I wanna rock with you, all night. Those are going to be the first words echoed off the dance floor on my wedding day at our reception. (Whenever that will happen). I might even get an impersonator to perform it live. That’s how devoted of a fan I am to the late, great Michael Jackson. So when I heard about Pepsi and Billboard doing a concert featuring my faves Melanie Fiona and Ne-Yo at Gotham Hall on what would have been MJ’s 54th birthday, I had to grab my glitter gloves and penny loafers and hop on the Q train!
The performances were EPIC to say the least. Melanie sang tracks from her current and debut albums including “Change The Record,” “Give It To Me Right,” a dramatic performance to “Wrong Side Of A Love Song” and my personal favorite song, “It Kills Me.” I discussed among my friends which MJ song would be best for MF to perform. Our predications were on target as the guitar began the instrumental introduction to “Dirty Diana.” She followed up with “Bad,” as the music videos played in the background. Loved it.
It was a long intermission between performances, but DJ Cassidy was the DJ of the night and he was doing his thing entertaining the crowd playing MJ hits in between the performances. It was worth the wait though to see the MJ protege himself, Ne-Yo. He has credited his love for music and dancing to MJ, so it was a perfect fit that he was the headlining act for this tribute. He gave an amazing, hour long set of hits from albums, Year of the Gentleman, Because of You, In My Own Words and his lead single “Lazy Love” off his upcoming LP, R.E.D. coming out in November. He sang an awesome duet with an upcoming artist for ” I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” I turned my back and they both sounded like MJ and Siedah Garrett. Good job!! There was also buzz circulating all night about his much anticipated version of “Smooth Criminal,” and Ne-Yo did MJ proud, lean and all!!!
In addition to the performances, there was an open bar stocked with Pepsi (no rum and Coke here!) and other beverages to keep the merry night going, a wall for fans to write words of joy and celebration for the King of Pop’s birthday and even a photo station for you to take a picture with the legend himself, leather-strapped jacket and all.
Following the performances, Swizz Beatz got on the turntables to do a set, playing tracks from his Ruff Ryder days taking the crowd back memory lane. (This is when my phone died. Womp.) Tonight the MJ celebration won’t stop for me as I’m partying at Le Poisson Rouge with Kevin Powell for the Freedom Party’s MJ Tribute!!! Don’t stop til’ you get enough cuz tonight we’re living off the wall!!! #LongLiveTheKing
Another day in
Brooklyn…Gotham Hall, NYC