The Time I Experienced My First Janet Jackson Concert

Janet Jackson enchanting the crowd and we lived!

** I’m going to make a vlog post as well for my YouTube channel but I’m currently working through on-screen awkwardness .

I’d never been to a Janet Jackson concert before. EVER.  With her 7 year hiatus since the release of her last album Discipline, the announcement of new music and a world tour made me hell-bent to see my childhood idol live and in living color. I jumped at the opportunity and gathered my coins for the taking.

I got to attend her very first performance in the United States for the Unbreakable Tour in Grand Rapids on Friday, Sept. 11 and it was the most incredible two hours of my life. I almost stupidly decided not to go at the last-minute to avoid the highway drive but I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself.

As the days grew closer, I became so anxious and the two-hour ride made no difference. I never had the honor of seeing a Michael Jackson concert (the chaos of a crowded show and people fainting around me would stress an introvert like myself out) so I couldn’t let the chance go by to see Janet. Who knew if she’d pull another Sade move and we wouldn’t see her for 5-7 years again.

While we were in the arena anxiously waiting, she was tweeting backstage ready to shut shit down.
While we were in the arena anxiously waiting, she was tweeting backstage ready to shut shit down.

Grand Rapids + Janet: Lit, Lit, Lit: Janet Jackson’s Turn Up To Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice” Is A Must-See + Janet Jackson Gives Kendrick Lamar’s Poetic Justice The Ultimate Co-Sign

I sat in the arena, in pretty good view of the stage, as everyone filed in, took pictures or danced. My eye caught a heavyset white man in the floor seats with one hand in the air, the other cupping a beer and winding his hips to mix of Janet songs the DJ was playing. I was home amongst a crowd of Janet stans and it was pure perfection.

The moment the lights went down and her silhouette glowed from the curtains, every dance move, every “Oh my God!” I yelled as she went from song to song, as she looked to the crowd, giggled and said surely, “So many hits.”

Yes queen… your musical receipts are plentiful. And one  thing came to mind: “Janet, don’t ever leave again.” Then when she performed “If” with that oh so famous choreography, I made up in my mind that I want to be a sex symbol when I grow up.

And in true "stan" fashion, I went off in the name of Ms. Jackson on Twitter.
And in true “stan” fashion, I went off in the name of Ms. Jackson on Twitter.

I’ve loved Janet since I was a young girl, being glued to the television when her videos came on MTV and VH1 and because of her, my eyes were open to the beauty and freeness of sexuality. Especially with the site of her dancing erotically one a man strapped in a harness. Janet is bae.

It was a dream come true. Something I’ve imagined in my head and in the moment of being surrounded by other Janet fans, it was the most incredible experience I could ask for. It reminded me how much her music meant and still means to me. I still hope to have the pleasure to meet her and possibly even interview her. My fellow journalism friends assure me that I’m capable of asking the questions the people want, once I get pass hyperventilating and making a complete ass of myself  with tears and “Oh my God, I love yous” involved.

In that case, I really hope it happens.

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