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Review: Janet Jackson sparks a rush of nostalgia

Published in the Vancouver Sun August 26, 2011. 


When you’ve got 34 number one songs to your name, you’re allowed to celebrate any way you want.

As the title of Janet Jackson’s current Number Ones: Up Close & Personal tour suggested, the 45-year-old R&B pop star chose to look back at her fertile career with a wine-and-sweatpants type of affair rather than an elaborate princess party. The iconic artist, born Janet Damita Jo Jackson, reveled in retrospective glory simply by hanging out with her closest fans in Vancouver’s living room. All that was missing was a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Jackson, often singularly known as Janet, brought her hits and her swagger to Queen Elizabeth Theatre Friday night, but it was an experience decidedly different than any of her standard live show spectacles. Janet could’ve easily swept us away with opulence, going the route with flying dancers and blazing fireworks, exotic stage setups and sexy costumes. Instead the Gary, Indiana-born songstress opted to put herself in the spotlight first and foremost.

Janet’s intention for the tour was to unplug. She wanted to perform in intimate settings for every stop on her largest international jaunt ever and stoke the embers of nostalgia. And overall, it was probably a smart move.

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