By Lachman Balani
TORONTO: Kudos to the Rose Theatre in Brampton for snaring Joby Rogers to perform the one and only stint in Canada this time around on January 16.
It is only the second time that this doppelganger, who has an uncanny resemblance to Michael Jackson (MJ), has ever performed in Canada, which speaks volumes about The Rose’s ability to attract great artists.
Michael Jackson needs no introduction as he was truly the King of Pop with a universal appeal. In the 80s his tunes would blare out on radio stations all over the world, even all the way to the streets of India.
Joby Rogers has been impersonating Michael Jackson for the last 30 years and in 2003 was officially endorsed by MJ as his ‘official substitute’ when he was looking for an impersonator to cover him at an event. Joby also has the honor of being the only tribute artist to be featured on the cover of the prestigious music magazine, Rolling Stone.
This past Friday, Joby lived up to his fame as he emulated MJ’s moves to perfection prompting huge applause from the sold out theatre comprised of a very multicultural crowd. He, his band and a troupe of four highly skilled dancers pulled out all the stops and went the whole nine yards right from the ‘ABC, 123’ days of the Jackson Five to MJ’s final days.
They started off with some tunes from the band and then on came Joby with “Wanna be startin’somethin’ “ to hoots of approval from the crowd as they got up to dance. Even the ushers were tapping their feet, such was his charisma!
He continued with “Black or White”, “The way you make me feel” and more intercalating all his songs with videos of the man himself (MJ) as he and his dancers kept going off stage for a change of costumes. All the while he kept going into the crowd and interfacing with them, bringing up loads of women to teach them MJ’s dance measures and he even danced with a young girl of around five totally making her day from the look of her excited face.
Joby disappeared backstage and came back on to throw the little girl one of MJ’s famous white gloves! The look on the little girl’s face was worth a million bucks! And he didn’t forget the audience up in the balcony even going up there and intermingling with them.
It was an amazing interactive experience for the audience. He of course performed MJ’s early hit “ABC 123”, and his other major hits, “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, ‘Thriller”, “Man in the Mirror”, “I’ll be there” and many more bringing to life MJ’s brilliant moves including his famous moonwalk which saw everybody go wild, before bringing the exhilarating evening to a close.
But it didn’t end there. Joby invited everybody out to the hall for a meet and greet session and he and his group posed with people for loads of photographs as they all lined up to get a close glimpse of MJ’s dead ringer.
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