Jackson's final Vegas show is scheduled for Aug. 17

By Mark Gray
May 18, 2019 12:15 PM
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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 17: Janet Jackson (L) performs onstage during the opening night of her Metamorphosis - The Las Vegas Residency at Park Theater at Park MGM on May 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Farrenton Grigsby/Getty Images for JJ)
Credit: Farrenton Grigsby/Getty Images

Sin City has gone nasty!

On Friday, a day after her 53rd birthday, Janet Jackson began her 18-show residency, dubbed Metamorphosis, at Park Theater in Las Vegas, and it was everything her fans wanted it to be.

It was nonstop and heavy on the greatest hits (“Nasty,” “All for You,” “Rhythm Nation: and more.) The premiere evening, which occurred one day after Jackson celebrated her 53rd birthday, proved to be a rousing success.

Metamorphosis, while a Vegas show at its core, is essentially an audio biography of Jackson’s life and career, touching on everything from her music, motherhood, activism and her famous family. Here are ten things we learned from the show.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 17: Janet Jackson (L) performs onstage during the opening night of her Metamorphosis - The Las Vegas Residency at Park Theater at Park MGM on May 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Farrenton Grigsby/Getty Images for JJ)
Credit: Farrenton Grigsby/Getty Images

She’s Still Got It

Although Jackson came out to Empty, it was her hit songs in which the crowd realized she kept her choreography skills. When she danced to That’s the Way Love Goes, All For You and I Get Lonely the dance moves were reminiscent of her music videos.

Rhythm Nation Remains Iconic

Jackson knows her bread and butter. Metamorphosis featured a special 30-year anniversary celebration of her iconic Rhythm Nation album. Jackson played Miss You Much, Rhythm Nation, Escapade, The Knowledge, Black Cat, Love Will Never Do, State of the World and Alright during a tribute to the album. She didn’t address the album, specifically, but she didn’t really need to.

Celebrities Love Janet

Jackson’s opening night proved to be the place to be. Among the 5,100 in attendance was Queen Latifah (who got a huge applause from the audience), Gabrielle Union, Eve, Magic Johnson, Carrie Ann Inaba, Yvette Nicole Brown and Hailee Steinfeld.

She Reflects on Her Private Life

In between songs, Jackson’s words flash across a screen that speak to her role as a mother. On Jan. 2, 2017, Jackson welcomed a son, Eissa Al Mana, with her ex-husband, Wissam Al Mana. “I’m a mother. I love saying that,” she says during a vignette. “I see this as the ultimate metamorphosis.”

Tech Girl

The show doesn’t shy away from technology, as Jackson uses light shows to accentuate certain moments. A steel screen appears in front of her at times with images often flashing in front of her. Jackson plays with the lighting features, using them to focus on different elements of the show, whether she’s dancing on the stage of climbing multiple three-level towers.

Obscure? No Problem

Everyone knows Jackson’s biggest hits, but her diehard fans know some of the songs that rarely charted, and she wasn’t afraid to delve into those. “R&B Junkie,” for instance, was a promotional single that made it’s way into the show; “Trust a Try” from her All For You album didn’t light up the charts, but proved to be a cult favorite, so it found a home in the show; “You,” from her The Velvet Rope album was also in the show, despite it not being one of her greatest hits.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 17: Janet Jackson performs onstage during the opening night of her Metamorphosis - The Las Vegas Residency at Park Theater at Park MGM on May 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Farrenton Grigsby/Getty Images for JJ)
Credit: Farrenton Grigsby/Getty Images

Family Tribute

Toward the end of the show, while singing “Rhythm Nation,” she pays homage to her famous family. “This is for my brothers,” Jackson said before she and her dancers lined up in the middle of the stage and broke into some of the iconic Jackson family moves (moonwalk not included.)

A Homecoming

This isn’t the first time Jackson has played Las Vegas. In fact, this is where she started.

“It was about 46 years ago that I made my debut, I was 7 years old, right here in Las Vegas,” she told the crowd. “And the beautiful thing about it, I was at the MGM hotel with my brothers and sisters. It’s so amazing how things come full circle.” [MGM International owns Park MGM, where Jackson’s show is.]

Costume Change!

Let face it, this is Vegas, and what’s a Vegas show without a few costume changes! During the course of the nearly 105-minute show, Jackson wore seven outfits, ranging from the fun and flirty to the militaristic and the semi seductive.

More Shows

Jackson’s residency is already one of the hottest tickets in Las Vegas, as she had to add three additional shows due to ticket demand. In all, Jackson will perform 18 Metamorphosis shows in Las Vegas.