If there was anybody who hadn’t forgiven Janet Jackson for canceling her 2016 tour to give birth to her son, they must have surely forgiven her now. It was before 6,304 hungry, screaming fans that Jackson performed before Saturday at Verizon arena, a venue she hadn’t visited in a decade and a half.
The show began about 8:35 p.m with a giant triptych of video screens showcasing all the turmoil dominating recent headlines.
Jackson began the concert with the 1989 cut for which the tour is named, then fast-forwarded to “Burnitup” from her 2015 album Unbreakable. Missy Elliott, who’s featured in the cut, appeared on video.
Still in modest-dress mode, Janet came out attired in a Matrix-movie-like black duster, combat boots and a flowing topknot ponytail that she put to good use during the evening with those jerky head movements that dominate her dance movies. She later ditched the coat to reveal a black catsuit, a contrast to the white attire of her dancers. Further into the show, she and the dancers donned layered street-urchin attire, then changed into black.
Although Jackson’s dance moves are more subdued than were in 1989, she made those moves count. A talented troupe of dancers — featuring a full-figured woman who got close to as many cheers as Jackson did — helped the singer take the audience on a romp through snippets of her older hits, including “Nasty,” “Miss You Much,” “Alright,” “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” “The Pleasure Principle,” “Escapade,” “All For You” and “When I Think of You,” the latter hit accompanied by a chair dance routine. Her hit…
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