The crowd: A capacity audience of about 13,000 included brothers Tito, Jackie and Randy Jackson, mom Katherine and Michael's kids Prince (14), Paris (13) and Blanket (9). "We've been waiting a long time," Tito says. "It's not only emotional, it's exciting."
The tour: Sunday's show launched a 47-city North American tour that will make its U.S. debut Oct. 15 in Detroit. The tour â" which will include a December residency at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas â" is scheduled to wrap up July 20 in Chicago, though more dates are likely. The show will establish a permanent Vegas home in late 2013.
The fans: On a wet and chilly night in Montreal, Sunday's opening drew fans from Brazil to Los Angeles, some decked out with glittery white gloves and classic Thriller jackets. Showing up to celebrate her 50th birthday was Chicago's Lisha McDuff, a flutist. "No matter how high your expectations, (Cirque) always exceeds them," she says. "Put that with Michael Jackson, and it's got to be mind-blowing."
The music: The show was an ecstatic barrage of hits from Jackson's solo career and Jackson 5 years. With vocal parts extracted from original studio tapes and mixed with a live band (directed by Jackson keyboardist Greg Phillinganes), it was a four-dimensional funky swirl of sound. The set ran through a host of moods â" a night where the tender Childhood seamlessly segued into the crackling Wanna Be Starting Something.