NEW YORK — Celebrating her 35 “Number Ones” in as many cities across the world, Janet Jackson stopped in NYC this weekend and proved she’s as resilient as ever.
Uncharacteristically for Radio City Music Hall, things were running well behind schedule, but the energy in the sold-out venue was enough to keep everyone abuzz. When the house lights finally came down, the audience took a collective breath in anticipation as Miss Jackson appeared in center stage and began a medley of hits with the ever pleasing “Pleasure Principle.” Aglow and svelte, Janet wore (what looked to be) vinyl from head to toe. Resembling something from the Matrix Trilogy, Jackson’s costume was in keeping with the starkly beautiful set design; evocative of industrialism, where curves meet angles and skin meets steel.
It was just as I was beginning to fully appreciate this visual juxtaposition when I was ushered out of the press box by someone with a name tag and bigger muscles than me. Janet’s second song had ended and, per our press agreement, those of us without tickets were forced to leave.
Though I knew this was inevitable, once Janet hit the stage, the world around me disappeared and I was six-years-old again, mesmerized by an iconic woman who has forever kept me dancing. As I was “getting my bag” (nod, nod, wink, wink), I quickly shuttered off a few more shots, but Mr. Muscles caught me and followed me up the aisle with his steely eyes until I was safely out of photo-distance from the artist. Then it was over. The whole event happened in a flash, a brief wondrous collision of doing what I love to do (taking pictures) and precious nostalgia.
In the last year Janet Jackson has released her “Number Ones” album, co-wrote the theme song “For Nothing” for Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, Too?, starred in the critically acclaimed film For Colored Girls, and published her first book “True You.” Janet’s electrifying presence last night in her latest stop on this world-tour was just the latest coup in her illustrious and hard-earned career.