Review: The Jacksons put on nostalgic and entertaining show at Newmarket Nights

The Jacksons at Newmarket nights, Newmarket Racecourse. Picture: JOHN HOY

The Jacksons at Newmarket nights, Newmarket Racecourse. Picture: JOHN HOY - Credit: Archant

After five decades in showbusiness, there’s not much that hasn’t been written about the multi-talented Jackson family, leaving any review on the cusp of cliche.

The Jacksons at Newmarket nights, Newmarket Racecourse. Picture: JOHN HOY

The Jacksons at Newmarket nights, Newmarket Racecourse. Picture: JOHN HOY - Credit: Archant

With so many hours on stage and in rehearsal behind them, it’s no wonder the four brothers currently comprising the Jacksons still put on an incredibly slick and thoroughly entertaining show.

Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie, four-fifths of the original record-breaking boy band, took to the stage at Newmarket racecourse on Friday, June 30.

Opening with a double-whammy of Can You Feel It and Blame it on the Boogie, there’s an instant reminder of just how impressive the brothers’ back catalogue is, and that’s putting Michael’s astonishing solo career to one side.

I’ll be There and Never Can Say Goodbye are nigh-on pop perfection, revisited with as much class as when originally performed so many years ago.

The Jacksons at Newmarket nights, Newmarket Racecourse. Picture: JOHN HOY

The Jacksons at Newmarket nights, Newmarket Racecourse. Picture: JOHN HOY - Credit: Archant


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And Michael’s stellar solo archive is mined at certain, appropriate moments throughout the show - allowing the crowd a mere taste of those memorable hits alongside the group’s finest moments.

With such a repertoire to choose from, it’s perhaps a bit of a strange move to merge mega-hits such as I Want You Back, The Love You Save and Dancing Machine into a medley, especially when time doesn’t seem to be such a restriction that Tito gets to play some tracks from his new solo album.

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Maybe there are still a few remaining touches of fraternal politics that come into play when compiling the setlist?

Who cares?

And if so, it hardly shows.

Jackie and Marlon are like two livewire teenagers hurtling around the stage, covering every square inch and throwing some serious shapes.

Tito gets in on the act but is almost permanently playing his guitar with a grin on his face.

Jermaine pauses to pay tribute to late brother Michael with a tender ballad and the whole group get down in epic fashion to Michael’s Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’ and jammed-out set-closer Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).

The Jacksons simply defy age, trends, critics, and convention and simply continue to do what they’ve always done - entertain.

And wow, they really do it well.

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