Control

Janet Jackson smacks down the Moody Theater

Control

Stadium shows at the Moody Theater have become breathtaking already, and in the outsize case of Janet Jackson there this past Sunday, ear-bleeding. And that was before the tiny dancer's hour-long street musical to near-capacity hysteria.

Granted, dance music of the 1980s and 1990s suffers from the same metallic brightness as any other genre riding the advent of compact discs, but when Jackson's sonic smack down of stainless steel post-R&B out shreds last night's Rotting Christ assault in Emo's front room, someone needs to turn down and it's not the metallurgic Greeks.

Volume trauma aside, Jackson's performance registered inversely proportional to her petite size and voice. Though there's nothing small to the singer's 33 Number Ones on her 2009 double-disc, nor her sitcom, film, and MTV career – photo montages here broken up by clips reeling through Different Strokes, Poetic Justice, and the Austin tour stop dedication of 1986 breakout video “Control,” respectively – Jackson's kittenish growl still managed to make itself heard above a fivepiece band with three keyboards and a trio of singers. Her head mic and dance regime for herself and her black-clad East Side Story crew didn't leave much oxygen for singing, but the treadmill hits, audience adulation, and Madonna-like stage workout did all the vocalizing necessary.

Beginning with “The Pleasure Principle” and marching through “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” “Feedback,” “Miss You Much,” and “Nasty” one after the other in her black tank-top, booty-hugging black jeans, and black work boots, the 44-year-old baby of the Jackson clan kept the regime churning to the moves of her hot-stepping chorus. When she sat down to deliver intimate fare – “Again,” “Love Will Never Do (Without You”) – her voice was still blurred by acoustics, but at least a sweet slice of her purr made it through the din. A little analog cushioning would do Jackson a world of good.

“Escapade,” “That's The Way Love Goes,” and “Scream” mashed up behind a Theater-rocking “Rhythm Nation,” and in encore “Diamonds” cascaded white light into Jackson's succeeding tribute to her brother Michael, whose profile in pictures matches his sister's only to a point (his). Michael might be King, but Janet Jackson now crowns the family business.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Janet Jackson
ACL Live Review: Kaytranada
Kaytranada
Montreal DJ coverts Shazam addicts

Kahron Spearman, Oct. 12, 2019

Sam Smith Channels Luther Vandross
Sam Smith Channels Luther Vandross
UK pop star leaves the Erwin Center rapt

Kahron Spearman, July 23, 2018

More by Raoul Hernandez
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Exhorder, Lera Lynn, Sobbrs, a Tom Waits tribute, and more shows worth seeing

Dec. 3, 2021

Biography of Spooky Rocker Roky Erickson Gets Inside the Myth and Madness
Biography of Spooky Rocker Roky Erickson Gets Inside the Myth and Madness
New oral history explores the head and mysteries of Austin's psych pioneer

Dec. 3, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Rotting Christ

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle