Motown legends The Jacksons recently celebrated 50 years since their debut as The Jackson 5 touring the UK at a number of different events including the highly anticipated Glastonbury Festival. Brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon alongside the late Michael Jackson made musical history as The Jackson 5 and have dominated the charts as a band and solo artists in the years following creating a lasting legacy. Stopping by for a one-off Scottish show as part of Glasgow’s West End Fiesta which saw a number of big time names perform in the city including Chic & Nile Rogers alongside Kool & The Gang, The Jackson’s took to the stage at Glasgow’s O2 Academy for one night only!
Being a Jackson family fan since the age of 9 I saw the brothers perform live during their previous UK tour in early 2013 so undoubtably catching them this time round was an absolute must! Adding to the fun of the evening they had guest DJ ‘The Reflex‘ who played a mix of 70s/80s disco numbers followed by BBC radio presenter and Coronation Street star Craig Charles with his fabulous Funk & Soul Show. Having seen other DJs open other gigs I’ve attended this was much more appealing to me personally and so refreshing to hear DJ playing genres such as disco/funk and soul!
Those of you have seen The Jacksons live in past will agree that there is nothing quite as magical as the opening of number of their gigs. As darkness descends upon the stage and a video of old footage from as far back as the days of The Jackson 5 alongside clips of fans sharing their love for the band, it really sends a tingle up your spine! Opening the show with Can You Feel It standing still like statues soaking up the lively atmosphere for a few moments they proceed to slowly remove their signature black aviator sunglasses in unison before bursting into song. Words can’t quite describe it but the impression is lasting.
No sooner than Can You Feel It ends, Blame It On The Boogie a personal favourite of mine begins. This was followed by a cover of Michael’s 1979 hit song Rock With You alongside other classic Jackson hits including Show You The Way To Go and Lovely One filled with impressive energy from each of the brothers!
Exiting the stage for a short break, a video was shown featuring commentary from Joe and Katherine Jackson as well the founder of Motown Berry Gordy telling their accounts of the brothers incredible journey to stardom. Footage of the brothers visiting their old house in Gary, Indiana ironically located on Jackson Street was also shown as they reminisced of their childhood. It was a special and personal touch that warms the heart.
Of course, this served as the perfect introduction to the early Motown classics such as I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There done ‘the old fashioned way’. Notably these were the groups first singles, all of which reached No.1 in the charts. Hearing those classics is what can only be described as a ‘pinch me’ moment. It’s like being transported back in time to an era that I wish I could have experienced. The brothers recreation of their early performances are on-point as they bring just as much enthusiasm to the stage today, as they did back in the 70s! Amongst the mix of oldies was also hit songs Never Can Say Goodbye and Dancing Machine; famous for Michael’s incredible dance move ‘The Robot’.
Taking a few moments to reflect on their brother Michael, Jermaine performed Gone To Soon in a breathtaking tribute. It proved an emotional song for both the brothers and audience alike as together we celebrated the life and music of a true musical legend.
Taking centre stage, Tito performed two songs from his solo releases; a song called When The Magic Happens followed by another named Get It Baby. Remarkably, despite having been in the music industry for a whopping 50 years he was the only Jackson sibling not to have released solo music. The new releases sounded great live and carried that infectious upbeat and funky sound made famous by the Jackson family.
As the set reached its final few songs The Jacksons introduced their band who helped keep the Glasgow grooving during a jam to brother Michael’s 1991 song I Cant Let Her Get Away. Before long the first notes of what I thought was the final song the ever so popular Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) began to play. Over the years this has proved a fitting closing number and I must admit after seeing them live back in 2013 I always feel a sense of nostalgia upon hearing it. Despite being a pernament fixture in the groups setlist over the years, they continue to perform it with just as much love, perfection and enthusiams as they did in the 80s.
Leaving the stage after what appeared to be one last bow the Glasgow crowd went completely wild. Let’s face it! There’s nothing quite like a Jackson party! Following a few moments of what can only be described as complete Jacksonmania, the brothers reappeared for an unexpected encore of another hit song; State Of Shock a 1984 collaboration between the band and Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger. Never in a million years did I expect to hear it live and it certainly didn’t dissapoint!
When I first became a fan almost 10 years ago I never dreamt it would be possible to see The Jacksons live even once yet alone twice and I’m only 18 years old! That’s an experience I will forever be grateful for and will truly treasure forever and more! Their stage presence is captivating as is their music and dance. The Jackson legacy is iconic and to have been apart of the magic is pretty darn cool!