Everyone that knows me will always link me to the biggest selling musical family of all time. They are the musical royalty family known as the Jacksons. Michael, to me, the world’s greatest entertainer passed away on June 25, 2009. This left his brothers to pick up the pieces and do what they have always loved to do. PERFORM AND ENTERTAIN. Michael would be so proud to see his big brothers at the ripe ages of 55 – 61 giving a 125% effort in dancing and singing for their 2 month tour. I strongly believe they will perform overseas too because the fans wants to see this. We will see. The Jackson’s parents, Joe, 83 and Katherine, 82 years old definitely wanted to see their sons perform one more time. I’m so glad they did.
I knew I was going to see The Jacksons in concert on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at Chastain Park here in Atlanta, Georgia with a group of friends. I never thought about flying to New York to see them perform at the Historical Apollo Theatre “Where Stars Are Born and Legends Are Made” on June 28, 2012 until a friend, “BJ” mentioned something to me. He said “wouldn’t it be something to go see the Jacksons perform at the Apollo, knowing that’s where amateur night in 1969 began for the Jackson and little Michael at age 10. From that time on, I kept dreaming about going even though it was SOLD OUT for 3 months. The Saturday before the concert, I called Ticketmaster and was able to get that one seat on Row I (9) center stage. That was so unbelievable. I knew GOD had looked after me once again. I thank God for my cousin Alan allowing me to stay with him. That was a life saver.
When I flew over New York, it was breathtaking looking at the harbor on the Hudson River with all those ships and seeing Ms Statue of Liberty standing there so proudly. I was so excited and acting like a kid.
My cousin Alan picked me up and we drove all over the New York bridges. The New York City lights captivated me. I had flash backs (1988) when a friend’s husband picked me up from the Amtrak train station in his job’s truck. He was driving on all those bridges scaring me in a way that was similar to how cousin Alan was scaring me. The next day, Alan and I had fun shopping and tasting some good New York food. After a while, it was time to get ready for the concert. Before getting ready, I had a surprise phone call from a friend that also made my day. Cousin Alan rode the subway-train with me near Manhattan where the Apollo was located. When we arrived on that street, I was so excited when I saw the marquee welcoming The Jacksons AND ME (smile). There was a lot of excitement outside the Apollo. Entering, I headed right to the restroom where I met several ladies. One lady just started talking “I’m a 55 years old retired Policeman and I came to the concert by myself”. I said “well I got you beat, I came all the way from Atlanta all by myself”. (Found out later others from Africa, Japan came too). When I was telling them about my journey, I became emotional and started crying because the Jacksons have been part of my life since childhood (age 8). All of those Jacksons moments have been happy times. Happy times are what you want to hold on to for great memories sake. Without adding more details to this story, I will say I have been fortunate in my life to have met and talked to Marlon, Jermaine, and Jackie twice each and Sister Reebie once. All of them have been so nice to me. They are respectful soft-spoken people.
The ladies and I who were in the restroom started walking up the steps when we heard the music starting. Our old selves flew up those steps in our high heels. Even though I suppose to have been sitting on row 9, I flew straight to the stage and there I was for the first 20 – 30 minutes of the show. I was so overwhelmed with excitement. I was jumping up, smiling, laughing with amazement at being entertained by these mature Jacksons men still dancing like they were in their 20’s. I really enjoyed looking at these middle age men showing their physic, muscles, etc. They are really in shape. That’s says a lot about them taking care of themselves.
They really performed with so much energy and laughter, like they were really enjoying this moment. The magic was there and it was just beautiful seeing the Jacksons feeding off their fans who were feeding off of them. It was a great historical moment and I’m so thankful I was there to witness it. I have seen several Apollo internet small video clips and I know I saw myself all in white. The Jacksons had cameras filming the fans from backstage. They probably will laugh at me when they see me screaming and cutting up.
Though I was standing at the stage first part of the concert when the slow songs started, I finally went to my seat for a moment because of Security. However, when I saw it was getting closer to the end, I jumped back up and went toward the front of the stage again. When I saw Marlon starting to shake the fan’s hands, I barged on up closer until he actually shook my hand. I was so so happy that I squeezed his hand tighter. Then guess what happen. My dog gone fingernail broke. I couldn’t believe that…Honestly, when I was getting ready for the concert my nail broke then. I couldn’t believe that. It looked like we were running late so Alan said I was going to have to go to the concert with a broke fingernail. If you could only seen the look I gave him. Do you think I was going to see my Jackson men with a missing finger nail. Alan and I walked to the beauty store to get the glue. While riding the subway train, that’s when I had to glue my nail. The nail stayed glued on, up until I squeezed Marlon’s hand and it fell off.
Overall, I was so proud of how they looked, sounded and the great tribute they gave to their baby brother. Yes, I shed tears. They said this concert is also a healing process. The Jacksons really did their “thang”. I saw 70’s & 80’s musician, Ray Parker Jr. sitting by Jermaine’s wife. After the show was over, I saw a white man of importance looking at the empty stage in amazement. He turned to one of Earth Wind & Fire’s band member and said “they blew me away, they blew me away”. I wanted to get in their conversation so bad and say “I know you right”.
After it was over, I was trying to get back stage to meet the Jacksons but no luck. I believe I was one of the last one to leave the Apollo and I hated to leave after coming all the way from Atlanta. Also, I found out Jermaine and Tito surprisingly came to watch Amateur Night the day before their concert. Everyone was shocked and surprised they took time to do that. They are so humble and have not forgotten they were in the same shoes in 1969, 43 years ago. The saying is so true “The Apollo is Where Stars Are Born, And Legends Are Made”. That’s why they are legends.
After their concert at the Apollo, people still didn’t want to go home. I met a lot of people and we had fun conversations while vendors were still selling Jacksons souvenirs. Even the Michael Jackson look alikes didn’t want to go home. One guy was saying he was so glad his daughter surprised him with a Jackson’s ticket for Father’s Day. Everyone was satisfied and happy after the concert. Some was surprised they sounded so great and was able to pull off Michael’s solo parts. I told them, Joe Jackson taught them in the beginning to be professional at all times while entertaining and they have lived up to it. Also, I met a Jackson fan who has become famous for all of her Jacksons inputs and stories on You Tube. I recognized her voice first. She was so cool and funny. Finally, I got on the subway and my cousin Alan met me at the end of the route.
For more breaking news about the Jacksons Unity Tour 2012, please visit the official site http://www.thejacksons.com/ or The Jacksons on Facebook
Copyright © 2012.JUL This story was written and photographs captured by Renee Sudderth for Splash Magazine . It is not to be sold or reproduced without written permission of Renee Sudderth.