Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour

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Rhythm Nation World Tour
Rhythm Nation World Tour.jpg
Tour by Janet Jackson
Associated album Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814
Start date February 27, 1990
End date November 16, 1990
Legs 5
Shows 12 in Japan
6 in Europe
92 in North America
110 in total
Janet Jackson concert chronology
Rhythm Nation World Tour
(1990)
Janet World Tour
(1993-95)

The Rhythm Nation World Tour is a music concert tour, and first headlining worldwide tour by American recording artist Janet Jackson. It was launched in support of her fourth studio album Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989), and also contained material from her third studio album Control (1986). Jackson's record label A&M announced plans for the world tour in fall of 1989, following the release of Rhythm Nation 1814. Managed by Roger Davies and Rusty Hooker, the tour was developed by musical director Chuckii Booker, choreographer Anthony Thomas, stage designer Roy Bennett, stage manager Chris Tervit, production manager Benny Collins, and Jackson herself.

The nine-month trek saw concerts in the United States, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. It began in the United States in March, 1990 and continued through November, 1990 where it came to a close with a return trip to Japan. Songs performed during the set list of the tour were divided evenly between Jackson's third and fourth studio albums—each concert began with "Control" (1986) and ended with "Rhythm Nation" (1989). Noting performances placed greater emphasis on theatricality over vocal prowess, the tour received numerous stellar reviews based on Jackson's showmanship, choreography, and socially conscious message, drawing some comparison to pop icons Prince and her brother Michael Jackson.

With an attendance of over two million patrons and ticket sales grossing over $28 million in the United States.

Background[edit]

The Rhythm Nation World Tour became Jackson's first world concert tour in support of a studio album. A&M Records had announced plans for Jackson's global tour in the fall of 1989.[1] She was assisted by a team of eleven musicians, back-up singers, and six dancers.[2] Anthony Thomas was selected as chief choreographer for the tour.[3] Thomas stated: "Janet was looking for dancers with a hybrid of street and technical training ... I'd say the cast is half and half between those two, which is what makes it so interesting. I'm not a trained dancer—and Janet is not, either. She just looks like it because she's a natural. She picks up dance steps very quickly."[4] According to Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle: "Thomas and Jackson also collaborated on the dance sequences for Jackson's half-hour video—a telemusical her publicists call it—that accompanied the release of her 'Rhythm Nation' album in October."[5]

Musician and record producer Chuckii Booker was hired as Jackson's musical director; his band became the tour's opening act.[6] Booker explained that he was approached by Jackson after a recommendation from her producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. In an interview, he stated: "I had known Janet for four to five years, but it was pretty much on a hi-and-goodbye basis until last September when she invited me to a 'Rhythm Nation' party in Los Angeles. I attended and told her I was very excited for her. She said, 'Yes, and I'd like you to be musical director.' I turned around, thinking she was talking to somebody else. I couldn't believe it. But then I found out she had talked to Jimmy and Terry and they had recommended me."[4] Reporter Doug Adrianson wrote: "Because of the inevitable comparisons with brother Michael, 32, expectations for the Rhythm Nation Tour are higher than a moonwalk. To make sure the show is suitably spectacular, Jackson and musical director Chuckii Booker rehearsed with a sizable crew for two weeks at the Pensacola Civic Centre ... the same place Michael fine-tuned his Bad tour."[6] Her tour was managed by Roger Davies, stage designer Mark Fisher, and Benny Collins.[5] Total production cost was an estimated $2 million.[7]

Promotion[edit]

On June 9, 1990, MTV aired a four-hour special entitled "Janet Jackson Saturday" featuring interviews and music videos by Jackson, as well as live coverage of her tour.[8] The full "Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour" concert from the second date at the Tokyo Dome in Japan was filmed and aired on Japanese television.

