The Student Association’s Michael Jackson “HIStory” tribute concert was a real thriller, paying homage to the life and legacy of the “king of pop.”
The tribute concert featured singing, dancing and skits, all featuring Jackson’s legendary hits. The event was a collaboration among many student organizations and highlighted Jackson’s lifelong message of equality among people, said Randiss Hopkins, program coordinator and junior education major.
“Everybody has worked hard on the show,” Hopkins said. “I’m just glad to see the whole vision come to fruition and to see it all work out. I’m more than honored and humbled.”
The crowd’s favorite part seemed to be when a dancer mimicked Jackson’s “Bad” music video and moonwalked across the stage in roller skates before doing a flip.
“It depends on the day--in rehearsal maybe one part is my favorite act, maybe ‘I Want You Back’ is my favorite act, some rehearsals ‘Man in the Mirror’ is my favorite act,” Hopkins said. “But today in the show my favorite act was [Jeannda Welton] doing the flip on the skates and just seeing the audience go crazy, that was pretty cool.”
Freshman accounting major Loreal Taylor attended to support Empire Modelz, a group participating in the show. But Taylor was also impressed by the variety of Jackson songs that were featured.
“I wanted to see the show, and I heard it was going to be good,” Taylor said. “I thought it was pretty amazing, it was real epic to me. I liked the fact that they were really universal. There’s millions of Michael Jackson songs out there that...nobody know[s] about, and I like how they showcased most of them.”
Artist “Matt Muse,” a junior marketing major, was the emcee for the concert, a first for him.
“It was great, actually,” Muse said. “I was blown away by how the crowd participated. I was nervous at first. then I got comfortable because they were doing so well vibing with me and everything. It was a phenomenal experience.”
Muse is on the executive board of the group Expressions Inc. with Hopkins, who asked him to host the event.
The concert was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. but was delayed by about an hour and a half.
“I am beyond pleased,” Muse said. “I knew it was going to be good, there were some bumps in the road and they all got cleared out tonight.”
Jeannda Welton, senior special education major, was the head choreographer and put together most of the show’s finale, including an improvised roller skate flip. Although it took a lot of hard work and long hours, the crowd made it all worthwhile, Welton said.
“The crowd was great. They interacted with us, they were singing the songs and dancing,” Welton said. “They seemed like they really appreciated the show, which is great because we worked so hard on the show.”
NIU alumnus Louie Debulgado couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see a Jackson tribute concert and to support dance teams like the ones he used to be a part of.
“I heard Michael Jackson and you can’t turn that down,” Debulgado said. “It was a good mix of everything from dance to singing. It brought a really good variety out and a really good crowd out, too.”
Junior journalism major Dallas Green was part of the show with his group, Empire Modelz. Being involved in a concert tribute to Michael Jackson was important, Green said.
“Michael Jackson was an inspiration to me growing up, so it was only right that I participated in it and pay my respects and pay homage,” Green said.