Thursday, September 11, 2008

Janet Jackson Rock Witchu Tour kicks off in Vancouver!

After months of anticipation, no, make that years of anticipation, Janet has finally kicked off her Rock Witchu Tour. It's been 7 long years since her last tour, the All For You tour (which was cut short due to the 9/11 incident), and a lot has happened during that time. But I'm not going to talk about that. Instead, I'm going to celebrate the fact that the tour has finally become a reality. I almost didn't dare to believe that it was really going to happen until I see pictures from it.

Actually, Janet was already halfway rehearsing and preparing to tour in support of the 20 Y.O. album 2 years ago, but at the request of her new label (Island Def Jam), she decided to postpone the tour and head into the studios to record a new album instead. But I would say the 2 years has been a worthwhile wait, for Discipline is a better album than 20 Y.O. and the wait has only made the fans even hungrier for the tour. 

I think Janet is in a position quite similar to what she encountered in 1997. Even though The Velvet Rope album was critically-acclaimed, the public felt that it was too dark and not reminiscent of the Janet they knew. Album sales were slow initially, and the public was sceptical about her tour.

But she put on a damn fine show and blew them all away. She even made it to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in October 1998 - one year after the album was released, which is quite rare because magazine covers usually snag artists who are about to release a new album, not one year after they have done so. The headline read: "Janet Fights Back...the tour that proved her critics wrong."

So I'm definitely thinking Janet can do it all over again. The tour just kicked off in Vancouver last night and she has currently booked 24 dates in North America and Canada. The dates are still coming in - she just added a Madison Square Garden slot last week. Which is great, because MSG is like the place to perform. Hope she films another HBO special like her previous 2 tours, and release it as a DVD.

Janet has said that it will be a world tour and she will be bringing the show to Europe, Australia and Asia. I hope it comes true. I would so love her to come back to Singapore - she brought her janet. tour so our sunny shores on 27 and 28 February 1995, but I didn't catch it as I wasn't a fan yet then!

If she does not make it to Singapore, then I will fly to Tokyo to watch it. It will be expensive, but she has a large following in Japan and the fans there will be great, so the atmosphere should be pretty electrifying as well. Anyone keen to go Japan to watch the concert with me (if it happens)??

Anyway, early reviews of the concert are fantastic. Look at the amazing headlines and reviews:

- Vancouver Sun: Janet Jackson Does It Right
- Globe And Mail: Janet Jackson Has Still Got It
- The Province: Jackson Had It All Going On
- People Magazine: Janet Jackson Kicks Off Tour To Raves

And here are some amazing hi-res pics of the (early part of) the show, courtesy of

She looks damn fierce in these shots, which is classic Janet, as she always performs with great intensity and emotion, pouring her heart and soul out for each performance. If you think she looks a little chunky in this outfit, rest assured that by the time the tour ends, she will have slimmed down considerably, because each concert is a freakin' 2-and-a-half-hours long! You don't get more value for your money than this!

Speaking of which, here's the amazing setlist last night. It's really tough choosing the setlist when you have such an amazing catalog of hits, and I think Janet satisfied a lot of fans with her choice, even though I would have loved for her to perform Enjoy, 2Nite and Rollercoaster. But I think she pretty much covered her bases, performing songs from each of her solo albums, even the more obscure ones from her early career!

Here's last night's setlist:

Pleasure Principle
What Have You Done For Me Lately
You Want This
Miss You Much
Rhythm Nation - Interlude
Never Letchu Go
Come Back To Me
Let's Wait Awhile
So Excited
So Much Betta
All Nite (Don't Stop)
Rock With U
Together Again
Young Love
Say You Do
Don't Stand Another Chance
Doesn't Really Matter
Love Will Never Do (Without You)
When I Think Of You
All For You
Got 'Til It's Gone
Call On Me
That's The Way Love Goes
I Get Lonely
Funny How Time Flies (When You're Having Fun)
Any Time, Any Place
Black Cat
Rhythm Nation
Band/Dancer Introductions

Oh man, just looking at the setlist, I already feel like grabbing my credit card and booking a flight to the US to watch ths concert right now. Argh...I really, really hope she comes to Asia or the very least Australia. And I WILL be there to watch it. First in line.

Ok, so exciting...I can't wait. I shall leave you with 2 videos from last night's show. It's during the slow jam, Discipline, which is the traditional "grab a guy onstage and tease him till he almost comes" segment. I need some discipline tonight...

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