebration of the legacy of an immortal. He will definitely live forever through the legacy of his music. Bravo!
And yes the show does highlight, the release of XSCAPE with this original music from Michael Jackson. See the above video for Blue Gangsta.
Don’t miss your chance to see these incredible artists and more perform LIVE at an arena near you!
I was provided tickets to see the Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour. All opinions are my own.