We’re more accustomed to 50-minute sets and cannot really stick around for We Are The World, Heal the World, Give the World a Nice Hug, and whatever other treacle is in store. And we can’t stand mourning no matter how splendidly staged. But we must give props to local statesman Reverend Al (“There are those who like to dig around mess… he outsang the cynics, he outdanced his doubters… Michael never stopped!”) and everyone else: Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer, Brooke Shields (okay, be nice now, she set up Jermaine on “Smile”), the King family (no, not this one), Representative Sheila Jackson Lee and her certificate, Usher, Shaheen Jafargholi and even MJ creative counsellor Kenny Ortega for making a nice gesture. Jackson was a big deal and it was probably a good idea for the folks in Tinseltown to give him a public send-off. For more detailed and educated coverage, see Rob Harvilla’s and Zach Baron’s live-blog at Sound of the City.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2009