Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Michael's Gone, but Jacksons Play On

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Michael's Gone, but Jacksons Play On

Article excerpt

WHO: The Jacksons

WHAT: R&B/pop

IN TOWN: 8 p.m. Saturday, bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood; 201-227-1030, Ticketmaster or bergenpac.org. $69 to $164

ALSO PERFORMING: 8 p.m. Thursday, the Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., Manhattan; Ticketmaster or apollotheater.org. $59 to $399

FOR MORE INFORMATION: thejacksons.com.

It won't be the same - it can't be and it won't ever be - but it's time to get on with the show. That's why Marlon Jackson, along with his brothers Jermaine, Tito and Jackie, are excited about hitting the road again as The Jacksons for the first time since the Victory Tour in 1984 and, of course, for the first time without baby brother Michael, who died at age 50 in 2009.

"I'm ready," Marlon says. "I'm always ready. We're looking forward to this. We're looking forward to performing for our fans. It wasn't hard to prepare because we've been doing this for a long time. It had been a long time, but we'd done it for a long time prior to taking the hiatus. It was like riding a bike. You tweak some things here and there, and then you get back on it.

"Of course, [Michael's] presence up there is definitely missed," Marlon says. "But his spirit is with us. We feel like he's up there with us. We're giving 100 percent. The five brothers, in the beginning, that was the foundation of everything. That doesn't change."

The Jackson 5, launched by Motown into the pop stratosphere in the late '60s, topped the charts repeatedly before splintering off into separate solo careers - the most notable being Michael's - and session work. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Marlon is on the phone from Ontario, Canada, a day after the Jacksons' first show on their Unity Tour. He and his brothers will next play a trio of dates in our area: the Apollo Theater on Thursday, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City on Friday and bergenPAC in Englewood on Saturday.

"The show is 90 minutes, give or take a little," Marlon says. "We have a lot of songs. So we try to do as many as possible within that 90-minute period without chopping them up too much. We're going to cover practically almost everything. …

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