Friday, March 20, 2009

MJ - O2 - Gone Too Soon for MJ's concerts went on sale and were Gone Too Soon, before I could lay my hands on them. An initially-announced 10 shows ballooned to 20 shows and then kept increasing until it eventually reached 50 shows, beating the previous record for most nights sold out at the 02 Arena by more than double - Prince's record of 21 shows. Nothing beats the feeling of breaking the record of an old foe...

Not that I didn't try to buy tickets. I registered for the pre-sale code the minute the press conference ended at 1:35am on March 6, and I knew then that demand was going to be high, as the registration page experienced problems and couldn't process my registration. But I did eventually get an email with the pre-sale code after all those apparently failed attempts.

So once the pre-sale started on March 11, I tried to buy tickets using the unique code, but the Ticketmaster website was overwhelmed with thousands of fans logging in at the same time, and I didn't get to book the tickets then. By the time I checked again at night, they were all sold out.

And AEG Live kept adding shows throughout the day, but I couldn't possibly be sitting at my computer monitoring minute by minute, so as soon as the new shows were announced, all the pre-sale tickets got snapped up too. So all the tickets allocated to pre-sale for the 50 shows sold out in a matter of hours. 

Then came the public sale on March 13. I coordinated with my friend who's currently working in the UK to log on at precisely 7am UK time (1pm Singapore time), and same problem - the website put us on hold for more than 15 minutes but at the end of that, they couldn't process our request. So even my friend in the UK couldn't get them online, not like it's because there's an Internet lag or something! He then had to go off for work so I didn't bother him anymore.

So...long story cut short, I didn't manage to get tickets. There's lot of tickets up for sale on those re-sale websites, but I refuse to buy them at grossly inflated prices. So I guess it will be a miss for me this time. There's talk that the tour will be extended to the rest of Europe and Asia before heading to America, so there's still hope.

Anyway, the setlist for the show has apparently been leaked, and here it is, according to those sources:

Reported Setlist

1. Billie Jean
2. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
3. Rock With You
4. The Way You Make Me Feel
5. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
6. I Just Can't Stop Loving You
7. Human Nature
8. Smooth Criminal
9. Girlfriend
10. Man In The Mirror
11. Beat It
12. One Day In Your Life
13. Heal The World
14. You Are Not Alone
15. Remember The Time 
16. Thriller
Looking at the "setlist", there are a few surprises there, like Girlfriend and One Day In Your Life. Remember The Time was rehearsed for the Dangerous tour but wasn't performed eventually. The rest are all pretty much standard hits that you'd expect him to play. I think the biggest omission here is Black Or White

There are simply too many MJ songs that are worth performing and I think the most we can fit in is 20 songs, and some of them might be squeezed into medleys or cut short. So here's my ideal setlist of 20 songs that will never ever come true...

My Ideal Setlist

1. Why You Wanna Trip On Me
2. Scream
3. Dirty Diana
4. Dangerous
5. Smooth Criminal
6. The Way You Make Me Feel
7. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
8. Dancin' Machine
9. Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)
10. Rock With You
11. Never Can Say Goodbye
12. She's Out Of My Life
13. Even Though You're Gone
14. Butterflies
15. Remember The Time
16. Will You Be There
17. Billie Jean
18. Beat It
19. Black Or White
20. Man In The Mirror

Would be great if he can sing them all live. I know he lip sync-ed a lot of songs on the HIStory tour, but after watching the 30th Anniversary performances in 2001 again recently, he can still sing live and sound pretty good. The only question is whether he has the stamina to sing and dance at the same time for the entire show. He's already 50 years old, and that's not young, even for the King Of Pop.

Come July 8, we shall see what tricks MJ has planned for us, and whether he will indeed be unveiling a new dance move as some reports claim. We shall see...

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