What you think about the 30th Anniversary concerts?

Hiker

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I always thought that those vocals were re-recorded,after I have found out that they were not live actually.
Them being just pitched down makes me don't like these shows even more. Not only he lacked energy and his specific "magic" for performing,but also his dancing was kinda averrage + he lip-synched nearly the entirety of his solo set(which he didn't even bother to re-record vocals for).
Wow ...
Not surprising given that he was not in best of health and did not even want to do the show based on everything I have read about the 30th Anniversary shows so far.
 

kai

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in the mjcast someone said that MJ was supposed to have long hair (like 1999 munich/seoul) for the shows but they fu**ed up and he appeared with short hair at the red carpet with liz taylor. So could not then change his hair style for the shows.
 

zinniabooklover

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in the mjcast someone said that MJ was supposed to have long hair (like 1999 munich/seoul) for the shows but they fu**ed up and he appeared with short hair at the red carpet with liz taylor. So could not then change his hair style for the shows.
IIRC, in that podcast episode we were told that Michael cut his own hair. If that is true, then that *might* be another indication of possible distress.
I am trying to tread very carefully here. I didn't know Michael, obvs, and I am not a psychologist. But when people are struggling with a high level of distress it is not unusual for them to hack away at their hair. I don't know whether that applies to Michael in this situation. I just think it goes far beyond just assessing what we can see on screen if we look at those MSG 2001 performances (I choose not to look at them but that's just me).

I know there are many people who did enjoy those shows. That's fine. But I think any criticisms need to be placed in the context of what might have been going on behind the scenes. It's not as if this information isn't in the public domain. The story is out there. I'm not saying we can't criticise a Michael Jackson show. I'm just saying these two shows in particular are in a different category, imo.
 

SmoothGangsta

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IIRC David Guest said that MJ seemed to be all for the shows when he suggested them, and then he got high on something before the show (or the night before) in order to try and get out of it (his perception) and he had to get him to be there. Hence him showing up looking awful and slurring in that video.

I can understand his perspective as he organised it all for MJ to celebrate his career and then he goes and does that lol. That was clearly not a very good time for MJ in one way or another.

I'm personally not a fan of the concerts in general, I don't really like the the design of the whole thing. I also wasn't really a fan of all the guests etc. I understand why it was done as it was a celebration of MJ but yeah just wasn't my thing.

I do like the J5 segments though. MJ was generally not all that great although I guess you could say he did okay considering the state he was in.
 
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Hiker

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I can understand his perspective as he organised it all for MJ to celebrate his career and then he goes and does that lol. That was clearly not a very good time for MJ in one way or another.
So this is the part I don't get! The show was to celebrate Michael's career. It makes sense to get others to perform his best songs, put up a show to celebrate his career. But having Michael perform in it, while he probably did not want to does not sound like celebrating. Sure people wanted that, it would sell more, but it does not sound like a 'celebratory' deal for him.
 

kreen

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I wonder why MJ didnt record new vocals for those songs for the playback.

It was easier to just get some engineer to pitch down the vocals from the CD than to re-record entire songs.
 

kreen

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So this is the part I don't get! The show was to celebrate Michael's career. It makes sense to get others to perform his best songs, put up a show to celebrate his career. But having Michael perform in it, while he probably did not want to does not sound like celebrating. Sure people wanted that, it would sell more, but it does not sound like a 'celebratory' deal for him.

It was the compromise they had come to because MJ refused to tour to support the Invincible album.
 

kreen

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in the mjcast someone said that MJ was supposed to have long hair (like 1999 munich/seoul) for the shows but they fu**ed up and he appeared with short hair at the red carpet with liz taylor. So could not then change his hair style for the shows.

His hair at that event was a wig, so obviously they could have had him wear a wig with long hair.

The short hair was meant to present a « new look » MJ for American audiences. It’s also the reason the usual MJ grunts, yelps and hee-hees are much more subdued on Invincible than on previous albums (a criminal decision, if you ask me). Those were conscious decisions that I remember reading about back in 2001. The idea was to avoid MJ being thought of as « too Nineties » compared to whoever was hot on the charts back then.
 

dethorro

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These are bad examples. The cherry picker wasn't even a thing until 1987 and later on during the HIStory Tour it was minimised greatly only to be gone again in 2001. The Beat It routine in general has changed more than most other performances. In 1984 there were two guitar solos and a whole bunch of stuff that would eventually be deleted by 1984 and then further streamlined in 2001.

