This is a long read but worth it.
It is from World Music magazine Dec/Jan 1998. It is a review written by DJ Skinn. I had to do some editing, so that we can focus on the meat of the matter.
Let me apologise now for any typos!!!
In this last issue ... for 1997 - we look at some of the truly history musical events of 1997 - Without doubt Michael Jackson's July Wembley concert was one such event.
I have spent night on a decade deep, deep, deep, in the undergrowth. Mole like - I have avoided celebrities, and other world icons of whatever discipline ... I have also avoided, rigorously all contact with a musical form known as "pop music"
I had of course heard of Michael Jackson as a teenager and just like we both inhabited physical worlds distanced by sea and terrain, I had always believed our conceptions of music to be similarly distant in both Space and Time.
... Of course I could not cocoon myself away totally from his music. His music is all pervading. I would occassionally catch a hearing on radio or on television ... I avoided all discussion of his musicand life with anyone.
Since it had been determined that I must attend his concert ... I resolved to go - not as a fan - neither as a spectator - but as a sleuth! a detective. I would secrete myself amongst the milling crowds and penetrate this mystery, discovery the man behind the music and perhaps satisfy myself that my decade or more of earlier conduct had been justified!
As media icons, celebrities, pop stars strut across the world stage/board - ... is there a purpose in what they do? ... Do they have things to communicate wich are purposed - deliberate - or are their lives with all it trappings, power and influence accidental? - purposeless?
I resolved to attend the Michael Jackson concert with this thought in mind.
The backdrop of the set were desolate buildings, they looked bombed out! - Whilst I was visually absorbing all this - a deep and anxiety laden male voice - blared over loud speakers - Countdown! - and the crowd counted with him esctatically cheering and roaring - On the large screen flashed - space shots - simulating a space rocket lift off. This was excellent stuff! - I shifted excitedly in my seat - This bombardment of all the senses - made it more realistic than I could imagine - ... Wow! This is - heady stuff - masterful wizardry - No wonder both adults and children are here!
Could He take you higher - Yes!
The coup de grace! - A white rocket exploded from under the stage - and remained there - solitary - stationary - nothing - happened.
I was already impressed - but there was more to come.
I believe that Art is all about timing - timing in everything - Timing is everything.
The rocket door flew open! - I forget what the music was doing - the rocket door was flown open and MJ - remained in it motionless - for a good five minutes! - motionless - whilst the crowd already whipped up into a frenzy - roared and cried, screamed and shrieked - ... I noted hurriedly through twitching sweat drenched fingers - "MJ is a master showman!"
Well that was it for me - I waswon to his cause - he merely had to be able to sing without forgetting his words and dance without falling over to ensure I would in future no longer ignore him!
He did neither - but proceeded to entertain both myself and the crowd with remarkable displays of both singing and dancing - But first - He emerged in silver and gold space suit - from his space rocket! - authentic - This was no - B movie - ... - fantasy - to be there -
your senses already no longer questioning - you would believe! - "this is the power" - I noted - "this is how I would imagine a man from another planet to look like" ... dancers shot up from under the stage ... were executed with precision - and with belief. It is hard to explain how you can dance with belief - but I believe that everything Michael Jackson does on stage is executed with total commitment - In this sense he represents a supreme Artist - he cannot be faulted on that score - then you either accept or reject his art - But his commitment is unquestionable! - the entertainment value of what he does unbeatable!
And just are you are beginning to feel comfortable - beginning to feel that you are getting to grips with the wizardry he is conjuring -... Bam! - another mood - another set - another bombardment of every sense you could imagine - ... every emotion the artist has ever experienced is put on display for you -
I could go on and on - so profound is a proper understanding of his music and the concert experience, to those fortunate to have been able to witness it. But it is no coincidence that the one phrase Michael Jackson repeated more than any other that night was a simple one - "I love you" - ... It was also the last memorable sound that I took away from that concert - me the hardened, impervious club DJ ...
As the night closed - the flags of the nations were borne by children ... Hope .... And the strains of Mussorgsky's "Promenade" - returned - I am convinced that it will never sound the same to me again.
... and I believe that he is "The King Of Pop" - Why? - His music has captured the music of all age groups, all nations, all styles all forms ... Objectively his music is great whether he sells 1 copy or 1 million - He is a true Artist whether he lives in poverty or great wealth.