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Janet Jackson Brings The Classics To Barclays For Her “State of the World” Tour

Photo Credit: Farrenton Grigsby

The legendary Queen of Pop, Janet Jackson, brought social awareness, class and all the hits to Brooklyn for her “State of the World” tour stop.

In a world where Donald Trump’s paper cup castle seems to be falling apart, white terrorism is at an all-time high and the meek are beginning to inherit the Earth — Janet Jackson couldn’t have arrived at a better time to spread her message of love, peace and Rhythm Nation. Last night, Nov. 15, the youngest Jackson sister came to Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center for her “State of the World” tour, and boy, did she come with it in a major way. Her opening montage, which kicked off the show, was culled right from her Rhythm Nation album, but fueled with headlines seemingly from today’s paper. As images of racial unrest adorned three large draped screens, she quickly followed with a suggestion to the problem: “The Knowledge”.

For 40 minutes, Janet Jackson held Brooklyn in the palm of her hand (like the Queen she is) with topical jams (“State of the World”), chart-topping bops (“Miss U Much,” “Nasty”) and all the while she managed to come off as timeless as ever. It hurts a bit to say that because nothing in life with racism and injustice has changed, Janet’s “State of the World” tour felt like she was reporting on today’s issues instead of those from back in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Her opening volley of impressive hits and updated choreography left Barclays rocking from excitement. It was an absolute delight to see that Janet still had all the moves while locking the crowd’s attention like a vice grip. As the floorboards within Barclays bounced up-and-down like a trampoline from the crowd’s utter excitement, Janet had went through arguably the first 10 years of her career of hits. Crisp moves, electric energy, pulsating out into the atmosphere, Brooklyn was definitely all for Janet.

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Hell, “Control,” “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” and “Pleasure Principle” went the funk off, back-to-back-to-back, and had yours truly doing all the dances. Yes, all the dances! The underlining message of the night was that even though the world may be a frightening place full of hate speech, ineptitude and violence — this place at Barclays was safe and it was a space to heal and love one another in an intimate, rhythmic way. The tone began to shift and the colors swapped out for a warmer palette as “Escapade” began to play. Viral dance stars Kyndall Harris and Taylor Hatala joined Janet’s cavalcade of body-shakers and put on a dazzling routine during “When I Think Of You” played—a song Janet first performed at 19-years-old.

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A brief intermission allowed for the Brooklyn audience to catch their breath, get their second wind for the onslaught that was yet to come.

Dressed in a ‘90s-inspired garb, Janet slowed it down with “Come Back To Me,” before segueing into “No Sleep,” which made the crowd pop in a loud way. A digitized J. Cole followed an earlier appearance from Missy Elliott as the Dreamville CEO rapped his verse from “No Sleep,” adorned with stars forming a human constellation and impressing this writer with some slick guest appearances on the humble. She smoothly went into “Gone Til’ It’s Gone,” which didn’t have a drop-in from Kamaal the Abstract, and underlayed “That’s The Way Love Goes” with “What’s It Gonna Be,” but had no Busta Rhymes’ “rah-rah-rahing” like a Dungeon Dragon on the Barclays stage. Janet would later stand aside as her dancing troupe got busy during an uptick in the performance. Everyone had their moment to shine with their moves, as Janet looked on like a proud mama.

She explored her own personal demons on the intense-filled track, “What About,” where the dancers played out domestic abuse between couples. It was an uber-emotive moment for Janet, as she possibly was pulling from her currently pending divorce from Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana. Nearly being brought to tears, Janet told the cheering crowd, “This right here is me,” as a video montage of her fighting through emotions to be happy played out on the screen behind her. On the other end, songs such as “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” and “Together Again,” found her paying a quick tribute to her brother, Michael Jackson, saying, “I miss you, Mike,” before jumping into her duet, “Scream,” singing alongside her late brother.

As the show came to a close, Janet took us through highs, lows, and everything in-between. She was beautiful, graceful, energetic and highly concerned for the state of our world today through it all. Finishing off with the big hits (“If,” “Rhythm Nation”) — Janet came out after chants for an encore. She went through a medley of deep album cuts before settling on “I Get So Lonely” to bring it all home. Finally, after thanking the crew, introducing the band and her dancers, Janet let it all hang out at Brooklyn as her Rhythm Nation was impacted and ready to spread the love to the masses.

Don’t miss out on this great experience. Check out Janet’s “State of the World” tour dates below and get your ticket NOW!

11/16/17 Washington, DC Verizon Center
11/18/17 Baltimore, MD Royal Farms Arena
11/19/17 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
11/26/17 Indianapolis, IN Bankers Life Fieldhouse
11/28/17 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center
11/29/17 Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena
12/01/17 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
12/03/17 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
12/04/17 Lexington, KY Rupp Arena
12/06/17 Memphis, TN FedEx Forum
12/07/17 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
12/09/17 Birmingham, Al The BJCC
12/11/17 Fort Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
12/12/17 Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
12/14/17 Norfolk, VA Norfolk Scope Arena
12/16/17 Columbia, SC Colonial Life Arena
12/17/17 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena

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