The WBSS break changed quite a bit.
In 1984 he would exit the pose and kind of size up the audience for a second before kicking the air and then singing "If you can't feed your baby" followed by the band starting again.
In 1987 the kick was removed.
In 1988 he would only move his microphone to his mouth to sing it while not changing his pose until the band starts.
In 1992 he would step back and the drums would signal the song about to start, at which point Michael would sing to sync up with them.
In 1993 he would stamp the ground beforehand to hype it up ala Rock With You 1984-1989
In 1996-1997 he would clap his hands instead.

She's Out Of My Life didn't have a fan to sing with it for most of it's performances.
In 1981 he walked down the side of the stage to hug a fan on the other side of a border.
In 1984 Michael started to lie and sit on the stage and the fan was removed from the routine so Mike just walked on the side of the stage to get closer to the audience.
In 1987 the girl was back and she got to go past the gate so the girl could hang out on her own volition.
In 1988 the girl instead gets positioned on the top of higher on the stairs for Michael to come over to her rather than the other way around.
In 1992 the girl comes up the stairs to meet Michael instead and THIS is when he starts letting her "sing along" (although usually they just scream).
In 1993 Michael would kiss the fan in addition to the 1992 routine.
In 1996-1997 the fan is now in You Are Not Alone instead but instead of kissing her, he tries to square dance with her instead.
In 1999, She's Out Of My Life was rehearsed as a duet with Mariah Carrey and Michael would dance with her during the section where he'd interact with the fans ala IJCSLY.
There are naturally more variations on these but these are the main ones.

These last two literally changed every tour, why did you use them as examples this?

But they're still all variations on the same theme, aren't they? Of course he would change things up here and there, but in the end it was all pretty similar, lacking spontaneity. I, personally, am not bothered by this necessarily although, I do wish he would have changed things up a bit more, but I can still understand why other people might be.

Your post reminded me of a funny moment from the MJCast: Jamon Bull mentions the fact that Michael wore a black jacket on the 30th anniversary shows and says that it was a big deal. Charles Thomson had this to say about it:

"It reminds me of when fans say 'oh no the HIStory Tour concerts aren't all the same because in Gelsenkirchen he did the Charlie Chaplin walk in Smooth Criminal' or something. Well, if that's the one thing that you can point to that was different during a show then you're kind of demonstrating the problem. Basically, if you've seen Michael perform Beat It on the Victory Tour, then you've seen every Beat It performance he ever gave and that's kind of a shame."

While I do think he is exaggerating it a little bit, what he is saying is not incorrect either, because the performances were, all in all, very similar to each other and there was never a performance that suffered a radical change over the years.
 

Hiker

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While I do think he is exaggerating it a little bit, what he is saying is not incorrect either, because the performances were, all in all, very similar to each other and there was never a performance that suffered a radical change over the years.
.... and still we watch all the recordings of the concerts, and whenever a new leak comes we are all on it like there is no tomorrow :) I guess he did have a winning formula why throw it away and start from scratch.
Personally I wish everyone tour had different set list so that we get to see more performances but that also sounds unreasonable given the amount of effort that went into a single one.
 

dethorro

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.... and still we watch all the recordings of the concerts, and whenever a new leak comes we are all on it like there is no tomorrow :) I guess he did have a winning formula why throw it away and start from scratch.
Personally I wish everyone tour had different set list so that we get to see more performances but that also sounds unreasonable given the amount of effort that went into a single one.
Yeah, I agree. No one can deny his magic on and off stage and the formulas definitely worked, even later in life.
 

ArchieSmash

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But they're still all variations on the same theme, aren't they? Of course he would change things up here and there, but in the end it was all pretty similar, lacking spontaneity. I, personally, am not bothered by this necessarily although, I do wish he would have changed things up a bit more, but I can still understand why other people might be.

Your post reminded me of a funny moment from the MJCast: Jamon Bull mentions the fact that Michael wore a black jacket on the 30th anniversary shows and says that it was a big deal. Charles Thomson had this to say about it:

"It reminds me of when fans say 'oh no the HIStory Tour concerts aren't all the same because in Gelsenkirchen he did the Charlie Chaplin walk in Smooth Criminal' or something. Well, if that's the one thing that you can point to that was different during a show then you're kind of demonstrating the problem. Basically, if you've seen Michael perform Beat It on the Victory Tour, then you've seen every Beat It performance he ever gave and that's kind of a shame."

While I do think he is exaggerating it a little bit, what he is saying is not incorrect either, because the performances were, all in all, very similar to each other and there was never a performance that suffered a radical change over the years.
My point wasn't that Michael's concerts were super spontaneous, my point is that the examples given were lacklustre.

