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A Thrill Ride
Member Name: healtheworld
Date: 18/04/10, updated on 18/04/10 (197 review reads)
Advantages: Energy and enthusiasm, Room atmosphere, Amazingly talented vocalists and dancers
Disadvantages: Nothing really, apart from 1 or 2 dissapointing performances
I was a little worried that this was going to be a show trying to make money out of Michael's untimely death and that the performing would be cheap and half hearted, especially compared to the man himself who was a true original. However I did read some excellent reviews online so I decided it would be worth seeing and I am so glad I did!
The first thing I will talk about is the price of the tickets. The prices range from £25-£60 depending on where you are seated, but this also depends on the arena the show is taking place in as well. I've heard that some prices go up to as much as £75. As I was about to reserve tickets, I noticed that there was a competition to win 2 free tickets to the show, so I decided to enter and somehow ended up winning! We were delighted, but at the same time a little bit nervous as we had no idea where we would be seated and wouldn't find out until the night of the show. I don't know how often these competitions take place or if this was a one off kind of thing, but I recommend entering before purchasing tickets, you may just have a stroke of luck! All in all though, I would say that the show is definitely worth the money that you would pay for the tickets.
As we arrived at the arena, we noticed around 6 stalls associated with the show selling Michael Jackson goodies such as Fedora hats, Souvenir programmes, White gloves, Glow sticks and even MJ underwear which was...interesting! The thing that disappointed me was the price of all the goods. One plain white glove was £14 and a fedora hat was £25 which I thought was ridiculous, so I would recommend bringing your own white glove or hat if you want to look the part for the show. I decided to purchase the Souvenir Programme for £6.50 which is an A4 booklet containing a short MJ biography and a little bit about the stars of the show. I would recommend purchasing this if you are ever to go.
We were escorted to our seats by some friendly staff dressed in fedora's and sequined jackets. We were ecstatic to find out our seats were 2 rows from the front on ground level. However as the show went on, this came to be a bit of a problem. The performers encourage everyone to get out of their seats to dance and enjoy themselves, but the people behind us didn't seem so keen on doing so, unlike us and the rest of the arena on the higher levels! This caused a bit of a conflict because the people behind us complained that we were blocking the view. We ended up dancing in the aisles instead along with alot of other people which was fun! So a word of warning would be that if you plan on dancing and standing up, book seats on higher levels were the seats slope downwards so you aren't blocking anyone's view. I think that this was the only downside of the night, but dancing in the aisles was fine for me and my friend!
So finally, on to the show. The first 5 minutes is a short tribute clip to Michael, showing some clips from his tours and talking about his record sales and his overall impact on the world. At the end of the clip, a man dressed in Michael Jackson attire came to the stage and sang a beautiful tear jerking rendition of 'Gone Too Soon'. The performance was really moving and had a lot of people clutching tissues. After this, the show starts running through the Michael Jackson era's starting with The Jackson 5 followed by The Jackson's, Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and ending with Dangerous. I would have liked to have seen some songs from the HIStory and the Invincible era but I was content with the selection we got. I do not feel the need to review all 28 performances so I will pick a few of my favourite performances and explain why I enjoyed them and pick a few of the performances I was disappointed with.
The first performance which stood out to me was by Mytton Sanneh, a young boy around 10 years old. He sang Michaels hit 'Music and Me' and his voice was breathtaking. He had such confidence for a young boy and left the whole arena speechless. Another performance I loved was the Jackson 5 hit, 'Shake Your Body Down To The Ground'. A group of 5 guys, including the young Mytton Sanneh acted as the Jackson brothers and did it fantastically! They had the whole arena up dancing like lunatics and brought a really great 70's vibe to the room.
They then cleverly mixed 'Off The Wall' and 'Get on The Floor' together which, once again, had the whole room jumping up and down. Women came out skating in 70's diner girl outfits with trays of food and the whole stage was set up like a 70's diner with the older Michael impersonator, Dwayne Wint (who was also fantastic) in the middle. The atmosphere was incredible at this point and you could really feel the energy in the room. Then came 'Can You Feel It?' and this is when people began dancing in the aisles and really enjoying themselves. Strobe lights were flashing through the room and this time, the lead singer was Denise Pearson, an X Factor contestant from a few years back. To me, the show wouldn't have been complete without her. She was phenomenal and her whole style and stage presence reminded me of Janet Jackson.
After a few more songs there was a small 10 minute interval in which everyone around chatted to one another and made trips to the toilets and the bar. I think everyone was thankful that there was an interval at this point as the audience all seemed out of energy (as well as I) and needed a good rest! Then came the highlight of the show for me, which was Smooth Criminal. I have no words to describe how amazing this performance was, I was completely blown away. The dancers were absolute perfection and they completed the signature Smooth Criminal dance without any flaws, and also with the finale of the anti-gravity lean which had everyone up and applauding. This was without question, the best performance of the night.
Man in the Mirror then came after a few more songs, which, as you can imagine was beautiful. Everyone was up singing along and a lot of the women around me were actually crying, that is how powerful the voice of Leo Buchanan, the singer was. Then the one which everyone had been waiting for, 'Billie Jean' came on. Once again, this was an energy filled performance and for once, every single person in the audience was standing. The performer moonwalked, grabbed his crotch and did all the spins perfectly! My last favourite was the finale song, which was Black or White. All of the lead singers and dancers came on stage to perform this hit together and the whole room was just buzzing with energy and excitement.
One of the songs which I was disappointed in would be Dirty Diana. Dirty Diana is one of my favourites by MJ and I was really excited for it, however it lacked energy and enthusiasm from the singer who didn't really move for the whole performance apart from lifting his top up every 5 seconds which I didn't really appreciate! Another one would be Thriller, which again, I had high expectations for. The 'zombies' all had cheap looking masks on and the dancing was out of time. Also, you could barely see the performance as they kept blowing smoke from a smoke machine onto the stage. In no way am I saying these were bad performances, but compared to the rest they were weak.
Overall, this was an absolutely magical experience. The singing, dancing and actual performing was perfection. The little touches such as the costumes, lighting and timing just made the whole night. One point which I must make is that the performers do not try to be Michael Jackson. They simply take his singing and dancing techniques and incorporate them into their own which I thought was great. The whole room left the arena buzzing and talking about how brilliant the show was. I would definitely recommend this to all people, even if you are not the greatest MJ fan, I can assure you will have a brilliant time just due to the energy and atmosphere alone. If Thriller Live ever returns to the UK I will be sure to attend each time because of the brilliance of the show. Also, ensure you take a camera along with you!
The songs performed were:
ABC, Music and Me, Stop! The Love You Save, I Want You Back, I'll Be There, Ben, Show You The Way To Go, Shake Your Body Down, Blame It On The Boogie, Can You Feel It?, She's Out Of My Life, Off The Wall, Get On The Floor, Rock With You, It's The Falling In Love, Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', P.Y.T, Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, The Way You Make Me Feel, I Just Can't Stop Loving You, Smooth Criminal, Dirty Diana, Dangerous, Man In The Mirror, They Don't Care About Us, Heal The World, Bad and Black or White.
Overall, I would give the show 9/10. A brilliant night out that I will never forget.
Summary: An amazing night out that all ages will enjoy
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