It’s with a bit of a heavy heart that much of the music world greeted the news of Michael Jackson’s series of concerts at the o2 this July (and, after ‘massive demand’ more in August). While it’s undeniable that, in his 70s and 80s pomp, there may not have been a better performer on the planet, since Bad, his career, and his life, have been one slow, painful descent into the abyss. Albums retreating further and further into schmaltz and saccharine pop, a shadow of his former self, and that was the good news. Sexual abuse allegations, failing health, baby dangling. It was a car crash that you couldn’t even bear to look at.
So, you have to ask the question: are we flocking to see him instigate a career renaissance, or to laugh at the freakshow? It’s no secret that, while this is billed as a gift to his many UK fans, The King of Pop is broke, so this is as much to probably pay his tax bill as much as give his die-hard (and probably blinkered) fans one last chance to see him. Compare it to Prince and it’s not hard to see where the pathos is heading.
Mind you, it could be worse. You could have to sit through U2’s latest album.