I remember listening to that moment in that podcast (30th Anniversary Roundtable) and rolling my eyes. Compared to other artists' concerts, Michael's aren't that formulaic and people act like he did the same show every concert. I don't understand people's fascination with this concept when there are hours of debate spent over which concert is better or worse. Hell, there's a whole genre of YouTube content syncing two performances together and seeing how they differ and another making compilations using the best bits of every performance.

What changes between concerts isn't the song or the arrangement or the outfit (although those things can change), it's how Michael approaches and interprets the music. I think people spend too much time hyping up superficial details like "OH My gOSH, Did yOu See mIChAeL wEaRIng a diFFerenT JAcKET iN aMsTErDAM?" when they should be hyping up slightly less superficial details like "oH mY GoSh, Did yOu seE HOw AgGReSSIVe aND poweRfUL mIChael'S deMEAnoUr Was In bASEl?"
 

Hiker

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What changes between concerts isn't the song or the arrangement or the outfit (although those things can change), it's how Michael approaches and interprets the music. I think people spend too much time hyping up superficial details like "OH My gOSH, Did yOu See mIChAeL wEaRIng a diFFerenT JAcKET iN aMsTErDAM?" when they should be hyping up slightly less superficial details like "oH mY GoSh, Did yOu seE HOw AgGReSSIVe aND poweRfUL mIChael'S deMEAnoUr Was In bASEl?"
How much time did it take you to type it like this :p
Perhaps less than it took to read it! 😆

Agree with @ArchieSmash, I want to know the subtle changes he made to the dance moves, difference in energy, audience interactions. Though these are all the effects of watching multiple shows one after another on same screen. He did not perform for this audience. He performed for live audience, and a VERY few of them would see more than one show.
 

SmoothGangsta

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My point wasn't that Michael's concerts were super spontaneous, my point is that the examples given were lacklustre.

I remember listening to that moment in that podcast (30th Anniversary Roundtable) and rolling my eyes. Compared to other artists' concerts, Michael's aren't that formulaic and people act like he did the same show every concert. I don't understand people's fascination with this concept when there are hours of debate spent over which concert is better or worse. Hell, there's a whole genre of YouTube content syncing two performances together and seeing how they differ and another making compilations using the best bits of every performance.

What changes between concerts isn't the song or the arrangement or the outfit (although those things can change), it's how Michael approaches and interprets the music. I think people spend too much time hyping up superficial details like "OH My gOSH, Did yOu See mIChAeL wEaRIng a diFFerenT JAcKET iN aMsTErDAM?" when they should be hyping up slightly less superficial details like "oH mY GoSh, Did yOu seE HOw AgGReSSIVe aND poweRfUL mIChael'S deMEAnoUr Was In bASEl?"

I mean, I find this argument very weird. He did the same concert every time. Which I get and other artists do it as well. With MJ though it did not change at all for most songs and performances between tours. We're not talking about if he moved his hand differently during one part from concert to concert lol.

You're saying it's about how MJ interprets the music but he did the same dance routines etc for songs for all of his solo tours. People aren't talking about the one time he decided to do something different randomly in a concert. It's a totally different conversation at that point tbh.
 

rolerprod

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if mj wasnt such a formulatic touring artist and switched up the performances from tour to tour rather than take what worked and copy paste it you wouldn't be arguing to notice energy changes lol its ridiculous especially the argument for "his interpretation of the music" huh? he wasn't even singing live and by history the dance moves were almost all the same for each moment of the song its such a ridiculous argument there aren't noticeable variations from date to date unlike most other touring artists, as a fan of other artists i love watching how they sing the songs differently from date to date and maybe interact with the crowds or switch up the arrangements mike did not do such thing after the bad tour
 
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Nite Line

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Basically, if you've seen Michael perform Beat It on the Victory Tour, then you've seen every Beat It performance he ever gave and that's kind of a shame.
This. There was literally no difference in any of the Beat It performances. I don't care about some subtle differences in Michael's energy or something. The performance on the whole was pretty much the same.

