Let’s Face It, The Michael Jackson Tribute Gig Is Going To Suck

It reads like the kind of random collection of acts you’d find honking above Steve Jones’ klaxon at a T4 On The Beach show. Craig David! Pixie Lott! Alexandra Burke!

What could this be? The line up for The Paul O’Grady Show? The list of talking heads rushing to talk about #mygoodfriendamywinehouse for the latest Channel Five documentary?

Nope, it’s the line up for Michael Jackson tribute concert which takes place in MJ’s spiritual home. You know, Wales.


In the heartfelt statement, Katherine Jackson says: “It is intended to be the biggest, and the best concert event in the world for many years to come. This is how Michael would have wanted it.”

Which just tips the whole thing from ‘quite funny’ to ‘delusional and sad’ especially when the likes of Alien Ant Farm are involved. Do you remember them? Their one moment of chart glory was when they took the piss out of ‘Smooth Criminal’ at a time when US punk covers were a kind of backhanded compliment (not to mention an easy way to get a hit).

KISS were also slated to appear until recently, which is bizarre when you think that when those Michael Jackson accusations were being made Gene Simmons told Classic Rock magazine : “There’s no question in my mind [Michael] molested those kids. Not a doubt.”

Eek. Say what you really think, Gene.

How does that kind of oversight take place? Well it’s not the first time. Who can forget the notoriously homophobic Axl Rose duetting with Elton John on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert?

Tribute concerts are a strange beast; where the wants of promoters and the availability of ‘talent’ doesn’t necessarily tally with who the artist was or what they would have wanted.

They work much better in the controlled environment of an award show. This year’s VMAs are set to pay tribute to both Amy Winehouse ( my money is on Christina Aguilera emoting the shit out of ‘Back To Black’) and Britney Spears (which probably won’t feature Christina Aguilera performing anything, except perhaps the entire plot of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane in her head).

I expect both to be a heady mix of groan-inducing and awe-inspiring, but the great thing is that the “tribute section” of the show will be over in 10-20 minutes and then it will move onto the next thing. Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the best way to handle this “tribute” business.