The music and magic of Michael Jackson is in town for Thriller Live, which showcases his hits from the early years of the Motown era and throughout Jackson’s career.
Personally I’ve been a fan of Michael Jackson’s music since the 80’s and I have followed his music up to what would of been his final ‘This is it’ 02 concert which sadly never happened, I ‘Remember The Time’ when I used to go to Woolworth’s to buy a CD1 , CD2 and often CD3 of the same single as it had a slightly different version of the song or design to the front case.
So that’s enough about me lets talk about the show, the ‘Jam‘ packed audience at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall had a night of legendary music, incredible dancing and singing from the cast of Thriller Live, you could feel the electricity in the room as we were all filled with excitement as the lights went out….. ‘This is it‘ we were ready for a roller coaster of an evening!
No sooner were we seated, we were back up on our feet clapping and dancing, we all couldn’t stop our feet from getting into the disco and soul grove from classic Jackson Five medley, it really had that feel good feeling about the whole show with the dancers putting on a spectacular performance making it feel like you were actually re-living a show by the King of pop himself.
Aside from the dance moves and film like music video style animations appearing on the screens behind the cast, it was the vocals by Sean Christopher, Shaquille Maerice Hemmans, Cleo Higgins, Rory Taylor who put their own take on Michael’s hits, I’ve previously seen the show when it toured and at London’s West End, Cleo once again couldn’t put a note or harmony wrong she looked and sounded beautiful the whole evening.
Listening to great songs such as ‘Heart Break Hotel‘ , ‘PYT‘ and ‘Earth Song‘ to name just a few, each and every track whether it be sung alone or all together by the cast you can understand why Thriller Live is always a popular hit for audiences across the globe, gaining more and more fans & audiences of all ages.
Speaking about the dancers again both the male and female dancers all in their own right brought a touch of class to the show, their moves were tight and pulled off to perfection, the crowd thoroughly enjoyed what they saw applauding their talents, with fast paced moves and costume changes to match the legendary music videos of michaels.
Peter Cleverley was outstanding with his front and back flips, plus Courtney George was the best female dancer of the evening putting her facial expressions into her moves as well.
As the show continued into the second half it just got better & better.
The stage design as always was great, unlike many productions there wasn’t any off stage noise, as you would normally hear different sections of the stage moving around, in Thriller Live you don’t get that so nothing is off putting behind the scenes. The lighting and video effects creating a concert like experience, it was loud, bright and powerful. The same can be said about the Thriller Live (Live) band, who gave us an outstanding performance and made me and many others in the audience want to shake my body to the ground.
Only a couple of points which normally always fall short for me when seeing Thriller Live, yes I know that the lead dancer when he performs the songs ‘Billie Jean’ , ‘Thriller’ , ‘Smooth Criminal’ etc doesn’t actually sing and this is done by the other singers so that the dancer can perform the moves without having to worry about impacting his vocals, I get it as that’s quite difficult to do. This is and personally always has been an off putting moment when sometimes you notice that he isn’t really trying to sing along to the words.
Having seen the show a few times previously in Nottingham & also in the west end the Jackson Five intro which had ‘Rocky Robin’ played was a bit odd, a screen was used with a recording of a young lad lip syncing to the track, this was also out of sync with the song and words, I looked around and many peoples faces just didn’t get it nor enjoyed that section very much, while the Thriller Live female dancers were on hand to move and dance around the stage, it didn’t have the same feel as the last few times I’ve seen the performance when the show had a young lad singing on stage & also the medley performance before included the Jackson Five style costumes, but ‘This Time Around’ it wasn’t there …..’2Bad’.
‘Powerful & Electric and Smooth’ it will be Criminal to miss it!
While we are on the backing dancers, Peter Cleverley was outstanding with his front and back flips, plus Courtney George was the best female dancer of the evening putting her facial expressions into her moves as well.
Strong vocals from all the lead singers and Rory Taylor putting the rock factor to songs like ‘Dirty Diana’ and ‘Beat it’, these were particular highlights of the show for me. Also a mention has to be said for the amazing performance of smooth criminal by all the cast reconstructing this iconic video & dance moves, this was also one of the highlights of the second half.
This truly is a show for all fans of music and the magic which was and still is Michael Jackson.
It will be ‘Gone to Soon’ so make sure you don’t miss out and get yourself a ticket, the tour is here at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall until Saturday the 16th January 2016.