After months of planning, saving and waiting, the gang and I finally left for Vancouver last week. When Janet promised a tour in support of her latest album, “Discipline”, we were understandably skeptic. Then Def Jam head LA Reid confirmed that, yes, Damita would be hitting the road. And we began saving.
Seven years is a long time to wait to see your favorite artist in concert. Spot performances and events aside, the last time we saw Janet on tour was 2001.
I didn’t even have locks then.
Earlier this Spring, details began leaking about a planned (possibly World) tour. Janet confirmed this poorly kept secret via a performance and appearance on Ellen. (here and here) The Rock Witchu Tour was set to kick off in the fall. In Vancouver.
My dick dripped.
Years ago, after the tour we were promised in support of “Damita Jo” (“sometime in the fall,” she told us) never materialized, my friends and I decided that whenever she did tour, we would be at opening night…no matter where the shit was. True fans, indeed.
Fast forward to last week. Our patience was rewarded. Teaser video clips from Jermaine Dupri, a lengthy press release from Janet and tidbits dropped via AIM convos w her choreographer/director, Gil (my fucking role model) built this trip up to the level of a religious pilgrimage…for me, anyway.
Our initial flight was delayed because of an approaching storm. 15 minutes became thirty….I fell asleep as we pulled away from the gate at about 7:15am.. When I awoke at 11:25, we were in the SAME spot on the runway. In fucking Nueva York. Good times.
This flight was eventually canceled and rebooked for an hour later. As we waited to reboard, we happened upon the beautiful soul sister I named “Red Pantsuit”.
Whatever her reason for flying, homegirl reached in that closet and pulled out her bestest (shoulder shimmy) traveling pants. Now combine that top notch style with the 5 pounds of hair she had bonded to her scalp and you hoes better go sit down and rethink some things.
one more time….
Sistagirl gave it to you bargain bin bitches from row 1, seat A in first class.
Take notes ladies.
Instead of going nonstop, we stopped of in Calgary before arriving in Vancouver at about 7:30pm.
Blah blah blah Cab ride to the hotel…blah blah blah sneaking 5 ppl into a room intended for four….
We made a brief pitstop to take much needed showers (by then I smelled like the aftermath of a barnyard fuckfest ). We pooched over to Red Robin with every intention of gaining 5 lbs apiece.
After Cheese sticks with this insanely good pepper jam or whatever it was called (surely, crack was an ingredient), a basket of chicken wAngs, some sick ass burgers, and cheesecake, I’m sure we accomplished our goal.
After eating enough food to feed a village of African orphans, we journeyed across town in search of the GM Place (or the “GM Palace,” as Jermaine Dupri called it). We happened upon an group of fellow Janet crazies from the States. Names escape me. Apparently, they were all active members of the Janet Xone boards and introduced themselves by their board screen names.
We recognized eachother from events as far back as Damita Jo (2004) and had seen eachother at performances, signings, and appearances for 20 Y.O. And Discipline. They had been there for over half a day, watching dancers come and go, recording video blogs and listening to rehearsals from outside the non-soundproof arena.
Personally, part of the thrill in seeing a show for the first time is not knowing what’s next. Now, not only did they know the show’s setlist the night before, but they sent it to a friend back home who posted in online for all the other anxious Janet crazies to see. THEN, when Janet left after 2am and stopped to chat with them they LIED TO HER FUCKIN FACE, saying “Yea, we heard the setlist but won’t tell anybody.”
Anywho, we returned to the hotel to sleep. With the AC on, of course. And, naturally, I woke up feeling like I’d been fucked in the throat with a jackhammer. Ugh. My life.
Before heading to the arena, we stopped for breakfast at Denny’s (which will NEVER be IHOP) where we spotted the 3rd or 4th (nonhomeless) negro we had seen in Vancouver up until that point.
(one of the 3 negros we saw. and he looked insane.)
My mediocre dining experience was enhanced by our adorable waitress, who ended every sentence, be it a question or declarative statement, with “Yes, thank you.”
“Would you like another tea or Pepsi, yes thank you?”
“…and here is your toast yes, thank you.”
“No more juice, yes thank you?”
And so forth.
My assumption was that “yes, thank you,” was one of the few pages she studied in the Waitress English Handbook. Needless to say we took that shit and ran with it.
Off to the venue, where happiness awaited. We hoofed it again, allowing us to take in Vancouver during the daytime. The city is much cleaner than New York. The bus system appears to be connected to power lines (electric, maybe?). We also noticed that their construction zones are so neat and contained. Gated and visibly hazard-free. No opportunities for huge glass panels to crash down on pedestrians (twice in three months here in New York). Still no coloreds.
We made it to the venue hella early. No lines. None of the other lying crazies from the night before. However, we did come across this crazy broad rightchea.
Don’t ask me her name. I’ve suppressed most of our interactions. Apparently, she drove from Seattle. And was staying in a friend’s apartment in Vancouver. And previously drove to Vancouver for some other show. And probably has a supercool white jacket with long sleeves and hooks that wraps all the way around so she can hug herself. And didn’t have anybody to chat with…until she happened upon us.
