Michael Jackson fans – many of them dressed as their hero – paid tribute to the legend’s talents during an electrifying show at the Alexandra Theatre.
They sang, danced and unashamedly re-lived their memories of the superstar, swept along by his music.
Some of the fans said they had purchased tickets to Jackson’s ill-fated This Is It tour which he was scheduled to perform at the O2 Arena next week.
Others had unsuccessfully entered the ballot to clinch one of the 17,000 online tickets to Jackson’s memorial ceremony in Los Angeles today .
Many in the audience saw the show as their best opportunity to gather with other fans and celebrate the incredible career of the King of Pop.
The two-and-a-half hour show started with a sentimental hark back to songs from the Jackson Five.
But things really began to kick off when the cast performed exhausting renditions of Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough and Can You Feel It. Pop Idol runner-up and lead vocalist Hayley Evetts, of Quinton, did a brilliant job imitating Jackson’s trademark screams and sang I’ll Be There, with finesse.
The second half became noticeably racier beginning with Wanna Be Starting Something and Beat It.
One of the dancers performing such a raunchy routine to Dirty Diana, the whole sequence would have not been out of place at a gentlemen’s club.
The crotch grabbing, sliding and sexy beats in tracks such as Smooth Criminal and The Way You Make Me Feel, had the audience enthralled.
The pace of the second half slowed somewhat when the cast donned white outfits and broke into infamous Earth Song and Heal The World. But renditions of Thriller and Black or White, had the audience out of their seats dancing again. However, the night belonged to the lead vocalist who performed Billie Jean with trademark moon walk so convincingly, that for a brief moment, we could have been looking at the man in the mirror, himself.
Thriller Live continues until Saturday.