Do I like Michael Jackson’s song? Yes, most of them at least. But am I a Michael Jackson fan? No, I wouldn’t class myself as a fan. If I was I probably would have gone and watch Thriller Live right after it opened in the West End.
However I have to admit I actually have been avoiding the show simply because it didn’t sparkle any kind of interest in me. Yes, I enjoy listening to songs like “Thriller”, “Billy Jean” or “Black or white” and yes, I even saw Michael Jackson live in concert back in 1997. But a tribute concert of his greatest hit (not to forget all those well known Jackson 5 songs) just didn’t sound exciting.
If you know me or have followed my blog for a while you will be aware that I tend to watch shows for the people that are in it and will often sit through stuff I would never see just for the show itself.
So make a guess what happened when it was announced that Mig Ayesa was joining the London cast of Thriller Live… yep, I got myself a ticket for the show.
Mig is one of my all time favourite Galileos in We will rock you. I saw the show in London various times back in the days when he was doing it (first in the ensemble and later as first cast Galileo). However that was about 8 years ago and I never got the chance to see Mig again after he left We will rock you and went on to be a finalist on a TV programme called “Rockstar INXS” and later starred on Broadway (in Rock of Ages playing the part of Stacee Jaxx).
To say I was over the moon to see him again after such a long time would be an understatement.
As you can imagine my main focus throughout the show was on Mig. And even though this was only his first week in the show and he had just recovered from a nasty cold I can honestly say: The guy rocks! His vocals were amazing. My personal Highlight has to be “Dirty Diana” – Mig has a great rock voice and that song allows him to use it properly.
I’m not really sure about some of the outfits but then I obviously can’t blame Mig for those. It’s just that I don’t thing white Doc Martens are exceptionally fashionable.
I quite enjoyed the other lead vocalist – a special mention goes to Trenyce Cobbins who has such a lovely soul voice. A pure joy to listen to!
Out of the dancers there were two guys who stood out for me: Ben Harrod and Simeon Henry. They almost managed to make me take my eyes off Mig now and then.
Afraid I don’t remember which boy I saw as young Michael Jackson. I have to say that I wasn’t very impressed by his vocals though. I know it’s tough to sing those songs but the kid really was out of tune from time to time. I basically felt sorry for the boy – he was obviously trying so hard.
The show itself – well, what can I say. It’s a tribute concert so obviously you don’t get any kind of story. It’s simply a journey through Michael Jackson’s career. To be honest the show glorifies Michael Jackson a bit too much for my taste. Yes, he’s one of the most talented pop artists the world has ever known but I could have done without being told how many records he has sold and just how wonderful the man was throughout the complete show.
Another thing that bugged me is that the whole show simply looks a bit cheap and doesn’t really have a lot of heart. It’s more of a tourist attraction that seems to be there to make money without putting in a lot of effort. This is not aimed against the cast who is doing a great job. To me it seems to be just another case of producers trying to gain the most out of a popular theme but not really bothering with the quality of the material.
And as sad as it may be – it works. I’m not saying Michael Jackson fans are easily pleased but the audience at this performance seemed to be happy with what they were given for their money.
But then this was the first time ever I felt like the only proper theatre fan in a London theatre. The behaviour of some people around me was simply appalling – yes, it’s a tribute concert but you are still in a theatre so behave appropriately! Middle aged woman jumping from their seats and dancing mid show while screaming “Michael, Michael!” is not what I paid to see. I admit it was rather amusing though – almost more entertaining than the show itself.
So what is my verdict of Thriller Live?
If you’re a die hard Michael Jackson fan: Go see it.
If you’re a fan of Mig Ayesa and want to hear him sing some great song: Go see it.
If you’re a regular theatre fan and want to see a proper show: Go see something else.
Thriller Live is on at the Lyric Theatre. For more info and to book tickets go to: http://www.thrillerlive.com/show/