The Top 5 Michael Jackson Performances that inspired -
Ben A Tribute to Michael Jackson

5. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (Dangerous Tour - Bucharest)

Being the opening song in my show, it might surprise you to know that this song wasn’t always one of my favourites. I regarded the album track as probably one of my least favourite on the “Thriller” LP. However, when I was about 14 years old and working in a furniture shop, I managed to get hold of
a copy of Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Tour on DVD, Long before it was available in the shops. This song of all of them had me dancing in my seat. Although I was lucky enough to see the Dangerous Tour at Wembley stadium. I had not remembered the power and passion that MJ had injected into the live version of this song. I was instantly in love. It is now one of my favourite parts of our show.

4. Earth Song (Royal Brunei Concert 1997)

Post Dangerous Tour and Pre HIStory Tour, this performance in the July of 1997 in Brunei featured the first ever live performance of “Earth Song.” It remains the biggest selling Michael Jackson single in the UK and one of my all time favourite songs of any artist. The production in this particular performance was virtually non-existent. No tanks on stage like the latter HIStory tour performances or the infamous Brit Awards appearance. It was just MJ, on a stage singing about the destruction of our world. It also featured the piano break down where MJ adlibbed “Tell me what about it!” as if angry with the whole world. It still sends shivers up my spine when I hear it now! For me, it had to be included in the show.

3. Jackson Five Medley (The Jacksons Live CD)

The Jackson Five medley took a standard format from the Bad Tour onwards. Before this the Jacksons tours took a different stance altogether! They included songs such as “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “ABC.” Songs that were later cut from the MJ solo tours.
To hear a young Michael Jackson with the energy and passion in his voice retell all those childhood memories through the fun and bubble gum of “I Want you Back” and “The Love You Save” and the heartbreak through “I’ll Be There” was breathtaking.  For me The Jackson Five Medley never sounded as good as on The Triumph Tour, from where this CD, released in the early 1980s originates from.

2. Heartbreak Hotel (Bad World Tour - Wembley Stadium)

A relatively unknown song from the Jackson’s ”Triumph” album that Michael decided to insert into the set list of his first solo tour.  The song took several different arrangements throughout the tour. The tour footage was kept under wraps for years.
When “Bad 25,” The 25th anniversary edition of the “Bad” album, was released in 2012 along with the footage from one of MJ’s 7 consecutive Wembley Stadium dates, we watched in awe.
For the first time we witnessed quality Michael Jackson Bad Tour footage. He was electric, young, unstoppable, the undisputed King of Pop at the height of his career. “Heartbreak Hotel” had so much electric, vocally and musically. I realised in my 7th year of being a Michael Jackson Tribute Artist, it was time to return to the drawing board and study Michael as I’d never seen him before, unmatched.

1. Man In The Mirror (Bad World Tour)

What a lot of people don’t realise about “Man In The Mirror,” is that it wasn’t written by Michael. It was one of the last tracks to make the “Bad” album. When it was presented by its writers, Siedah Garrett and Glenn Ballad to Quincy Jones, (Legendary producer) he said quote “That is the best song I’ve heard in years!”
It went on to become one of the most iconic tracks MJ ever recorded. The song personified him and He had a love for it. It was everything that he stood for, That is why with the exception of his HIStory Tour, it always closed his shows. The o2 Arena Residency was to close with this hit.
“Man In The Mirror” was one of the first songs I saw him perform live, as the Bad Tour footage of this song was on the beginning of “Moonwalker.” This feature film is probably the reason I do what I do. When he sings to the crowd “You know it” “You’ve got to move!” It made me want to save the world.
I guess that’s in a nutshell what’s inspired me with Michael, he genuinely wanted his music to heal the world... I think it may still be doing that... Even today...

Posted by Ben A Tribute to Michael Jackson
Thursday, 26th February 2015