Hey, mosaic, I can get them. I live in Miami. I can access The Miami Herald archives through the public library online. There are several articles about the concert. Is this the only one you want? Boy, does this bring back memories! I was there. My friend and I had the white gloves and the white socks, lol. We were a hot mess but we had a good time!
JACKSON THE THRILL OF VICTORY
Miami Herald, The (FL) - Friday, November 2, 1984
Author: LINDA R. THORNTON Herald Music Writer
Asudden darkness falls over the stadium, bringing a hush of anticipation. Heavy footsteps boom from the towering speakers, and a strange parade of furry creatures with glowing eyes lumbers onto the stage. As a deep voice intones a tale of goodness and evil, the beasts surround a gray stone. Only if the sword is removed from it can goodness win out, the voice declares, "but who will pull the sword from the stone?"
A knight dressed in silver rushes out from stage right, and with a sweeping gesture, slips the sword easily from the rock. A deafening pop explodes, white lightning flashes. All eyes are on the 30-foot video screen high above the stage as the hero pulls his mask away. The audience screams in delight as they see the face of a Jackson -- Randy. "Arise all the world and behold the kingdom!" he proclaims, as sharp laser beams of bright red and green cut fiercely through the sky, to the accompaniment of roaring thunder.
Once again, all is dark. Silence hovers, and the audience sits back down, confused. Then a square panel of white lights illuminates center stage, where a platform is slowly rising. The audience leaps up on its chairs with a welcoming cry as five eerie silhouettes stand out within the blinding light. Another panel, this one of many brilliant colors, rises from the left, and a staircase unfolds from the platform. The figures step down dramatically, one stair at a time, each step accompanied by a single pounding beat. The stage lights grow brighter, and the five Jackson brothers come into full view. Dressed in sparkling, multicolored costumes and dark sunglasses, standing motionless, they appear to be supernatural. As one, they pull off their sunglasses. Michael's face drops into a grimace -- he thrusts his hand above his head, and the funky opening chords to Wanna Be Startin' Something ring through the stadium.
The Jackson's Victory concert, a celebration of spectacle, wonder and the multitalented Michael, has begun.
It's been a tour plagued by confusion and controversy: from a delayed start amid last-minute jockeying of promoters and stadium dates to the $30 ticket price and preposterous mail- order system to recent rumors of continued bickering among the tour planners and even the Jackson family.
From the vantage point of South Florida, the Victory tour has appeared especially disorganized. Since the tour began in early July, rumors and denials that the Jacksons would perform here have cropped up almost monthly, to the point where, when it was finally confirmed that they would come to the Orange Bowl for concerts tonight and Saturday, the announcement seemed anticlimactic.
But when tickets went on sale three weeks ago, eager Jacksons fans set a Victory tour record, buying nearly 100,000 tickets within five hours.
What's so great about Michael Jackson, anyway? Just about everything, from the way he dances to the way he wears his hair, according to an informal survey of fans at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, where the Jacksons performed last weekend.
"Everyone should have paid at least $200 a ticket to see this show," exclaimed an excited Larry Perigo, 14. "The show is spectacular, and Michael's wonderful. I love the way he dresses, sings, and the way he talks -- even though he sounds like a girl."
"I just love the way he dances," said "Flash," age 30, echoing the sentiments of dozens of other fans who said they came mainly to get a close look at Michael's dazzling footwork.
"He's a good singer -- his clothes are pretty," chimed brothers Roderic and Devon Woodson, 8 and 6, who were dressed to emulate their idol in identical red-striped Thriller jackets over glittery T-shirts, black pants, white socks and black sunglasses. Only their white sneakers didn't fit the image.
And while Michael Jackson's fame may force him to live a reclusive life, that wasn't the case with his look-alike Stanford Lightfoot, 19, who was surrounded by fans pleading to take his picture or pose next to him. Lightfoot, winner of the Southeast Michael Jackson Look-Alike Contest, looks startingly like the real thing -- so much that when he entered the stadium, young fans screamed and pointed, and crowds stood on their chairs to get a closer look.