Critical reception[edit]

Music writer Troy Moon, who viewed the tour's dress rehearsal, called the show "spontaneous, very loose and limber. It came off as nightclub funk, more Prince than (Michael)."[9] He also noted the emphasis on the show's dace routines, stating "[t]he singing almost comes as an afterthought."[9] The debut concert in Miami, Florida on March 1, 1990 sold out prior to the performance.[10] Music Critic Deborah Wilker remarked that "[Janet] does not present a serious threat to brother Michael, though she has proven beyond any doubt she is a formidable force in her own right."[7] She reported the concert showcased the fact that "Jackson is an accomplished dancer whose choreography has set trends worldwide. The music, though extremely engaging, is secondary."[7] She also reported on the media attention surrounding the opening concert, stating, "[t]he kick-off of this tour was a media event, with reporters and film crews from across the country on hand. In the audience was Janet's brother Jackie and mother Katherine, as well as singer Whitney Houston and producers Jam and Lewis."[7]

Reviewing her concert at Madison Square Garden, Jon Pareles of The New York Times compared her showmanship to that of her brother Michael, and Prince. However, he states that she could not sing and dance simultaneously as well as either and suspected some of her performance was lip-synced. In her defense, he adds: "Yet in a video-era pop event like Miss Jackson's concert, old-fashioned musicianship matters less than the overall package—and Miss Jackson turns out to be an endearing performer despite all the calculation. Her songs are not just catchy, but full of worthwhile messages about independence and tolerance as well."[11] Commenting on her performance at the Capital Centre in Washington, Richard Harrington of The Washington Post noted that the growing trend of video screen use in concert had both advantages and drawbacks, such as [l]iving up to the very expectations engendered by those incessantly played video images."[12] In reference to her showmanship, he stated that "[s]he doesn't quite command the stage yet, but she has little problem commanding attention, thanks to her spectacular dancing and the wonderfully aggressive choreography that informs the 90-minute show."[12] In his opinion, the most "engaging" aspects of the concert were Jackson's ballads such as "Let's Wait Awhile" and "Come Back to Me".[12] He adds that "[a]lthough the focus was clearly on Jackson's dynamic dancing and her apparently boundless energy, she acquitted herself well on the vocal front. The singing seemed mostly note-perfect recaps of the records, and there is less range and dynamics here than in her dancing, but overall, it was effective enough."[12]

Los Angeles Times critic Chris Willman, who reviewed her opening southern California concert at The Forum expressed: "If the dancing in Janet's tour is even more enthralling than that of brother Michael (who can still best her in pure technical proficiency), it's because she spends so much of her stage time working with six other dancers as part of a hip-hop chorus line. It represents the pinnacle of what can be done in the popping 'n' locking style-a rapid-fire mixture of rigidly jerky and gracefully fluid movements."[13] He complimented her endurance for her 80-minute-plus show and downplayed criticism of lip-syncing by saying "[e]ven a classically trained vocalist would be hard-pressed to maintain any sort of level of volume—or, more appropriately, 'Control'—while bounding up and down stairs and whipping limbs in unnatural directions at impeccable, breakneck speed."[13] The first international concert took place in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Dome on May 17, 1990. Los Angeles Times reported that "Japan became a 'Rhythm Nation' as Janet Jackson opened her tour at the Tokyo Dome, cascading thunderous waves of funk and choreography over 50,000 people ... The choreography, a cross between break-dancing and military maneuvers, sent some spectators dancing into the aisles."[14] Jackson also performed in Osaka and Yokohama before returning to the North America and then traveled to Europe for the final leg of her tour.[14]

Helen Metella of the Edmonton Journal praised Jackson's elaborate stage show, calling her socially conscious message of unity a "noble quest."[15] In reference of the comparisons between her and brother Michael, Metella comments that "the 23-year-old Jackson throws herself into an orgy of non-stop dancing and extravagant theatrics that clearly express her talent and her personal philosophies. She may not have surpassed Michael yet, but she's closing in on him fast—using many of his own tricks, yet."[15] In reviewing her performance at the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Canada, Metella reports that the use of lighting and sound effects made for an excellent routine in addition to the well received vocalization of songs like "Control", "Nasty" and "What Have You Done for Me Lately", "[b]ut it was the dancing that was most electrifying ...witnessing the astonishing pace and physical commitment of Jackson during the dance numbers could and did galvanize us into action of our own, which is exactly what the show was about."[15]

