“This incredible production stars the world’s leading MJ tribute artist Navi who is joined by Michael Jackson’s iconic guitarist – Jennifer Batten.
… Jennifer has teamed up with Navi for an unforgettable experience – taking fans closer than ever dreamed to an original MJ concert.”
Whenever I watch a show that has the word ‘tribute’ in its advert, I get a little nervous. Although it is
“an act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration”
rather than a carbon copy of the original, there’s enormous pressure in delivering a production associated with the name Michael Jackson. Love him, hate him, or whatever in between, you have to admit the guy was a phenomenal showman, and a true legend during his 50 years on earth.
The show opens with the band taking their positions, as a video of Navi and Michael runs in the background. I found it a bit strange as it seemed to be trying to convince the viewer that this Navi guy is absolutely amazing and the closest link to the world of MJ.. Surely we would tell that from his performance and the show itself?!
I’m a bit of a cynical reviewer, and the first few songs didn’t see me swinging from the rafters. As usual with anything ‘tribute’ I was struggling to get into the groove – it’s a challenge for me to transcend beyond the literal! Just when I started thinking about my choice of interval beverage, a change in energy occurred. The delectable Jennifer Batten made her way on stage, reminding me that I too could have hung out with rock stars and travelled the globe. .. If only I had taken grade 4 violin and oboe more seriously!
The atmosphere switched, the audience got a little wild, and the riffs were spine tingling. I began to find my ‘tribute vibe’ , and although I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as the MJ superfan to my left I began singing along, and indulging in some rhythmic clapping. My attention was piqued by one of the male dancers during the show, as he offered tightly choreographed moves alongside a killer smile! He gets my vote as a new member of the Dreamboys in 2017 that’s for sure.
Overall a great night for audiences of any age, but I was extremely disappointed that the earth song didn’t make the final cut!! Navi is amazing as an MJ lookalike, and has a crotch thrust to rival the late master himself. My only confusion was around the singing… Was he miming? I had anticipated live singing, but it seemed more like the band playing to a backing cd with Navi miming/singing alongside? (Again, here enters my ‘tribute’ *confusion..) Definitely a fantastic evening out for Michael Jackson fans, and despite my reservations I ended up warbling along shamelessly by the end. Thank you Aylesbury Waterside for a fantastic evening out!
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