For any who grew up feeling he was the height of cool on-point entertainment, what a summer to remember. The relentless media attention and sheer cultural importance of Michael Jacksonâ€™s passing has spawned a renewed interest in the King of Pop, his beginnings, his legacy, and celebrating his amazing accomplishments.
Such was the vibe that this event, sold out in advance, was throwing down; a vibrant honoring of an artist, entertainer, and musical icon that has influenced and impressed a certain aesthetic on at least two generations.
Doors were at ten for this late show, organized by Q-Tip, yet another musician who came to prominence in the generation after Michael, who got the party movinâ€™ round bout eleven.
Standing in the midst of a packed house of fans devoted to showing their love to the departed King and sharing emotion with one another, I can only describe the pervasive feeling as one of adoring euphoria.
Q-Tip and his partner in shaping and guiding this outpouring, DJ Spinna, were immensely skillful at showcasing a string of Michaelâ€™s hits along with lesser known tracks, though most were tweaked in some way to evoke the original glory by adding a contemporary edge. DJ Mark Ronson also provided some support, playing self composed beats.
The crowdâ€™s dancing and energy was of course remarkable and while the crowd was extremely diverse, all were bound up in the elation that this artistâ€™s body of work evoked in them.
Checking the tragic aspects of Michaelâ€™s fame and life at the door, this was a crowd in the mood to honor a fallen hero who had awed us all as children and/or young adults. Some amazing moments were the arrival of Grand Master Flash on stage, Quincy Jones phoning in via cell and broadcasting a few great messages to the crowd (Donâ€™t stop till you get enough!), and the amazing Marsha Ambrosius formerly of Floetry belting out some vocals over a sick groove.
By the end, even my tie was sweat drenched, while I was half deaf, and exhausted but wishing all love and respect to Michael, happy birthday.