Commercial reception[edit]

The majority of all of the tour's concert dates became instant sell-outs.[16] The tour's dress rehearsal at the Pensacola Civic Center issued 7,600 tickets to the public as a benefit to local charity, which sold-out in less than an hour.[9] The first international concert, which took place in Tokyo, Japan sold out the Tokyo Dome within seven minutes—a record for the fastest sellout in the history of the Dome.[17] Lori Buttars of The Salt Lake Tribune reported: "In May, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation Tour became the fastest sell-out in Salt Palace history. Tickets for the June 18 concert were gone in a record 1 hour and 20 minutes after the box office opened."[18] In June, 1990, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Jackson's tour had become one of the most commercially successful box office attractions for a recording artist.[16] In addition, "of those women soloists who regularly reach the top of the record charts, only Madonna is doing similar arena business."[16] Grossing $28.1 million in the United States alone, the tour ranked number five among the best-selling of 1990 within the US, making Jackson the only female artist to place within the top ten.[19] Total grosses for the "Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour", adjusted with inflation over time with 2011's average ticket prices, brings the gross tour equivalent to $261,645,313. The Rhythm Nation World Tour, with an attendance of over two million patrons, remains the most successful debut tour by any recording artist.[20][21]

Set list[edit]

  1. "Control"
  2. "Nasty"
  3. "What Have You Done for Me Lately"
  4. "Let's Wait Awhile"
  5. "When I Think of You"
  6. "The Pleasure Principle"
  7. "T.V." (interlude)
  8. "State of the World"
  9. "Race" (interlude)
  10. "The Knowledge"
  11. "Funny How Time Flies (When You're Having Fun)" (instrumental interlude)
  12. "Black Cat"
  13. "Come Back to Me"
  14. "Alright"
  15. "Escapade"
  16. "Miss You Much"
  17. "Pledge" (interlude)
  18. "Rhythm Nation"