In the words of Don King, co-presenter of the Victory tour, Michael Jackson "transcends race, color, creed and religion. He spreads a constituent of love through his music, charm, dynamics, his gestures and his dancing ability.
"He brings people together," says King. "A melting pot of every part of the society is at every tour city we go to. They all go in peaceably, and they leave happy. They don't come out with that built up hostility and emotional intensity where they want to knock people in the head, rip off their cars and mug. That's the remarkable thing about this tour. This is America personified. The flag is waving, everybody's going home in camaraderie and conviviality. There's no comparison to Michael. He's a clean act and he goes right down the gamut. He's a Kool- Aid kid."
King is admittedly biased. But his analysis of the Jackson's appeal is on the mark.
Since the Jackson 5 burst onto the pop music scene in 1969 with their happy harmonies, choreographed steps and adorable baby-faced lead singer Michael (then 10), Americans have been charmed by this family who sang, danced and played so well together. It was a love affair that was to continue until 1976, when the Jackson 5 left the Motown label for Epic Records, and shortened their name to the Jacksons.
The Jacksons are the most commercially successful black vocal group in music history, with more than 100 million records sold -- and that's not including Michael's solo albums.
Always the most popular member of the group, Michael embarked upon his solo career as early as 1971, with the single Got To Be There. But not until he released his multi-Grammy- award winning albums, Off the Wall (1979) and Thriller (1982), accompanied by their revolutionary music videos, did it become apparent that there was something extra special about Michael.
And when he appeared on Motown's 25th anniversary TV special in 1983, Michael proved that he had come full circle,
from an adolescent-voiced boy singer to a multitalented performer whose music and appearance crossed boundaries of sex, race and age. His fluid movements seemed humanly impossible -- he seemed to float across the floor, and oh that fancy foot
work! On this night, a star was re-born.
When it was announced early this year that the Jacksons, including Michael, would reunite for a U.S. tour, newfound as well as former Jackson 5 fans were ecstatic.
Michael had not only captivated the young -- his appeal extended from tots to seniors. And through his writing and recording collaborations with Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen and Vincent Price, he attracted new legions of fans.
At any stadium across the nation that has housed the Victory tour, you'll find audiences of many races and ages, many dressed alike in imitation of their common idol.
Michael "fascinates me," said grey-haired Allison Thornwell Jr., 54, who said she pleaded with her 28-year-old son until he agreed to take her to the show. " All my friends laughed at me when I told them I was coming to the concert, but I don't care."
There's a sense of magic about the Victory concerts. Much of it stems from Michael's mystical aura, but a good portion is created by the grandiose theatrical staging, dramatic lighting and multitude of special effects.
The stage itself is a wondrous structure. Seven stories high (including a 30-foot video screen), 140 feet wide and 90 feet deep, it requires about 240 people, and five days to assemble. Two generators, nicknamed Bertha and Hercules, provide the stage with enough electricity to power a small town (18,000 amps). Five elevators, operated by 20 technicians, are needed to transport the performers and crew to the various levels; 240 speakers and 2,200 lights are suspended above the stage.
"The whole stage is like a big erector set, far bigger than any of us have ever seen," said Steve Howard, production manager. "It's one of the most spectacular and complex entertainment spectacles ever, with hydraulic risers, trap doors, lasers, robotics, illusions, smoke foggers and pyro (fireworks) effects."
At either side of the stage, 60-foot high murals depicting an "enchanted forest" of gnarled trees imbedded in piles of rock are lowered as the show begins, to reveal a massive light and sound system operated by two computers.
To give the crew enough time to erect the mammoth structure, two different stages are used in a leapfrog pattern: the stage used in Atlanta last weekend is already in Houston for next week's concerts; the one we'll see at the Orange Bowl came directly from Cleveland.
Twenty-two trailers carry 375 tons of equipment to each concert site, including a small television studio (which provides the close-up camera angles of the Jacksons while they're performing -- a godsend to those in the rear seats), a furnished dressing room and a self-contained discotheque named "Mr. Lucky's," located below the stage, where the crew throws its own parties while the Jacksons are singing and dancing above.
The stage and backstage area are surrounded by six-foot- high security fences. A security staff of approximately 300, including T-shirt guards hired in each city, guards the stage area and the stadium.