I understand that Michael couldn't make changes in the middle of a tour, but surely he could have changed performances from tour to tour. And if he couldn't do that, he should have dropped Beat It from the setlist. In my personal opinion, Beat It live was really boring after the Bad Tour. For the Dangerous Tour, Michael should have dropped Beat It for Give In To Me, which would have been like for like replacement. That way, we would have got a new performance of a new song, which would have been far more exciting than the same Beat It performance.
 

filmandmusic

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If I had to make the calls I’d perform the entire new album on each date and as an encore I’d let MJ play 3 legacy hits to please the casual fans. For example bad tour = bad album + billie jean beat it and thriller, next date the exact same but a change in encore for example billie jean, rock with you shake your body.
Dangerous tour would be the dangerous album, maybe make a medley of some tracks to cut some time and in the end again 3 legacy tracks for example the way you make me feel, don’t stop till you get enough and can you feel it And then the next date you play bad, smooth criminal and thriller or whatever.
You know just play around with the setlist a bit but not too much.
I love how songs like dirty diana, don’t stop till you get enough, can you feel it or another part of me were only performed on 1 tour, that is what makes them special and my favorites to watch. I personally can’t stand watching the freaking Motown medley AGAIN, he was doing it the same way since the freaking mid 70s, at least Billie Jean kept evolving so it stayed interesting.

My real preference would have been an MJ unplugged show (not necessarily acoustic but just organic arrangements like in the good ol days). Small stage , some great background singers to harmonize with and a band like James Brown’s, let the voice shine!

I don’t really mind that performances in itself stay largely the same, just switch up the damn setlist with each tour, that is all I ask. I have seen in James Brown concerts that he performs most of his hits the same way in each concert too ( f.e. Please please please).

I can assure you the critics would have loved it, back to basics
 
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KOPV

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in the mjcast someone said that MJ was supposed to have long hair (like 1999 munich/seoul) for the shows but they fu**ed up and he appeared with short hair at the red carpet with liz taylor. So could not then change his hair style for the shows.
In earlier rehearsals he did have longer hair, the length that we see on MJ at Nasdaq.


Side note, the story of Michael cutting his own hair was on the set of RMW, which was filmed right before he went to NYC, he had new hair for his trip - so both stories could possibly be true.. MJ cutting his own hair and it messed up while getting cut. 2 different moments close together.
 

Galactus123

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This. There was literally no difference in any of the Beat It performances. I don't care about some subtle differences in Michael's energy or something. The performance on the whole was pretty much the same.

I understand that Michael couldn't make changes in the middle of a tour, but surely he could have changed performances from tour to tour. And if he couldn't do that, he should have dropped Beat It from the setlist. In my personal opinion, Beat It live was really boring after the Bad Tour. For the Dangerous Tour, Michael should have dropped Beat It for Give In To Me, which would have been like for like replacement. That way, we would have got a new performance of a new song, which would have been far more exciting than the same Beat It performance.
I don't think Beat It performances were the same at all. Michael's performance was very different if you compare Victory Tour and Dangerous Tour. Also Victory didn't have the dancers or the cherry picker. On DWT he did the thing with the camera man after first chorus. The dancers had a new routine in the 30th anniversary concerts.
 
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kai

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In earlier rehearsals he did have longer hair, the length that we see on MJ at Nasdaq.


Side note, the story of Michael cutting his own hair was on the set of RMW, which was filmed right before he went to NYC, he had new hair for his trip - so both stories could possibly be true.. MJ cutting his own hair and it messed up while getting cut. 2 different moments close together.

I doubt he would have been performed it with straight hair.. but i could be wrong.. i mean he did it a few times.
 

KOPV

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I doubt he would have been performed it with straight hair.. but i could be wrong.. i mean he did it a few times.
I imagine they would have done something like this with that hair for stage. It's straight hair still, just MJ stage persona stylized.
Dangerous-Live-2002-michael-jackson-21745878-902-1200.jpg
 
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kai

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I'd assume they'd drop a few curls in front like they did in MJ & Friends. He had pretty straight hair... Or even MJ's performances in 2002. hair straight, but 'MJ stylized' it.

yes.. he probably wouldn't even have loose hair at all like on MJ&F
 

Nite Line

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I don't think Beat It performances were the same at all. Michael's performance was very different if you compare Victory Tour and Dangerous Tour. Also Victory didn't have the dancers or the cherry picker. On DWT he did the thing with the camera man after first chorus. The dancers had a new routine in the 30th anniversary concerts.
I personally don’t see much difference in the Dangerous tour Beat It performance.

As for the 30th anniversary performance, I actually quite like those performance.
 

analogue

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The only thing I didn't like about the Beat It performance was Slash's guitar solo. And speaking of Slash why on earth didn't he and Michael perform Give Into Me live? Even if it was just done just one time at an award show? A massive missed opportunity. Michael would have to sing live of course
 
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