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
North America
February 27, 1990 Pensacola United States Pensacola Civic Center
March 1, 1990 Miami Miami Arena
March 3, 1990 Chapel Hill Dean Smith Center
March 4, 1990 Charlotte Charlotte Coliseum
March 6, 1990 Columbia Carolina Coliseum
March 7, 1990 Knoxville Thompson–Boling Arena
March 9, 1990 Louisville Freedom Hall
March 10, 1990 Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum
March 12, 1990 Richfield Township Coliseum at Richfield
March 13, 1990 Pittsburgh Civic Arena
March 15, 1990 New York City Madison Square Garden
March 16, 1990
March 19, 1990 Montreal Canada Montreal Forum
March 20, 1990 Toronto SkyDome
March 22, 1990 Landover United States Capital Centre
March 23, 1990 Hartford Hartford Civic Center
March 26, 1990 Worcester Worcester Centrum
March 27, 1990
March 29, 1990 Landover Capital Centre
March 31, 1990 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
April 2, 1990 Detroit Joe Louis Arena
April 3, 1990
April 5, 1990 Bloomington Met Center
April 6, 1990
April 8, 1990 Rosemont Rosemont Horizon
April 9, 1990
April 11, 1990 Kansas City Kemper Arena
April 13, 1990 Fort Worth Tarrant County Convention Center Arena
April 15, 1990 Houston The Summit
April 16, 1990
April 18, 1990 Tempe ASU Activity Center
April 20, 1990 Inglewood Great Western Forum
April 21, 1990
April 23, 1990 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
April 25, 1990 Inglewood Great Western Forum
April 26, 1990
April 28, 1990 Oakland Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena
April 29, 1990
May 1, 1990
May 2, 1990
May 4, 1990 Sacramento ARCO Arena
May 5, 1990
Asia
May 17, 1990 Tokyo Japan Tokyo Dome
May 18, 1990
May 20, 1990 Osaka Osaka-jō Hall
May 21, 1990
May 23, 1990 Yokohama Yokohama Arena
North America
June 6, 1990 Tacoma United States Tacoma Dome
June 7, 1990
June 9, 1990 Vancouver Canada BC Place
June 11, 1990 Edmonton Northlands Coliseum
June 12, 1990 Calgary Olympic Saddledome
June 15, 1990 Denver United States McNichols Sports Arena
June 16, 1990
June 18, 1990 Salt Lake City Salt Palace
June 20, 1990 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
June 21, 1990
June 23, 1990 Costa Mesa Pacific Amphitheatre
June 24, 1990
June 26, 1990 Inglewood Great Western Forum
June 27, 1990
June 29, 1990
July 2, 1990 Dallas Reunion Arena
July 3, 1990 Oklahoma City Myriad Convention Center Arena
July 5, 1990 Austin Frank Erwin Center
July 6, 1990
July 8, 1990 New Orleans Louisiana Superdome
July 10, 1990 Memphis Mid-South Coliseum
July 12, 1990 Miami Miami Arena
July 13, 1990 Orlando Orlando Arena
July 14, 1990 St. Petersburg Florida Suncoast Dome
July 16, 1990 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
July 17, 1990
July 19, 1990
July 20, 1990
July 22, 1990 Birmingham BJCC Coliseum
July 24, 1990 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
July 25, 1990 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center
July 27, 1990 Milwaukee Bradley Center
July 29, 1990 Tinley Park World Music Theatre
July 30, 1990
August 1, 1990
August 10, 1990 Landover Capital Centre
August 11, 1990
August 13, 1990
August 14, 1990 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum
August 16, 1990 Philadelphia The Spectrum
August 17, 1990
August 19, 1990
August 21, 1990 Ottawa Canada Frank Clair Stadium
August 22, 1990 Auburn Hills United States The Palace of Auburn Hills
August 23, 1990
August 25, 1990 Albany Knickerbocker Arena
August 27, 1990 Providence Providence Civic Center
August 28, 1990 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
August 30, 1990 East Rutherford Brendan Byrne Arena
September 4, 1990 Richfield Township Coliseum at Richfield
Europe
October 4, 1990 Rotterdam Netherlands Ahoy Rotterdam
October 8, 1990 Berlin Germany Velodrom
October 14, 1990 Paris France Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
October 16, 1990 Munich Germany Olympiahalle
October 24, 1990 Frankfurt Eissporthalle Frankfurt
October 28, 1990 London England Wembley Arena
Asia
November 3, 1990 Osaka Japan Osaka-jō Hall
November 4, 1990
November 6, 1990 Tokyo Tokyo Dome
November 7, 1990
November 14, 1990 Nagoya Nagoya Rainbow Hall
November 15, 1990
November 16, 1990 Yokohama Yokohama Arena
Cancellations and rescheduled shows
March 25, 1990 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Spectrum Rescheduled to August 16, 1990
August 2, 1990 Lexington, Kentucky Rupp Arena Cancelled
August 4, 1990 Ames, Iowa Hilton Coliseum Cancelled
August 5, 1990 St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Arena Cancelled
August 7, 1990 Auburn Hills, Michigan The Palace of Auburn Hills Rescheduled to August 22, 1990
August 8, 1990 Auburn Hills, Michigan The Palace of Auburn Hills Rescheduled to August 23, 1990
September 3, 1990 Burgettstown, Pennsylvania Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater Cancelled
October 11, 1990 Copenhagen, Denmark Valby-Hallen Cancelled

Credits[edit]

Tour[edit]

  • Management - Roger Davies Management, Inc.
  • Tour Manager - Rusty Hooker
  • Assistant Tour Manager - Nelson Hayes
  • Production Manager - Benny Collins
  • Assistant Production Manager - Lisa Hoth
  • Stage Manager - Chris Tervit
  • Musical Director - Chuckii Booker
  • Lighting/Design - Roy Bennett
  • Automated Lighting- Gary Westcott
  • Tour Photography - Eddie Wolfl

