I saw Michael Jackson in concert – Marbella, August 1988, the Bad tour. My 11 year old daughter, though, will never get to experience the King of Pop live so what’s the next best thing? A tribute act, so far from my usual choice for a night out!
Ben is at the Playhouse, Weston as Jackson Live in Concert, complete with musicians, backing singer and dancers. The buzz is the room is set to ultra high and the sense of community here is like no other place we visit, bolstered by the fact that I find myself sitting smack bang between my current next door neighbour and three members of the family we lived next to when I was a teenager and haven’t seen for years (we were close enough for them to come and visit us when we lived in Spain and they eventually moved there too). How does that even happen? The age range goes from about four to 80-something. A few people are wearing the iconic MJ hat, the odd fan is in full Jackson dress, make-up and all. Even though there are plenty of men in the audience, there is a distinct hen night feel to the place – “We love you, Ben!” and “We’ve missed you!” shouted out from (female) members of the audience.
They’ve seen him before and know what to expect. Ben really means it. He is Ben but he is also Michael, his voice sounding eerily like the superstar who gave us decades of hit records. Most of those tunes I heard on the Bad tour are here and more. And we all know every word to every song. Ben is clearly enjoying himself as he belts out number after number from early The Jacksons to classic disco tracks from ‘Off the Wall’ to those glorious 80’s smashers and beyond. His two dancers change costume too many times to count, bringing attitude and funk to the proceedings, while his band deliver every time.
Ben knows his audience well and everyone is having such a good evening. My daughter keeps asking why I’m laughing and smiling so much – I can’t help it because Ben is so endearing, so much fun!! So, I apologise massively for disregarding tribute bands – Ben has won me over, his rendition of what might be the greatest pop record of all time, Billie Jean, being a special theatrical treat.
Do it – go and have some fun. No thinking necessary
See what else is on at The Playhouse here