Reviews: Janet Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Britney Spears & More
This week, for your reading enjoyments, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Janet Jackson in Syracus, N.Y.; Kenny Chesney in Kansas City, Mo.; Britney Spears in Bethlehem, Penn.; Evanescence/Lindsey Sterling in Mansfield, Conn.; Hall & Oates / Train in Omaha, Neb.; Janelle Monáe in Toronto; and Radiohead in Montreal.
Anna C. Jones – Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson is in control at Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 9.
Janet Jackson @ Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, N.Y., July 18 – “Jackson, who gave birth to her first child last year a few months before turning 51 herself, showed that being a single mom hasn’t slowed her down. She performed with a group of backup dancers for most of the songs, looking especially fierce with her moves on songs like ‘Love Will Never Do (Without You),’ ‘If’ and – of course – ‘Rhythm Nation.’” – Geoff Herbert / The Post-Standard
Kenny Chesney @ Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Jul 14 – “While bounding across the expansive stage that housed a large band and three massive video screens displaying live and prerecorded footage, he appeared to tweak a knee or ankle. Rather than spending the remainder of the evening indulging in his ingratiating knack for seeming less like a conventional entertainer than the most enthusiastic member of the audience, Chesney periodically doubled over in pain and gamely hobbled about in a small radius at the end of the stage’s walkway for the last hour of the show.” – Bill Brownlee / The Kansas City Star
Britney Spears @
Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Penn., July 17 – “So tightly choreographed was the 23-song show that Spears literally spoke to the crowd twice: to say ‘What’s up, Bethlehem?’ after the second song, her 2008 hit ‘Womanizer,’ then late in the show, when she brought a guy out of the audience to dance with her on ‘Freakshow.’” – John J. Moser / The Morning Call
Andy Argyrakis / ConcertLivewire.com – Britney Spears
“B96 Jingle Bash,” Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Ill.
Evanescence / Lindsey Sterling @ Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Mass., July 18 – “A performance artist with a style that is all her own, Sterling brings energy to the stage along with original compositions that not only feature her choreography but her ability to tell a story by strumming the violin. … [Evanescence’s] music ranges from hard rock to metal, and over the years there have been numerous band changes, with the exception of [Amy] Lee. She remains at the helm with powerful yet ethereal vocals, like a mix of Pat Benatar and Enya. Lee is also quite adept at the keyboard.” – Patricia McAlpine / The Sun Chronicle
Hall & Oates / Train @ CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb., July 18 – “Though it was a night full of familiar songs, the co-headline contained a strange feel. On one hand, you had Train. On the other, Hall & Oates.
“One brought together R&B, soul and rock in a new way, helping to create a sound representative of an entire city while penning numerous classics. The other has a knack for making hit songs with catchy melodies and not much substance.” – Kevin Coffey / World-Herald
James Hendershot – Janelle Monáe
The Summer Spirit Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md.
Janelle Monáe @ Rebel in Toronto, Ontario, July 16 – “There was also a joyously fun bit where she invited audience members on stage for their own dance solos, which went to show how much attention she was paying to her crowd (at least in the front rows) because she picked fans who each had their own styles.” – Chris Rattan / Now
Radiohead @ Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, July 16 – “As always with this band, the details counted for a lot, whether it was guitarist Ed O’Brien’s quietly devastating backing vocals amid the lyrical motion of ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’ or Jonny Greenwood expanding the percussion section to a triple threat for ‘Bloom,’ all skittering beats and aquatic atmospheres. But there was more joy than studiousness, especially when the encores kicked off with a scrappy ‘Bodysnatchers’ — Jonny Greenwood flaying his guitar like it was 1993 — and Yorke good-naturedly shrugging off a false start to the finespun House of Cards.” – Jordan Zivitz / Montreal Gazette