Cirque du Soleil brings Jacko back

Michael Jack­son’s musos are still play­ing his songs, writes Dar­ren Cartwright

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAYCONTENTS -

IRQUE du Soleil went on a re­cruit­ing mis­sion that any AFL or NRL club would be proud of when it put to­gether an orches­tra for its Michael Jack­son The Im­mor­tal World Tour.

With­out hav­ing to worry about salary cap rules, the or­gan­is­ers drew up a hit list of mu­si­cians who had worked ex­ten­sively with Jack­son and be­gan cold-call­ing them.

Among the five for­mer Jack­son mu­si­cians who signed on for the Cirque du Soleil pro­duc­tion was ac­com­plished and well-trav­elled bass player Don Boyette.

Jonathan Mof­fett, Jack­son’s drum­mer for 30 years, also joined the tour.

Boyette played close to 200 shows as part of Jack­son’s band on the Bad and Dan­ger­ous world tours in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

The US mu­si­cian has also played with or be­hind The Pointer Sis­ters, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner, Ste­vie Nicks, Don Hen­ley and Joe Walsh among oth­ers.

Boyette had all but given up his no­madic life­style as a tour­ing mu­si­cian un­til the day Cirque du Soleil put for­ward its pro­posal to hon­our Jack­son’s mu­sic.

‘‘They were very ag­gres­sive about get­ting us in­volved,’’ Boyette says.

‘‘When I got the call to say they were putting it to­gether, it was an hon­our and it was a way of giv­ing thanks to Michael.

‘‘This is pretty ex­tra­or­di­nary and an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity and they’ve done well putting the mu­si­cians to­gether.

‘‘I am just one out of five mu­si­cians who played with him and it brings a lot of depth and in­tegrity to the show.’’

Michael Jack­son The Im­mor­tal World Tour opened its Bris­bane run last night.

The show brings to life 35 mem­o­rable Jack­son tunes. The orches­tra syncs their The mu­si­cians (above) who per­form live for Cirque du Soleil’s Jack­son The Im­mor­tal World Tour. Right: Gui­tarist De­siree Bartlett. per­for­mance to Jack­son’s raw vo­cals, which have been stripped from orig­i­nal multi-track mas­ter record­ings from his al­bums.

Boyette says the mu­si­cians who played with Jack­son and are on The Im­mor­tal Tour were more than just part of his en­tourage. He says Jack­son was very per­son­able; the mu­si­cians shared not just the stage with the singer­song­writer, but also a close friend­ship.

‘‘It’s pretty spe­cial to be in­volved,’’ Boyette says.

‘‘We were not only Michael’s band mem­bers, we were also his friends and it brings a spe­cial el­e­ment to the show.’’

Last night’s show was also the sec­ond an­niver­sary of The Im­mor­tal Tour.

Boyette has been with the tour since day one and says this is the mu­si­cians’ way of pay­ing their re­spects to Jack­son and keep­ing his mu­sic alive.

‘‘It will be a sad day when­ever we stop play­ing this show,’’ Boyette says.

‘‘He al­ways said he wanted to do some­thing with Cirque du Soleil, but un­for­tu­nately he never got around to it.’’

Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jack­son The Im­mor­tal World Tour plays the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre tonight and tomorrow at 8pm and Satur­day and Sun­day at 4pm and 8pm.


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