Jacksons bring musical spirit to Merrillville

2012-06-22T21:55:00Z 2012-12-27T08:59:03Z Jacksons bring musical spirit to MerrillvilleBy Eloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Jackson mania was alive and well Friday night at the Star Plaza Theatre.

Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon were in the house and recreating some of the musical magic of the 1970s.

Jackson admirers from around the Midwest traveled to Northwest Indiana to see the second show of The Jacksons Unity Tour.

"I've been following them since they came out," said Dennis Prince, of Battle Creek, Mich. Prince attended the show with his sister Vera, of Chicago.

They said they wouldn't have missed the event.

Also excited to be in the audience were Kathy Padrutt and her daughter, Sarah, of Chippewa Falls, Wis. "We went to see the house earlier," said Kathy, about paying a visit to the Jacksons' Gary boyhood home, mere miles away from the concert venue.

Esther Ojeda, of Gary, attended the show with her son, Terrence. Esther Ojeda, who has been a longtime fan of the family, said it was important for them to be in the audience to support the legendary Gary family.

Just prior to the brothers taking the stage, the energy picked up in the room as the strains of "Can You Feel It" sounded through the venue.

Once their idols were on stage, fans were out of their seats cheering and screaming for the quartet. The females in the audience were like young teens again as they shouted out the names of their favorite brothers.

Early on, The Jacksons performed "Blame It On The Boogie," "I Want To Be Where You Are" and "Rock With You."

The concert, which was dedicated to Michael, who died in 2009, also featured film clips of the family and even a performance of "Gone Too Soon" by Jermaine. At one point Jermaine teared up while singing the tune.

Midway in the show, the brothers launched into some of their biggest hits, including "I Want You Back," ABC" and "I'll Be There."

During an interview earlier this week, Jackie Jackson said a lot of people were wondering what the shows would be like without Michael.

The songs they performed were rearranged differently to compensate for Michael's missing voice.

The Unity Tour, the brothers have said, is just a warmup for a more extensive worldwide tour at a later date.  

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