The Jackson brothers are embarking on a tour, their first in decades and their only time doing so without superstar and King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Tonight, five days before the third anniversary of Michael’s death from an overdose on the anesthetic propofol, his brothers Marlon, Jermaine, Tito and Jackie Jackson will launch their 16-date “Unity Tour” in Ontario, Canada’s Rama Casino.
While Jermaine says the brothers have wanted to reunite for years, they all needed time to heal after Michael’s death. This tour, he says, is part of that process, but preparing for it has been a difficult task.
“The brothers don’t know this, but I’ve broken down several times and cried during rehearsals,” he told the Huffington Post. “I’m so used to Michael being on the right and then Marlon, Jackie, on and on. It’s just something we never get used to.”
“For me, this cycle that comes around every year – this day, that day – that doesn’t affect me because it affects me every day,” Marlon said about the anniversary of Michael’s death. “When that day comes around, it’s the same. You learn to live with it. I still wake up sometimes and go, `Jeez. I can’t believe my brother’s not here.’”
The brothers plan to publicly remember Michael on each tour stop with a slideshow and a bittersweet song medley.
“There’s certain songs that make you feel the sorrow,” said Tito. “Then again, there are other songs that bring so much joy and happiness, such as `ABC’ and `I Want You Back’ and the up-tempo stuff like `This Place Hotel.’ I just imagine how he used to walk and spin and do all these things. You can feel his presence here.”
While the brothers have never toured as a quartet, various combinations have performed together over the years. This experience, they say, will serve them fine on this outing.
“It’s like riding a bike. You never forget, but you do need to tweak a few things,” Marlon said.
Jackie agrees, saying the brothers have “a certain magic” that will rekindle itself once they get going.
“Once we get out here and run it down a couple times, it comes back to you,” he says. “I’m not (moving) like I used to, but we still got it.”
The Jacksons’ Unity Tour runs from June 20-July 29. Check the itinerary below.
6/20 – Rama, ON, Canada – Casino Rama
6/22 – Merrillville, IN – Star Plaza Theatre
6/23 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre
6/28 – New York, NY – Apollo Theatre
6/29 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
6/30 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center
7/1 – Baltimore, MD – Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric
7/8 – Atlanta, GA – Chastain Park Amphitheatre
7/17 – Albuquerque, NM – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
7/18 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
7/20 – Las Vegas, NV – The Club at Cannery Casino Hotel
7/21 – Valley Center, CA – Harrah’s Rincon – Open Sky
7/22 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
7/27 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
7/28 – Lincoln City, OR – Chinook Winds Casino Resort
7/29 – Snoqualmie, WA – Snoqualmie Casino Amphitheater
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.thejacksons.com.