Hard-wired into Michael Jackson’s inspirational music and lyrics, THE IMMORTAL World Tour conjures up the extraordinary power and emotional intensity of Jackson’s unforgettable concert performances.
“It starts with the music,” says Director Jamie King. “Michael’s voice is what drives the show. I have the opportunity to carry on Michael’s legacy, to take all that energy – all that he was and was going to be – and build it into this production.”
To weave together the all-important musical components of the show, Jamie King called upon Musical Designer Kevin Antunes, who was given unprecedented access to the master recordings, and Musical Director Greg Phillinganes, who has worked with Michael for more than 25 years, providing an unparalleled depth of knowledge of his music and live performances. “Our goal is not to simply cover Michael, but to take his music to a whole new level,” King explains. The Director wanted to integrate as many songs into the production as possible, so this meant mash-ups, remixes and new arrangements. It also meant moving them forward emotionally, weaving songs together in new ways so that the music feels new and fresh all the while respecting Michael’s essence and his voice.
Michael’s voice – The driving force behind the show
To say Michael’s voice drives the show is somewhat of an understatement. “In some of his songs,” Antunes says, “Michael would let the grooves breathe and he would tuck his voice underneath the music. In this show, the world is going to hear Michael’s voice like they’ve never heard it before.”
Banding together to keep Michael’s spirit alive
To showcase Michael’s voice and support the huge cast, Musical Director Greg Phillinganes has rounded up a stellar group of musicians, including Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett, who played drums for Michael for 30 years. “I wanted to handpick everybody on the band,” he explains. “I knew exactly whom I wanted. We have a full band, including horns and an electric cello. I wanted to have as many players as possible with a direct, personal history with Michael Jackson. We are all doing this because of the love we have for Michael. His spirit will live in this show.”
- THE IMMORTAL World Tour features more than 35 of Michael’s songs, in addition to numerous bits and pieces of songs that have been used for the soundscapes and transitions.
- Musical Designer Kevin Antunes has created a very intimate experience. The audience can even hear Michael snap his fingers or stomp his feet in some audio segments.
- During Dancing Machine, cinematic sound effects were added to blend the music with the acrobatic performance.
- Instead of hearing the string section in Childhood in normal stereo, the whole orchestra spreads out and the audience will experience this song in a new light. Music (continued)
- They Don’t Care About Us features a previously unreleased choir that Michael recorded.
- The voice of Naomi Campbell and elements of the song In the Closet were blended into the intro of the Dangerous scene.
- In the “Scary” section the creepy voice-over segment during the Book of Tales segment was performed by Kevin Antunes.