Aint we so lucky?
And she’s very touchy. I’m all for hugs and molestation and such. But NOT from a crazy. In the midst of telling her travel adventures, relaying her excitement for Janet, and sharing the story of her conception she felt compelled to SHOW how happy she was.
“OOOOH I’m so excited! I just need to hug somebody! C’mere!”
And she hugged somebody. Several times.
Naturally, I avoided homegirl the way I avoid vaginas. Keepeth the fuck back, girl. Yuck.
Anywho. Upon successfully ditching Emily Rose we entered the arena. Still no huuuuge crowd. But it was still early and there was never really any announcement of an opening act. The $2350 we spent on tickets got us inside the “Golden Circle”. Up until that point, fans could only speculate as to the stage design and seating arrangements. Catwalk no catwalk? B-stage? Stairs? Everyone had their theories.
Turns out there was both a catwalk and a B-stage. And we were inside the shit. Basically inside her womb.
(we were riiiight in the middle of that space there. can you spot me?)
Amazing seats. Fucking amazing, actually. Even as we sat in our seats and observed the hundreds of Janet shirts, Janet hoodies, tacky janet posters and so forth, everything was still surreal.
PsychoGirl1814 found us again. And demanded two pictures. “A normal one. and a superstar one.”
oh really, girl?
Before THIS pic, I confided in the man who took the pic that, “I don’t even know this bitch’s name,” and wondered aloud, “where does Janet find these people?!?!”
As he snapped, he said, “SAAAAAY CRAZY!” prompting this laughter:
i think this was the “normal” one. for the superstar picture, she flipped down her hater blocker shades.
note: i know the way she styles on you hoes in her “jlo”by Jennifer Lopez gear (she told us) is breaking your heart. it’s okay. dust yourself off and try again.
It wasn’t until the lights dimmed that it hit me: We are at Damita’s first concert in seven damn years. In the 8th row.
Without reviewing each song, I shall just say that I can’t pick a favorite. The whole motherfucker was my favorite. Two and a half hours of this old pretty ass bitch dancing her ass off surrounded by nine insanely talented dancers. High energy from beginning to end.
From a choreography standpoint, it was brilliant. In addition to the dozens of timeless routines we all know, love, and performed along with them from our seats, the tour features very appropriate updates of classic moves (see the updated choreography to “Control” and “That’s the Way Love Goes”). The idea of revamping previously legendary moves is tricky and doesn’t always work out in the choreographer’s favor (see the updated “Together Again” from the All For You Tour). Tina Landon’s choreography for the Velvet Rope project was butchered by the anxious, extremely talented, and otherwise amazing Shawnette Heard and Marty Kudelka on the All For You Tour. Thankfully, Gil Duldulao’s revisions worked beautifully. I love he. Shit!
She did a medly of songs from 1982, for the “true, diehard fans”: HERE
An amazing view of the opening and some of the updated choreography during “Control”: HERE
Damita being a hoebag during “Discipline”. I love it: HERE
Feedback. dope dope dope.: HERE
I probably danced just as much as the dancers onstage. I definitely screamed, yelled, and sang more than most around me. I just think its super corny and whack to attend an event such as that concert and sit down or be reserved and quiet. WHAT’S THE FUCKING POINT!?!?
After stripping my throat and abusing my body, we filed out into the hall where, still high off excitement, we spotted the amazing, amazing, amazing, talented and still-beautiful Kelly Konno leaving the venue.
She danced with Janet during the janet. Tour, Velvet Rope Tour, and Rhythm Nation tour. A bad bitch indeed. Still flawless. And skinny.
Around back where the dancers and crew leave, we spotted Gil Duldulao (choreographer/director) chatting w fans. He let us know that she would definitely be hitting up Europe, Asia, Australia, and maybe South America…before coming back for more US dates. And Hawaii next year. We are so there.
Also got to throw praise at the show’s MVP’s Victor, Jillian, and Laurel.
I told Jillian, “Girl I don’t know where you came from, but don’t you ever stop dancing.” In true Dre fashion, he told the girls they ought to be slapped for being so fucking amazing. So humble, they were.
Then we left, replaying the show in our heads all night and the next day as we journeyed back home. All that we had been through now seemed worth it andn looking back, I’d do the shit again. ONLY for that bitch. Say what you will…nobody puts on a show like that. I take nothing away from your Madonnas, Beyonces, Mariahs (who I don’t think could perform her way out of a wet paper bag these days) and Britneys, because I respect them all. But there is NOTHING like a Janet Jackson show dammit. I encourage you to pull the money out of your ass, suck some dick, sling some dick or do whatever you gotta do to just be in the building. It’s worth it. It’s worth it. It’s worth it.
I promise you.
If you don’t agree, fuck you in the mouth with a Robert Kelly dick.
I’m off to listen to if. Fuck you and goodnight.