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I am an undeniable fan of the Jackson entertainment empire. That is the most professional and entertaining family on the planet. Sadly we will never see another phenomenon like Michael Jackson for several lifetimes but we can still experience the Jackson legacy through Janet.

Ms. Jackson brought her “# 1’s” tour to The Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pa on Monday August 8, 2011. I was quite surprised that she would play a venue that small, I’m used to seeing her shows in huge arenas but I guess the economy caused everyone to downgrade. The intimacy of the theater made the concert more exciting, made her more accessible and made me more of a fan. The audience, looking like a snap shot of the United Nations, waited patiently for 20 minutes for the Escapade to begin and once the house lights dimmed the frenzy began. The band, featuring three musicians from Philadelphia, strolled on stage with three background singers and they were all dressed in white. Janet finally emerged from center stage dressed in dark colored jeans, black fitted top, white jacket and a head of long full hair; the girl looked great. She jump started the dance party with “Pleasure Principle” and the groove didn’t stop for 90 minutes. Janet had her dancers with her, four guys and two girls, who recreated the classic choreography from all of her hit videos.

This show did not have the sets, costuming or spectacle of The Velvet Rope Tour (the last Janet Jackson concert I saw), but the lack of flash did not diminish the energy of the performance or the excitement in the room. During her first “costume break” the large video screen on stage played several videos of her many acting roles including the infamous Penny-gets-abused scene from “Good Times,” the-engagement-to-Willis scene from “Different Strokes,” the-smell-my-poonani scene from “Poetic Justice” and finally the black-woman-gone-crazy-and-smash-everything-in-site scene from “Why Did I Get Married 2.” We all got a big kick out of re-living each cinematic moment. Once Janet returned to the stage she serenaded the audience with a bevy of ballads; that section of the show was actually a duet between Janet and the entire audience. The finale was a heart felt rendition of “Together Again” dedicated to her brother Michael. While she sang there were images of Janet & Michael on the screen behind her; she, like the rest of us, got choked up during the performance.

Every audience member stood, screamed, danced and sang with Ms. Janet, each one reminiscing about the days when they first heard her music, saw her on TV or attended their first Janet Jackson concert. This concert reminded me how much music can entertain, unite, inspire, spread love and heal; Janet continues to uphold her family’s musical legacy and I’m sure her brother Michael would applaud her accomplishments, as do I.- Tiffany Bacon, Cultural Ambassador

Check out my concert overview video below. If you would like to see more of this video visit TiffanyBaconOnline.Blogspot.com.

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