Janet Jackson at Comerica Theatre Last Night

Janet Jackson Comerica Theatre April 8, 2011

It's easy to forget how impressive a career Janet Jackson has had over the years. But when you come from one of America's most dysfunctional families, it's probably not hard to get lost in the shuffle. Especially when your siblings tend to grab headlines for owning a pet chimp, dangling his adopted son over a balcony, posing in Playboy, or the like. But just in case you're one of those people who have forgotten about Janet, she's got a new album -- a collection of her biggest hits, a new book, and a tour to remind you all about it. That tour made a stop at the sold out Comerica Theatre last night in Phoenix.

Considering that Janet Jackson's best of album, Number Ones, contains thirty-five tracks and is nearly two and a half hours long it would be a pretty safe bet some fans were wondering whether or not they'd get to hear their favorite song last night.

Fortunately Janet Jackson had a method in mind that would ensure that she got through all thirty-five of those songs and keep her fans happy. She would essentially break up her show into a series of medleys, playing portions of her big hits; just enough to where you could say you got to hear your favorite Janet Jackson song.

By just mostly just playing pieces of her big hits she managed to condense her album into an hour and a half long set. Though, given all the breaks, she probably managed to get through all songs in less time than that.

While this was a reasonable solution to make sure that everybody heard what they came to hear, there were a few songs that would have been nice to be performed from beginning to end. At the top of that list is the song "Scream," which she originally performed with her brother Michael. When the video for the song came on the screen above the stage and Michael Jackson first appeared people went crazy. Seeing that song performed from start to finish would have most definitely been the highlight of the night.

Still, though, there were definitely a few highlights during the night. Like her opening medley of "Pleasure Principle," "Control," "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" and "Feedback."

Last night's concert was all about celebrating Janet Jackson's career as a musician and looking back over all of her work. But, not only did we get a chance to experience her music all over again but her sometimes side job of actress also got a retrospective as well. They showed clips of her from her time on Good Times, Diff'rent Strokes, Poetic Justice and Why Did I Get Married Too?

Understandably, all of the clips they showed were meant to show that she is just as talented as an actress as a musician. While, that's all fine and good, some of the clips they showed, like the one from Good Times, which dealt with child abuse, was kind of a bummer and killed the mood for a minute.

Fortunately they didn't focus on her acting too long. They mostly kept to the music, which was good news for the fans that came to see her perform. And perform she did. Janet Jackson put on a great show and showed that she can still put on a spectacle with the best of them.

Critics Notebook:

Last Night: Janet Jackson at Comerica Theatre

Personal Bias: Very limited. I wouldn't consider myself a mega-fan of Jackson's but I'll happily turn up the radio if and when she comes on.

The Crowed: Fairly mixed. Quite a few parents brought their kids for this one.

Overheard in the crowd: "I'm hoping for another wardrobe malfunction." I'm actually surprised I only heard this once last night.

Random Notebook Dump: Janet Jackson still looks sexy as hell.

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Mike Escoto