I’ve seen quite a few Michael Jackson impersonators in my life, generally when I am on holiday where part of the entertainment is an artist impersonating him, you know one of those shows where the music draws you in and you end up staying there until the very end.
This was the first time I got to see Navi, who is regarded as the world’s No. 1 Michael Jackson tribute artist, who was hand picked by Michael himself as his official body double.
Navi has also performed at two of Micheal Jackson’s birthday parties, where I heard that even his family and friends were fooled thinking it was Micheal performing until he sneaked up behind them! Apparently his performance was so incredible they couldn’t believe it wasn’t him.
Navi is currently touring the UK, and for one night only we were privileged to have him at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. On entry to the theatre, I was impressed to see that so many people had put great effort into dressing up; not just fans that grew up with his music, but children as young as 6 years old were rocking in Michael Jackson outfits, hats and gloves; I actually felt guilty that I hadn’t thought to bring my 12 year old along.
With all that said and Micheal Jackson setting the bar so high for anyone let alone impersonators, Navi had a lot to live up to if he were to exceed my high expectations.
Disappointingly the show didn’t win me over initially and it took me about 20 minutes to warm to the show; maybe it was that I had to get my head around the fact that it wasn’t actually MJ or maybe it just needed a more explosive opening.
However the moment Jennifer Batten stepped on to the stage with her guitar the show lit up and the screams erupting from the audience were that of a concert. For those of you who don’t know, she was MJ’s lead guitarist for 10 years; joining Michael Jackson on three sell-out world tours including Bad, Dangerous and History. I’d love to ask her how she feels about touring with Michael Jackson for 10 years and then ending up in Aylesbury with a MJ tribute artist but I guess her answer would be that she’s keeping his music alive!
Navi is obviously a very talented young man; who can easily by mistaken for MJ by his looks, mannerisms and dancing; as they were all spot-on!
Everyone in the audience were up on their feet throwing themselves into having a fantastic time and the guy next to us even jumped over the back of his seat and ran to the front of the stage to join the many others soaking up the atmosphere and dancing at the front.
It was all so very fab to see a sea of mobile phones taking photos and recording the show (we’re not normally allowed mobiles in the theatre) to take home memories from the show. Plus with everyone sharing on social media these days, how much free advertising is that for nothing!
Of course all the much loved tracks were performed, including Billy Jean, Bad, Man In The Mirror, Beat It and many more; I’m not going lie, I was disappointed that the Earth Song wasn’t performed, an encore with that at the end would in my opinion have been the icing on the cake.
The staging although basic with the band worked. The lasers and lights made it feel concert like; and the three energetic backing dancers were awesome (if anyone knows their names, please could you get in contact with me). All this plus the authentic-looking costumes, gave the show authenticity, making it a top night out and one not to be missed.
It was very clear that most of the audience knew who Navi was or have already seen him; but for the rest of us it’s probably quite clear that we will see him again. I’m now looking forward to the new film based on Micheal Jackson where Navi is playing MJ himself.
With the King of Pop no longer with us, this show is definitely the next best thing to bringing the legend back for us, our children and our children’s children.
Tickets are available from http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/king-of-pop-the-legend-continues/#overview_tab or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.