Janet Jackson’s much-anticipated first Australian tour in 13 years has had more than a few hiccups – first, Jackson’s touring company were forced to amalgamate her three Melbourne theatre shows into one arena concert when she flew back to the US mid-visit to be with her family.

Then last night, punters arriving at the Opera House for the second of her Sydney shows were dismayed when the concert was cancelled no more than an hour before she was due on stage, with illness and vocal strain cited as the reason for the last-minute decision.

Thankfully, the lucky few who attended her sold-out Saturday night show at the Opera House saw Jackson in top form, zooming through her multitude of hits in a tightly choreographed 90-minute production.

Many of the songs were truncated and featured in medley form, which actually worked well with Janet’s back catalogue of rapid-fire funk-pop from the Jam & Lewis production house and allowed her to churn through more songs.

It was a simple, no-frills show, as Jackson focused on delivering her songs and little in the way of audience interaction. But it was thrilling seeing one of the most iconic pop stars of the past 25 years at such close range, stripped of all the pyrotechnics, elaborate sets and even costumes (she stuck to a simple black t-shirt and jeans throughout) that would usually accompany such a concert.

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