Arriving in Tokyo was the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life. Michael and Frank made sure to try their absolute best to keep the arrival a secret, but they couldn't outsmart the fans. They knew when Michael was coming. What airport and what time. We were met with so many paparazzi and fans at Narita International Airport. Come to find out, over six hundred people met us there. It was a hassle getting through all of that. I don't know how Frank did it, but he made it a point to make it look like I was one of Michael's assistants. As if I wasn't being pushed behind the scenes enough, I had been demoted to being my husband's own assistant. Tatiana got more respect than me at this point. At least people didn't have to sign NDA's to see her or even to be in the same room as her. Sure, she works for him, but Michael had no problem letting her flirt with him on set. I just can't wait until all this ducking and dodging is over. In a way, I'm glad, because maybe the news of our marriage would overshadow the album and the tour and I wouldn't want that. But at the same time, I can't wait until people recognize me as Michael Jackson's wife. Not his personal assistant. But that's just how the cookie has to crumble in order to get through NRT safely. After finally settling down, Michael wanted to visit every theme park Japan had to offer. Korakeun Amusement Park was first on our list the day after we landed. Japan is way ahead of the United States when it comes to technology and entertainment. If I could, I would get on The Big O Ferris Wheel over and over and over again, but of course, Michael wanted to get on all the fast rides. Don't get me wrong, I love roller coasters. I love heights and all. But after being on an eleven-hour flight and still being jet-lagged, I wanted to be on the slowest rides possible. Yesterday at Disneyland Tokyo was a dream. It reminded me of home of course because there's just something about that Disney magic. No matter what area of the world you're in, if it had a Disney theme park, expect nothing less of the magic it has to offer. I didn't want to leave. It had just about the same rides that Disneyland and Disney World have, but the slight differences in how they looked intrigued me.
Today is the first concert. Three years ago, Michael had to sneak me backstage just to watch the last show with his brothers. Now, I have full on access. The crew knew who I was this time around. I was only the "assistant" when it came to the public. But most importantly to the ever-documenting journalists. But to everyone that worked for Michael, I was his wife and it felt good to finally be noticed as such. We're taking small steps here. I see the growth. The lights dimmed and at that moment, I took my seat right where Michael would be entering and exiting. The fans over here were much more organized and much less loud than the fans in LA. It was interesting to see the contrast in the Japanese fans and American fans. These fans were more patient and instead of screaming their heads off, they clapped and waited for Michael to get on stage.
The lights turned on and the intro to "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" began. Michael wore a black long-sleeved top with black leather pants with buckles on the side. Almost the same ones he wore in the "Bad" video. He and his backup singers who were also his dancers quickly stole the show. Michael sang and danced across the stage to the excited audience who just clapped to the beat. Before the show, Michael told me that although he wasn't nervous, he did feel that the first show was never really the best show. In fact, he knew that maybe the tenth or thirtieth show would top this one. I'm sure the fans won't know the difference though. They paid to see my husband and they're getting the show they paid for. Unlike the Victory tour, Michael didn't have an elaborate show that told a story. He simply sang and danced. I kind of like it though. However, it is kind of odd to see him on stage without his brothers. It's just different. By the middle of the song, Michael and the dancers stood in one pose staring out at the audience. The audience didn't know what to do, but after a while, they started clapping and cheered. I smiled at the simple fact that all Michael had to do was stand there and he still drummed up excitement throughout the arena. They got louder the longer Michael stood there motionless. Finally, he moved and started singing again. At that, I rose to my feet and started singing as well. It's amazing to see how my husband literally transformed being out on stage. He's always said he was more comfortable on stage than anything. Although he had his doubts about this being the first show and not as "great" as the later ones, he still put on one heck of a performance.
The middle of the show, Tatiana walked up beside me. It was the first time I'd seen her since August. Michael hasn't talked to her as far as I know.
"Hey, Shayla!" she smiled. "It's good to see you. I haven't seen you since rehearsal."