Dancers - "The Nation"[edit]

  • Choreography

Janet Jackson, Anthony Thomas, Terry Bixler, LaVelle Smith

  • Staging

Janet Jackson, Tina Landon, LaVelle Smith, Terry Bixler, Anthony Thomas

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • The tour grossed over $28 million in the US only from dates reported, and nearly $127 million worldwide (equivalent to $261,645,313 based on inflation and 2011 average ticket price).
  • Estimated worldwide attendance at 2 million, with more than 1.85 million in North America alone coming from 91 shows.
  • The May 18 show in Tokyo, Japan was aired on Japanese television in full, spliced with commercials Janet had filmed for JAL Airlines.
  • The first international concert, which took place in Tokyo, Japan sold out the Tokyo Dome within seven minutes and set a record for the fastest sellout in the history of the Dome.[22]
  • The Rhythm Nation Tour became the fastest sell-out in Salt Palace history in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tickets for the June 18 concert were sold out in a record 1 hour and 20 minutes after the box office opened.[23]
  • Rehearsals for the Rhythm Nation Tour were held in Los Angeles. Jackson then rehearsed in Pensacola, Florida for two weeks before the tour kickoff. Jackson surprised the people of Pensacola with a concert that was announced only one day ahead of time. The $10 tickets, limited to a four per person, didn't go on sale until the morning of the concert. All 7,600 tickets were sold within three hours. Another 1,000 tickets were given to local charities.
  • Jackson donated over $1/2 million to fund education projects from concert proceeds and also donated 25 cents from each ticket sold to the Cities in Schools program, which works to prevent kids from dropping out of school.[24] After the tour ended, she gave $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund in the form of a "Rhythm Nation Scholarship".[25]
  • Jackson's first show for the summer tour, Saturday June, 7 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma WA, sold out so fast that she quickly added a second show - to be performed the day before, on Friday June 6. At the Saturday show, she had the world premiere of the video for "Black Cat" that had been filmed the night before.
  • Jackson was scheduled to play Philadelphia in March but somehow the people who manage the Spectrum arena doubled-booked Jackson's show and a WWF match on the same night. The sold-out show was rescheduled in August.
  • Jackson's four Los Angeles shows sold out in 48 minutes.
  • Jackson had to reschedule her appearance at Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey from September 8 to August 30 because of her performance at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • The opening act throughout all dates of the tour was the tour's musical director, Chuckii Booker. On the Show in Munich, Germany it was Johnny Gill.
  • Jackson had to reverse the decision to use a live panther on the show after several incidents, including the panther urinating on stage. Citing concerns from fans, and her own love of animals, Jackson eventually did not use the cat in the summer leg of the tour.
  • Jackson spent her 24th birthday at Tokyo Disneyland.
  • Janet plans to release the "Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour" on DVD or package it with an upcoming studio album in the near future.[26] Bootleg versions are widely available.
  • Pioneer signed an exclusive deal to release the concert on laser disc only and thus no video or DVD has yet been released. However, no laser disc has been released either.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jefferson Graham (December 5, 1989), "Janet in command; Jackson rules her own `Nation'; Highlights of a rhythmic life", USA Today: 1.D, ISSN 0734-7456 
