Pop stars are eternal, always playing on endless loops in our minds. And tribute concerts to the dearly departed—not to mention holograms of them—can be fun, if they’re done well. Like the newly rejuvenated MJ Live Show which I saw this past Thursday night at the @troplv having moved from its previous home at The Strat. The show feels more powerful + commanding in the Tropicana showroom. 

Of course, MJ‘s body of work is stellar, and the hits (you know them all) kept coming in this vibrant + quick-paced show, with an excellent MJ impersonator who does not disappoint, a three-piece backing band and eight dancers. The choreography is killer, right down to MJ’s moonwalking style which still startles. 

The show intentionally has no fancy visual frills like film footage; the focus is on the performance itself—after all, it’s billed as the “Michael Jackson Tribute Concert.” Show stoppers include the self-reflective “Man In The Mirror,” the celebratory “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5, complete with ‘70s period costumes + wigs, and the Jacksons’ funk-fest finale “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground).”

Looking at MJ during the show’s most intimate moments, you could see his eyes closed, under the spotlight—seemingly at peace, as if frozen in time—free of tabloid madness, lawsuits + mounting bills.