I nodded, "yeah. Do you have your walk down? I heard you weren't able to rehearse with the rest of the crew."
"Oh yeah," she waved off the thought. "Michael and Frank said my walk was so good, they didn't need me until September. Now it's time to show the entire world that walk," she smirked as she looked out at the stage. As she waited for her cue, I could tell she was nervous. Poor girl was shaking like a five dollar stripper.
"Nervous?" I giggled.
"Oh, no... Just cold. Oop. Here's my cue. See you girl."
"Break a leg," I told her as she walked out on Michael's cue. I watched as she walked across that stage fiercely towards Michael. Michael stared at her as she walked toward him. She looked him up and down and pivot turned then walked back towards me. Michael and the backup dancers followed her almost to the exit and finally stopped to do their dance break.
"How'd I do?" she squealed once she made it back. I gave her two thumbs up and looked back out at the show. What'd she expect me to say? Good job walking in front of my husband in a sexy manner? It's part of the show, I know. But my marriage almost faltered because of her and Michael's carelessness. She gets no compliment from me.
The end of the show, Sheryl Crow joined Michael centerstage to sing "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." They put on one heck of a show. You'd think they were a couple. But see, I'm not even bothered by this, because it's just for the show. Sheryl hasn't disrespected my marriage the same way Tatiana has. They sang so well together. I wish Siedah was here to perform the song though. I mean it was her and Michael's song...
Alas, Michael ended the entire concert with "Bad." I wish he did more songs from the album though. The entire setlist was pretty much everything from the Victory Tour setlist minus Jermaine's solo medley. He only added two songs from the Bad album. I would have loved to see "Another Part of Me," "Man in the Mirror," and "Dirty Diana." But I guess he's used to a particular formula at the moment. That makes sense. At the end of the song, Michael thanked the audience in English and Japanese and danced a little across the stage before coming back to me.
"How'd I do?" he smiled.
I stood up to hug him in all his sweaty splendor. I've smelled worse. This was nothing, "amazing!" I put my arm around his waist as I followed him back to his dressing room.
"What'd I tell you about that first show?"
"Well, I have nothing to compare it to as of yet," I shrugged.
"Compare it to the last Victory concert."
"I mean... You were with your brothers then, so that's kind of different."
"Not really. It was the last show. It had high energy... Was the energy high enough for this show? Did you feel the excitement? What could we change?"
"Aside from the setlist?"
He laughed, "aside from the setlist."
"You did amazing out there, Michael. I mean, this is only the second concert I've seen by you. Ask me by the third solo tour and I think I might have more insight for ya," I winked.
"Oh, you're right... And that's completely my fault. Maybe I should have allowed you to see a couple of shows during the tour with my brothers."
"Eh, it's okay," I shrugged. "You were trying to protect me. I get it, but now it's a whole different ball game."
"Right. Well, by next year after the first second leg show, hopefully, you'll have some insight for me," he kissed my cheek. As soon as we made it to his dressing room door, Tatiana was there waiting. "Hey... Tati, what's going on?"
"I haven't seen you since August. It's crazy that we've been here for four days and this is my first time seeing you and Shayla... I just wanted to say you did amazing out there. Thank you again for the opportunity to work with you."
"Oh, um, you're welcome."
"Excuse us, Tatiana," I'm bothered she felt it okay to stand and wait for my husband at his dressing room door.
"Oh, sorry. Bye, guys," she waved and hurried off. Michael opened the door for me and followed me in.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd think she was stalking you, Michael," I looked at him.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd think so too, babe. That was weird..." he picked up a towel and wiped his face. Who makes a point to mention that she hadn't seen him since we landed? Did she expect him to see her once we landed? I'm starting to think this girl is crazy. I hate a seductress. But a crazy seductress is something totally different. She could stalk us for all I know. Plot to kidnap me or him. I don't know. You don't know what that type of woman could be capable of. This is going to be one long freaking tour.