Will The Real Michael Jackson Please Stand Up?

Jackson Live
Theatre Severn
15th June 2013

Objectively I want to say that if one had to endure a tribute band and you are a Michael Jackson fan I would advise you to think about going to see Sweeney Entertainment’s Michael Jackson Tribute Band.

Note for note and beat for beat the performance was perfect. The movement, the live backing band, the girl dancers and the man himself, Jackson, all went to create a near perfect copy of a Michael Jackson concert.

The partisan crowd were delighted and were dancing in the aisles. For some, one presumes, were as lost in this copy, as much as had they might have been, at a true Michael Jackson concert. That, I would argue, is what these performers had come to do. They had ticked their list of objectives perfectly and the audience were prepared to buy into this permissible deception.

So what more can be said? The band came did a brilliant job at what they do and the audience liked it. Sounds like job done really. It is essential for these nights that guarantee a big audience to make enough to underwrite the smaller less likely shows. That’s good business.

The sub text is as always when one sees a tribute band; is it a recognisable art form or is plagiarism? It is worth noting that that issue was lost amongst the fans that bought into the whole show and delighted in every step and every moonwalk. The entire show was certainly lapped up and the audience, some in Jackson costumes screamed and cheered. When “Jackson” came down off the stage people were reaching out just to touch their imitation hero.

Vocally the artists were so spot on, one could easily have imagined that they were miming to the man himself, but they weren’t. Naturally it is difficult not to be impressed by such accuracy and this reviewer would give a King’s ransom to dance half as well as any of them. They were superb.

Musically the back line comprised of two drummers lead guitar and bassist. Unselfishly the guitarists joined in the dancing at the front of the stage and pulled focus from “Jackson,” but it all made quite a spectacle. As for the lighting and sound, they worked so well together creating a sense of something so much bigger than the show actually was and the space was used wisely and intelligently giving a true international concert feel.

In summary this was a great show, for Jackson fans. It has questionable artistic integrity, as tribute bands do, but leaving that argument to one side for a minute one would say that the audience went home happy and even I was whistling Billy Jean as I made my way to my car.

This is a four star review,

Owen Lewis.


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. Follow hos blogspot at https://owenscribblerlewis.blogspot.com

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I saw this show, and read this review with irritation and disbelief. I've just been back through some earlier posts by this reviewer. I hope that Owen Lewis's reviews will turn out to be building up to some kind of superb viral Alan Partridge type satire. It is the only possible explanation I can think of for publishing them. Obviously it is a cover band and the pathetic whiny remarks about artistic integrity have no place here. I guess it was more popular than any of his horrendous attempts at being a playwright. Not surprising since a dead animal that has been by the side of the road for a few days could draw a bigger crowd than Owen's theatrical efforts too. This is a 0 star review.