After postponing her Unbreakable World Tour, having a baby, and leaving a marriage that wasn’t good for her mental and emotional health, music legend Janet Jackson promised her fans she would come back on the road, and she did. Earlier in the fall, she embarked on her revamped, State of the World tour, and Made in Stone was there for her Chicago stop!
Last night, on October 26th, Janet performed to a sold-out crowd in the Windy City, with many of her fans, dressed in her iconic outfits, cheering her on, while celebrities including Anita Wilson, Taraji P. Henson . With DJ Aktive pumping up the crowd, the audience roared when the lights went out and the monitors flashed images of riots and symbols used by hate groups, as well as names of victims of police brutality including Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, and others. A silhouette of Janet appeared and she opened the show with “The Knowledge”, then lead into “State of the World”, both from her Rhythm Nation 1814 album. Janet then performed “Burn It Up”, Milly Rocked a few times, and then performed her classic hits such as “Nasty”, “Miss You Much” (with the video intro playing), and “All For You”. Janet stunned the crowd when she mixed “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” with Busta Rhymes “What’s It Gunna Be?” (a song she was featured on), and mixed “That’s The Way Love Goes” with Aaliyah’s “Rock The Boat”.
In classic Janet, she got everyone dancing and grooving, but the crowd got even more excited when she performed “Throb” and “Together Again”, before tackling issues of domestic abuse by performing “What About”. Fans were eager and ready as the music lead into “If” and “Rhythm Nation” as Janet performed the iconic choreography from both videos. As Janet performed “New Agenda” from her 1993 janet. album, she introduced the crowd to her dancers and her band, then performed “Dammn Baby” and “I Get Lonely” before closing the show with “Well Traveled” as a video montage of her and her crew rehearsing for the tour.
As Janet was the first of her musical peers in the 80’s to use her mainstream platform to bring awareness to social justice issues, it’s amazing to see how her message is still relatable, and still touching the hearts of fans, from people old enough to be my parents, to kids who weren’t even thought (as black folks say it) when MTV honored her with the Icon award. In a time when we have a president who’s interested in protecting his privilege than protecting the people of this country, Janet proves music is the voice of the people and representation matters. Janet’s State of the World Tour is a production that embodies Janet’s legacy: positivity, sleek sex appeal with the ability to stand tall in a world that tells you to sit down.