Last night, my 27-year-old daughter and I attended our second Janet Jackson concert together. When we last saw Janet it was for her 2001 “All For You” Tour at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It was an awesome night, and it created a beautiful memory.
Our lives are very busy now, she with her budding career and me with my business, so we were going to pass when Janet Jackson came to Charlotte NC. But at the last minute, we grabbed lawn tickets, and dashed to the PNC Music Pavilion to enjoy the show.
While I was dancing and enjoying the night under the stars, I reflected on the fact that I am 47 and that Janet is 49. I don’t know a life without Janet. My earliest memory of her is with her brothers on their TV series The Jacksons. During the concert, I had flashbacks of those emotional scenes of her as Penny on “Good Times”, and how that character led her to the vulnerability of Patricia in Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?“.
I remembered the maternal hug she gave her niece Paris at her beloved Michael’s funeral.
Janet has lived her life publicly and gracefully, and I realized while watching her last night, that she felt the same way about her fans. She missed us during her well-deserved and, I am sure, much-needed hiatus.
From the stage emerged an unbreakable Phoenix. A 49-year-old woman who has paved the way for other wonderful artists. A woman who had absolutely nothing to prove. Janet validated the comfort that comes along with age. I was THRILLED that she performed the entire concert in sneakers! I have grown to love my sneakers as I get older, too! It’s no secret that as we age joint pain is no joke and I’ve learned to nurture my body with comfort. To see Janet nurture her body with comfort was awesome.
Since Janet is independent she has total control over her show. There was no opening act, just a DJ remixing her greats to current songs. To my delight, she started on time, and I was in my bed by 11:30. Only an hour past my bedtime! YAY! I think Janet likes to be in bed early too!
Here is the thing. I’m not the same girl who was dancing to “Control” in 1987, and neither is Janet the same woman who sang it. She is a new woman, a better version of her younger self, just like me. Just like you. We all have our story to tell an artist like Janet gave us a soundtrack to our lives. She helped us dry tears after heartbreak and celebrate new love. She helped me understand that this moment, right now is the best time of my life because I have a life lived and the gift of wisdom.
What better gift can an artist give her fans than an appreciation of their own journey?