The crowd: A capacity audience of 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 slated 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.
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 Startin' Somethin'.
The performance: The Jamie King-directed show featured Cirque's typical attention to detail, from meticulously constructed props (glowing hearts, a handsome hot-air balloon) to exquisite cast numbers choreographed by longtime Jackson associates such as Travis Payne. Unlike traditional Cirque shows, Immortal was presented less as a nouveau circus than a fantasy concert, with some of Jackson's signature moves cast through Cirque's whimsical prism.
The centerpiece: A re-creation of Jackson's Giving Tree, the backyard spot at his Neverland Ranch where he often retreated for musical inspiration. It served as a platform for the show's high-energy, exotically costumed troupe â" a cast of flipping, gyrating dancers as acrobatic as they were smooth.
The wow factor:Human Nature featured performers dangling over the stage, gorgeously dotted with lights against a backdrop of stars. A giant white glove and dancing shoes appeared for Beat It, and the Giving Tree expanded into a sprawling set of claws for Thriller, which featured mummies and white-tuxedoed zombies. Peace symbols adorned the chests on the robotic warriors of They Don't Care About Us, and hearts were a big theme throughout. While the show featured no singular story line, broad themes of compassion, human connection and global consciousness were sketched throughout.
The King of Pop: Jackson was a constant presence throughout, and he occasionally had the stage to himself: I'll Be There featured just his voice accompanied by a live piano, childhood footage playing on a big onstage screen.
Michael Jackson goes Cirque du Soleil