The North American leg of Saint Damita Jo's Number Ones Up Close and Personal tour kicked off in Hidalgo, Texas last night at the State Farm Arena. After a successful trial run with five shows in Asia, Janet Jackson is bringing her intimate tour to the states. The svelte 44-year-old is on the road in support of her Number Ones greatest hits collection, celebrating 35 number one singles and three decades as pop royalty. Most exciting are the setlist revisions, which include the addition of my personal favorites "All Nite (Don't Stop)" and "I Get Lonely" and the axing of the bring-a-fan-on-stage-and-hump-his-face segment of the show. Judging from the reviews and the constant positive press Ms. Jackson has received as of late, this is one of the smartest career moves she's made in the past decade. Scrapping megadomes and mondoginormoplex arenas for a more scaled down production allows her to mount more shows while maximizing profit and working her way back into the public's good graces. The show merely serves as the latest in a recent stretch of positive press helping her rebound from the visually stunning yet commercial disappointment that was her Rock Witchu Tour.
After the bounce
It's no secret that the past decade has been none to kind to Aunt Janet. From the aftermath of the Super Bowl to some avoidable career and creative slumps, 2011 is already a far cry from years ago. With an ever-expanding world tour before her, a recent New York Times Bestseller self-help book to her credit, a stream of public praise, and a new non-troll billionaire boyfriend, Saint Damita Jo is back on the right track. As of today, the North American leg of the tour has 31 planned dates, and more are being added regularly. The European leg begins in June, and South American and Australian dates have yet to be revealed. At any rate, I shall see Janet and the Jacksonettes in New York and Connecticut this month, and, as with the three trips to the Rock Witchu Tour, I shall be a dancing, relentlessly wild fool. I'm equally happy and surprised she even pulled this off, as many have suggested she throw in the towel time and time again, claiming her time in the spotlight had passed. I can report that Saint Damita Jo will bless them if they pray for forgiveness. Check out a clip of her in Asia below and ticket info here.
[Photo: Janet Love]