Michael Jackson - This Is It

When the news filtered through that Michael Jackson had passed away, I was shocked. I'm not a die hard Michael Jackson fan but I, like many people, grew up listening to him and count his records as some of the first I listened to and bought.

I remember being in primary school, going round to my mates Millsy and James Lawton's houses and listening to the Thriller album, most notably Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller. This was around the time he released the much under-rated Dangerous album with Black and White and Heal The World hitting the charts. We watched Moonwalker numerous times together with the HIStory video, replaying the Smooth Criminal video time and time again.

I remember one lunch time at primary school, the 3 of us walking around the field singing the songs together and doing the immature boy thing of hitting our pelvis everytime we did the "Ow!".

The shocking thing about Michael Jackson's death, was that he had actually died. You had grown up in this balloon of him being invincible. The thought of Michael Jackson ever dying was inconceivable, and here we were, in the middle of him rehursing for a string of live dates at the 02 in London, he had passed away from a heart attack.

There were reports that at the turn of 50, he couldn't handle the 100 dates at O2. That he lived his life on a diet of painkillers. That it wouldn't be the same, that he couldn't sing, that he would no longer be able to dance like he used to.

Well having seen "This Is It", I can safely say that it would have been the most amazing concert. He would have firmly shut the mouths of those who dared to say he couldn't do it. The concert would have been talked about for years to come. That at the age of 50, he effortlessly moved through each song, everything sang in tune with same overwhelming emotion delivered back in the day. Everything looked and sounded perfect.

I thought this was going to be a film with 10 minutes of rehursal footage, and an hour of mind-numbing interviews. It wasn't. It was 90 minutes of pure live music, every single song in full. The great thing was you got to see the "behind the scenes" footage of putting together the videos for the concert, the dancers rehursing the moves, Michael meticulously rehursing with the band.

It was clear to see who was in charge and that was Michael. Everything had to be perfect, especially musically. The notes had to be delivered to perfection, every breakdown, intro or outro was timed on cue by Michael Jackson. It was perfection only other artists can strive to achieve. He wasn't frightened to change things, he knew what would work the crowd; "don't worry, that's the reason why we rehearse" he repeatedly said.

It was just breathtaking to see the energy, passion and movement he had. Unfortunately, we will never get to see the concert for real but thankfully we can at least savour these precious 90 minutes.

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