After living in the shadows of big brother Michael for so many years, Janet Jackson finally emerged to show the world her own wares. There are many similarities between her and her brother, but she has matured to become an outstanding performer in her own right. Over the past two decades she has sold over 60 million albums to establish herself as the leader in female R&B. Also known for her image, this stunning looking woman oozes sex appeal and sets trends in fashion. Her physique is very impressive, baring a stomach that would impress many body builders and put a certain blonde performer to shame. Her audience is extremely varied, ranging from young children who love her for her happy go lucky nature and catchy songs to guys in their late teens upwards who love her for her amazing sex appeal, and then there are adults of all ages that just love her music. Quite simply, her appeal is ageless.
Janet – Live In Hawaii is an HBO special recorded on the final night of her All For You Tour in 2001. As is the case with all tours, this one came into existence to promote her latest album All For You. The album had already spurned several hits, but with a previous hit list as long as hers there is a need to satisfy existing fans as well as newcomers – with this show she delivers.
The stage for the show is massive, with the backing band elevated on moving platforms in front of giant video screens. There are constant set changes, with some very impressive and colourful sets used and you'll see some of the best choreography around. Janet is not only known for her music, she is also a leader in fashion and to satisfy fans she engages in several costume changes throughout. Containing a list of very impressive hits, this show runs for almost two hours and fans will not be disappointed.
Come on Get Up
You Ain't Right
All For You
Love Will Never Do (Without You)
Trust a Try
Come Back to Me
Let's Wait a While
Miss You Much
When I Think of You
Song of a Gun
Got 'til it's Gone
That's the Way Love Goes
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Would You Mind?
Doesn't Really Matter
Someone to Call My Lover
Fans may be a little disappointed by some songs, as they are put together into medleys. This can be annoying, but for an artist such as this it is the only way to fit the majority of her hits into the time allowed.
|" Now my first name ain’t Baby! It’s Janet, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty!"|
As mentioned, there are several costume changes throughout the show and for some of these, the camera follows Janet backstage to watch the process. This is a really nice touch for fans to get a peek at what goes on behind the curtain during those extended breaks between songs.
Fans that have seen the Velvet Rope Tour video may remember an instance where Janet picks someone out of the audience and performs a song while teasing them. In this show she takes that to a whole new level during the song Would You Mind?. The first thought that sprung to mind was that it was a set up, that this someone that had been plucked from the audience seemed as if they were simply part of the crew, but this was proved not to be the case. As you will see in one of the special features, no member of the crew would carry on the way this person does!
There are a couple of minor aggravations with this show. First of all, the constant imploring for the audience to sing parts of songs is annoying. Most fans will want to hear Janet sing and not the audience. The second annoyance is the fact that some songs are crammed into medleys. There is definitely a need to do this as she could never fit so many hits into this timeframe, but for some songs, you just get into them and they end. Apart from these, the concert is great and this talented artist not only looks good but also sounds wonderful.
As this was produced for television, it is of course in full frame and not 16x9 enhanced. Picture is generally sharp at all times and colours are bright and vivid. As is usually the case with live performances there are slight problems with grain and detail, along with over-saturation from bright stage lighting. These are occasional instances of aliasing in the usual places such as guitar strings and the big video screen, but these are minor irritations at best. Being a dual layered disc, the layer change is well placed at 80:38 between If and Black Cat and causes no great disruption.
Audio supplied is a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0, DD 4.1 and DTS Surround. The DD 2.0 is very good and some viewers may prefer this one as it cuts out a lot of the crowd noise. Sound is balanced well across the front speakers with not too much noticeable separation, more evenly spread, but it does sound good. The DD 4.1 track is terrific, the vocals and band sound are kept across the front with crowd noise and echo coming through the rear speakers, giving a real sense of being there. Vocals are clear at all times and the band does sound terrific. The subwoofer was bouncing around the room for this bass driven concert. The DTS track is very similar to the DD 4.1 track, so similar in fact that it was near impossible to pick the difference. Both the DD 4.1 and DTS tracks are very good and either would be the choice over the DD 2.0.
A few nice extras accompany this release.
Janet Speaks All For You
This feature is basically a promotion for the All For You album. Containing interviews with Janet and snippets of the videos from the album, this is an enjoyable watch and runs for 10:18.
A collection of photos taken from the All For You Tour program, this is great for fans with some terrific snaps, some posed and some natural.
Would You Mind?
As stated earlier in the review, Janet selects an unsuspecting member of the audience and gets him up on stage to perform the song Would You Mind? This is the full vision of the same song from five other performances on the tour. This is confirmation that although the act is choreographed, the member of the audience is not a plant.
Overall, Janet Jackson fans will love this concert. It is a step up from the Velvet Rope Tour show with more recent hits. The video and audio are very good and including some nice extras, this is a must have for fans and a great introduction for others to this talented artist.