So I took in “This Is It” last week. I’ve been mulling over my thoughts concerning the film, and whether or not to share them. To be honest, I wasn’t all that hype about seeing it. I think there’s something eerie about watching the rehearsals of a show that never happened.
And they’re rehearsals. Nothing more.
Then again, it’s Michael, and I was extremely curious back in March to see what Michael had in store for this sold-out tour. Remember, I was hoping they’d find some way to broadcast one of the concert shows in America (See, the P.S.). So I went with no real expectations and sat through the strewn together rehearsal concert set, searching for more understanding, like many others.
To me, there wasn’t that much I’d consider to be grand about much of what I saw. Nothing all that innovative or unique.
The new interpretations of different songs and videos, such as Thriller, were pretty cool. I got a kick out of the dancers goaded Mike into singing at full strength and vibing with one of his background vocalists, and Mike’s competitive nature giving into the peer pressure. That was the best moment of it the film, with the dancers’ kind tributes/words concerning Mike that open the film coming in a close second.
Beyond that, there wasn’t anything too thrilling. I’m not say that it wasn’t intriguing. Seeing Michael kindly tell people off was a riot. Hell, just seeing him move and knowing these were his last moments on a stage ever made it worth the price of admission. Still, there was no grand Motown 25-type moment.
What got me, though, was the power and purpose of Michael’s music, even with him halfway singing. It’s not like I haven’t sat and listened to the music for hours in recent months. But there was something different about watching him practice this set of songs, and realizing that this was the final impression he wanted to leave of himself on a stage.
He and the people he worked with told stories, tales that had meaning and forced you to open your mind and maybe even your heart to a different, worthwhile perspective. And as you watch him practice, you realize that so much of it is timeless. You get the feeling that decades from now people are still going to be listening to Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad, searching out and finding some of life’s answers (same can be said for albums like What’s Goin On? and Songs In The Key of Life).
It got me thinking about the music that’s out today, and whether or not the only purpose is making money through a quick fix of a beat and meaningless lyrics. Not much of it is worth the time it takes to pirate it anything. I don’t know. Maybe we should just call it fast food music. It’s a quick fix for some, but has no good/real purpose over time.
But it’s what so much of our society is hooked on, music that hits for a moment but doesn’t stand a chance at standing the test of time. And the artists/musicians who have the talent to produce the worthwhile messages we should hear, don’t seem to be heard by the masses all that often.
Thinking about all of this, It left me to wonder last week if we buried the last voice capable of moving the masses? This really may be it. And if so, it’s interesting that he left us with this last glimpse of him at his core: Michael giving stern and pointed instructions to his musicians, but wanting them to know that his desire for perfection came from and with L-O-V-E.
If you’ve seen it, share your thoughts. If you haven’t, will you see it? If so, what are you expecting. If not, why not?