Janet Jackson rocks Royal Albert Hall

Check out our review of the pop legend's London performance

Fri 1 Jul 2011

We were front-row last night for Janet Jackson's first London gig in nearly two decades, as part of her incredible Number Ones: Up Close and Personal Tour. 

The pop legend played songs from her record-breaking career to a delighted crowd of fans at Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. It's astounding how many number one hits Janet has had (35!) - that's why she's pop royalty! 

She started the evening in white spandex and faux alligator skin - a get-up that only a genuine pop icon like Janet could pull off - and performed to endless screams as she rocked hits like What Have You Done For Me Lately and Nasty. 

The set was broken up by several video interludes featuring some of Janet's biggest on-screen moments. This included her role as adorable, bite-sized Millicent on 70s TV show Good Times and her jaw-dropping scene in Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), where she goes on a glass-smashing rampage of revenge with a golf club. 

Janet has spoken out about this gripping scene in the past, saying the expression of anger helped her deal with grief in the aftermath of brother Michael's death in 2009. 

The clip served as a good transition to the next part of the set, which featured a rocking tribute performance of Scream, where Janet dueted with her late brother via video clips from their 1995 hit. 

The diva extraordinaire sported a tight black vest, black jeans and boots, and gem-covered braces during the second half of the show, nailing quite a few dance numbers with her back-up dancers. Janet's dance routines have always been an important component of her videos and live acts, and at age 45 her moves are still spot-on. 

Janet closed the set with That's The Way Love Goes and a breath-taking rendition of Rhythm Nation, definitely the highlight performance of the night. 

The crowds went wild during her emotional encore, where she performed Together Again while a photo montage of Michael played behind her. With arms stretched skyward, she sang: "What I'd give just to hold you close/As on earth/In heaven we will be together." It was hard not to be stirred by the tribute to her big bro. 

Before saying goodnight, the superstar offered a heartfelt thanks to the audience for their support throughout the years - both for her, and her family. It was a nice, personal touch for her delighted fans, who have embraced Janet Jackson herself just as much as they have embraced her 35 number-one hits.  

In short, a great night in London for legendary pop.

Set list:

Nasty Video

The Pleasure


Have You Done For Me Lately


You Want This


Miss You Much


Video interlude


Come Back To Me

Let's Wait A While


Video interlude


Will Never Do (Without You)

When I Think Of You

All for You

That's the Way
Love Goes

Band interlude



Rhythm Nation

Encore: Together Again

Rating: 4 / 5

Janet Jackson plays two more nights at Royal Albert Hall as part of her Number Ones: Up Close and Personal Tour: Sat 2 July, Sun 3 July.