The entire Victory Tour has a staff of 1,500 people, including lawyers, accountants, public and media relations staff, truck drivers, production, video, security, lighting, carpentry, electronics and kitchen crews, as well as office workers stationed at New York and Los Angeles headquarters. A few hundred people, including security, stagehands, cleaners, chair erectors, off-duty police and fire rescue attendants are hired in each city.
Every member of the Victory Tour loyally agrees that few, if any, of the tour's organizational problems have been the fault of the Jacksons themselves. They may be the stars of the show, but when it comes to business, they're at the mercy of scores of lawyers, advisers and publicists.
"I have to clarify more than 19 times a day that any confusion within the tour is not the Jacksons' fault," said
Ginny Buckley, a Victory Tour media coordinator. "But no matter what happens, everything seems to get thrown back at them."
And no matter what gets reported about the Victory Tour, the fans just keep on coming, breaking box office records throughout the U.S.
IS THE CONCERT WORTH IT? YES!
So is the Victory concert really worth a whopping 30 bucks?
Without question, it is a spectacular one-of-a-kind show. Unless your soul is buried in ice, you can't help but be caught up in the excitement. If one aspect doesn't thrill you, another probably will.
The music features the best of Michael's solo hits, as well as a brief Motown medley and three of Jermaine's songs. Despite earlier indications, no songs from the Jacksons' recent Victory album have been added to the program.
The repertoire goes pretty much like this: Wanna Be Startin' Something, Things I Do For You, Ben/Human Nature, Heartbreak Hotel, She's Out of My Life, Let's Get Serious, Dynamite, Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin', Motown Medley (I Want You Back, The Love You Save, I'll Be There), Rock With You, Lovely One, Workin' Day and Night, Beat It, Billie Jean and finally, Shake Your Body.
The Jacksons' vocals are strong, clear and, for the most part, on target. In a couple of places, Michael and brothers fall slightly short of the pitch, but two notes out of thousands are, in the long run, insignificant. A six-member back-up band provides tight, full accompaniment to Michael, guitarist Tito, bassist Jermaine, keyboardist/percussionist Randy and keyboardist Marlon.
Jackie Jackson, whose knee surgery prevented him from performing in most of the Victory concerts, suddenly appeared on stage near the end of the Atlanta shows to dance with his brothers, and may do the same at the Orange Bowl shows.
Dressed in different glittering costumes, the Jacksons move constantly around the stage, often dancing in dazzling sync, at other times pacing and passing each other in individual, rhythmic patterns. Nearly every move is accompanied by a flash of light or a puff of colored smoke.
The lighting is nearly beyond description -- a glorious array of bright multi-colors in varying geometrical shapes, soft streams of pastels, piercing laser beams, sharp white spotlights that run up and down the steel towers, all designed to match the intricate beats of the music.
Most of the theatrics are childishly corny, but the kids will enjoy them. Near the end of the show, two huge "spiders" made of yellow lights creep down from the stage ceiling toward Michael. One swallows him and creeps away. A seemingly unconscious Michael is covered with a white shroud -- which mysteriously levitates several feet above the stage. Just seeing Michael himself, in what co-promoter Don King describes as "living reality," will probably be enough to satisfy many of the concert-goers that will attend the Orange Bowl shows. He's an amazing performer. On stage, he's vastly different from the Michael we know from interviews or public appearances. His singing voice and stage presence are powerful and moving (most notably in his stirring performance of She's Out Of My Life, where he lies on the stage floor as if in lovesick agony) and his energy appears boundless. By the fifth number, his face and hair are bathed in sweat, which explains why he changes clothes several times throughout the 1 hour and 45 minute show. And his dancing seems better than ever -- especially when we're getting a direct view of his sequin-socked feet, dotting and prancing wildly on the stage floor.
Even if you're not crazy about Michael Jackson, the sheer spectacle of the Victory Tour is not to be missed. It'll be a long time before a performer, and a show of this magnitude, passes this way again. Linda R. Thornton has seen the Victory concert three times, in Jacksonville and Atlanta. Caption: photo: Michael and Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson