As reported by Vegas Backstage Access a couple of times in the recent past, there was a strong indication that there would soon be a Michael Jackson tour announced. Now it’s official: The self-proclaimed 50-year-old King of Pop announced on Thursday at a London news conference that he will have a series of 10 performances – the ‘This-is- It’ tour – at the 20,000-seat London’s O2 Arena, beginnning July 8.
After taking a 4 ½ hour physical from concert promoters’ doctors, Jackson was declared fit as a fiddle to perform. Then he came out and told his fans that this would be his last concert in England, leaving the door open, perhaps, for concerts elsewhere.
The shows would mark Jackson’s first major performances since 2001 and 2002, when he appeared at a pair of 30th anniversary celebrations and two benefit concerts. His brief appearance at the World Music Awards in 2006 was booed by some audience members. Jackson’s last extended performances were for the HIStory tour in 1996-97 that had 82 performances.
There is still hope for Las Vegas performances, though. While Jackson has expressed little interest in a long-term Las Vegas deal because of the rigorous demands, he has always thought of Vegas as a last stop for fading stars. And remember that the Los Angeles-based AEG, which manages and books The 02 and also sets deals with The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. AEG reportedly has a deal for more than triple the 10 dates that were announced.