In anticipation of her upcoming album Unbreakable, Janet Jackson kicked off her world tour in Vancouver on Monday night (Aug. 31). Four years since her last tour, and seven since her last studio album, Ms. Jackson made a triumphant return to the stage at Rogers Arena.
Covered from head to toe in all white with sneakers (she only changed once the entire night), she performed hits spanning her 30-plus-year career as well as three unreleased songs from Unbreakable.
She opened with a new club-ready jam that featured a verse from Missy Elliott, who appeared on screen, in praise of Ms. Jackson. “This that jam, now do your thing! Make it work, make it work, make it work!” raps Missy.
It was followed by a 45-minute medley of dance hits including “Nasty,” “Control,” “Feedback,” “Someone to Call My Lover,” and “All for You.”
She updated “Any Time, Any Place” with some of Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice,” which sampled that song. J. Cole appeared on screen to spit his verse on “No Sleeep,” and Janet performed a hip-hop-inspired remix to “Together Again.”
During the finale she performed “Rhythm Nation” followed by a new song, which The New York Times describes as a “ballad that marched its way toward an anthem, part U2 and part trance music.”
As images of the homeless and #BlackLivesMatter rallies showed on screen, dancers pumped their fists in the air, while Janet sang, “We won’t accept excuses / We tolerate no abuses” and “Make this world a better place.”
She ended with another new song, a Motown-inspired ballad about enduring love that serves as the title track to Unbreakable, and addressed her fans.
“Thank you all so much for all your support from me and my entire family,” she told the sold-out crowd.
Janet’s “Unbreakable World Tour” makes it way throughout the U.S. and Canada through November before heading to Japan and returning to the U.S. for another leg in early 2016.