The Jacksons bring back hits, memories of Michael to Motown

jermaine and jackie
The Jacksons at Motor City Casino’s Sound Board. All photos by Matt Harding.

By Matt Harding
Motor City Muckraker

The Jacksons took the stage last night at Motor City Casino’s Sound Board with a near-full house in front of them. Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Jermaine Jackson played for a crowd of people who likely grew up listening to the brothers, as most were singing — and dancing — along.

Motor City Muckraker was on hand for the first five songs of the concert, which began with the same songs the four played at Detroit’s Fox Theatre at the start of their 70-show world tour, Unity, in June 2012.

Much of the crowd was on its feet for the songs, and tributes to their late brother and Jackson 5 frontman Michael were found across the venue — from T-shirts to sparkly glove and hat regalia worn by fans. The Jacksons also opened the concert with a tribute video that featured the Jackson 5, mostly in its heyday.

They began with the song “Can You Feel It,” and continued with “Blame It On The Boogie,” “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” “Rock With You,” from Michael’s Off The Wall album, and “Show You The Way To Go.”

Michael’s vocals were noticeably missing as Jermaine has since taken the helm. And, while Jermaine is no slouch behind the mic, the brothers relied heavily on the band behind them, which felt overpowering at times. But the energy in the room — and on stage — was unmistakable.

The Jacksons
The Jacksons, from left to right: Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine
Jermaine Jackson
Lead vocalist Jermaine gestures to the audience
Tito Jackson
Tito takes over vocals as his brothers continue the dance routine
Fans await performance
Fans await the performers 45 minutes prior to the show

The Sound Board concert was the band’s first show since they ended their residency at Las Vegas’s Saxe Theater at the end of April. Tonight, they play at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Mich., before heading to Caesar’s in Atlantic City, N.J., for a short but extended stay in July.

Matt Harding

Matt Harding is a third-year journalism student at Wayne State University, a photographer, and a lifelong Detroiter. He has covered major political and sporting events and is the author & photographer of Belle Isle: Discovering Detroit’s Crown Jewel. Matt’s current project can be found on