Welcome Michael Jackson fans! Today I am continuing my audio commentary of Michael Jackson’s History tour in Munich. Today we are focusing on the song “Wanna be startin somethin” and it’s instalment 3 of the series.
I will be analysing and giving a detailed commentary of all of Michael’s performances and concerts.
You should have my commentary on full volume and have the song set up to place just before the song starts and the 3 drum hits come in, after Michael puts his arm out and performs the first dance move. Press play on the first drum beat!
You should put the volume of the concert at around 50%, so you can hear both.
Alternatively, you can play your own version along at home. In case you havn’t got it at home, it’s below (start 49 seconds):
Wanna be startin somethin – The Performance
I’ll summarise a few of the points I talk about in the above video including Michael’s vocal performance. Without doubt, this is probably his weakest vocal performance that we have heard. Michael’s voice, on certain parts of the tour, was not it’s best and this show, and in particular this song, he strained throughout. We are led to believe, by fans, that Michael was suffering from laryngitis. I haven’t had any official indication of this, however, it sounds like he has throat issues during this show (the 2 shows, actually), that very may well be laryngitis.
The interesting thing is that the key of the song is significantly lower than in Michael’s previous tours and much slower in tempo too. In fact, the performance is 3 semitones LOWER than the original Thriller album version. This means that it should be comfortably within Michael’s range without straining. However, when you add other factors, like dancing, travelling, press, illness and a personal and professional life – it can affect the vocal delivery and it certainly did during this song.
Michael’s was on top form with his dancing during this song. His “James Brown shuffle” was amazing and his previous spin was perfect. High energy and exactly what the fans want and expect. I go into more detail in the commentary itself.
Vocally and musically totally live
Michael Jackson, in his whole career, never mimed this song. It was a song that during every show was played and sang 100% live. There were never any prerecorded elements (excluding triggered sounds and affects) which means that the song always had a high energy excitement, that was missing from certain other songs. Often one of many highlights in Michael’s shows.
Missing Vocalist really affects the chant
If you listen to the first leg of the History tour, and specifically during this song, you will notice that the backing vocals sound thicker and fuller. This is because there for more backing singers on the first leg of the tour and only 3 during the second leg of the History tour. This is a pity because there is thinness and weakness during the chant “mama say mama sa makossa”. However, this is still one of my favourite performances of the song and if you want to know more, you’ll have to listen to the commentary! 🙂 It’s been a pleasure, i’ll be with you soon with the next instalment – STRANGER IN MOSCOW!
By Anthony King (c)
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