  2. ^ Anderson, John (January 14, 1990), "Pop Notes", Newsday 
  3. ^ Morse, Steve (March 22, 1990), "Janet Jackson Running the Show", The Boston Globe: 10, ISSN 0743-1791 
  4. ^ a b Steve Morse (March 22, 1990), "Janet Jackson Running the Show", The Boston Globe: 10, ISSN 0743-1791 
  5. ^ a b Joel Selvin (January 14, 1990), "Janet Jackson to Put The Rhythm Onstage / Video, Record Star", San Francisco Chronicle: 55 
  6. ^ a b Adrianson, Doug (March 9, 1990), "Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation Tour expected to be 'bad'", Ottawa Citizen: D.1, ISSN 0839-3222 
  7. ^ a b c d Wilker, Deborah (March 2, 1990), "Jackson's Action Turns Miami into Rhythm City", Sun Sentinel: 12.A 
  8. ^ Daniel Cerone (May 20, 1990), "The Buzz Today's News, Tomorrow's Television MTV offers a double dose of the Jackson, Lifetime will recycle NBC movies and PBS celebrates Mozart", Los Angeles Times: 12, ISSN 0458-3035 
  9. ^ a b c James T. Jones IV (March 1, 1990), "Janet starts tour escapades tonight", USA Today: 1.D, ISSN 0734-7456 
  10. ^ Music features: A Million Miles Of Music Your Complete Guide To The Tours Of Summer Summer Music Preview, Entertainment Weekly, June 1, 1990, p. 32 
  11. ^ Jon Pareles (March 17, 1990), "Review/Pop; Janet Jackson Fleshes Out Her Own Video Image", The New York Times: 1.13, ISSN 0362-4331 
  12. ^ a b c d Richard Harrington (March 23, 1990), "Music; More Than `Allright'; At Cap Centre, Dancing Dynamo Janet Jackson", The Washington Post: D.01, ISSN 0190-8286 
  13. ^ a b Willman, Chris (April 23, 1990), "Pop Music Review Janet Jackson's Dance of Community", Los Angeles Times: 1, ISSN 0458-3035 
  14. ^ a b "Tokyo Fans Cheer Janet Jackson", Los Angeles Times, March 18, 1990: 8, ISSN 0458-3035 
  15. ^ a b c Helen Metella (June 12, 1990), "Little sister shows who is in Control; Janet Jackson Shows Signs of Rivalling Brother Michael", Edmonton Journal: D.13 
  16. ^ a b c "Janet Jackson Plans Encore in South Florida", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 5, 1990: 3.E 
  17. ^ "Janet Jackson Announces Rock Witchu Tour", Live Nation (PR Newswire), 2008, retrieved 2008-06-13 
  18. ^ Lori Buttars (December 28, 1990), "Looking back at year in pop music", The Salt Lake Tribune: M.3 
  19. ^ Pollstar has just compiled the top tours of 1990. The leaders and their gross box office receipts: New Kids on the Block ($74.1 million), Billy Joel ($43 million), Paul McCartney ($37.9 million), Grateful Dead ($29 million), Janet Jackson ($28.1 million), Aerosmith ($27.4 million), MC Hammer ($26.3 million), Mötley Crüe ($24.7 million), Phil Collins ($23.8 million), Eric Clapton ($20.7 million), David Bowie ($17.9 million) and Madonna ($16 million). Morse, Steve (January 4, 1991), "Neil Young has a date at the Garden", The Boston Globe, ISSN 0743-1791 
  20. ^ Jaynes, Gerald David (2005), Encyclopedia of African American Society, SAGE Publications, p. 565, ISBN 0-7619-2764-6 
  21. ^ Her 1990 tour was the most successful first-time road effort by any artist, attracting more than two million fans. Paul Jarvey (December 9, 1993), "janet ; Another Jackson steams up the charts", Telegram & Gazette: C.1, ISSN 1050-4184 
  22. ^ "Janet Jackson Announces Rock Witchu Tour", Live Nation (PR Newswire), 2008, retrieved 2008-06-13 
  23. ^ Lori Buttars (December 28, 1990), "Looking back at year in pop music", The Salt Lake Tribune: M.3 
  24. ^ "Janet Jackson ends `Rhythm Nation' tour, donates over $1/2 million to fund education projects", Jet Magazine Vol. 79 Issue 13, January 14, 1991: 56 
  25. ^ Answers.com (2010), Janet Jackson: Biography 
  26. ^ CNN.com - Transcripts, February 28, 2008 

External links[edit]