The HIStory World Tour is Michael Jackson's third and final solo concert tour, with 82 concerts attended by 4.5 million fans. The tour spanned the globe with stops in 52 cities, in 35 countries on 5 continents. Unlike the Bad and Dangerous World Tours, the HIStory Tour has never been released on DVD despite numerous fan requests. Amongst it all, several full concerts have been leaked on YouTube.
Royal Brunei Concert
Prior to the HIStory Tour, Michael Jackson performed a free concert at the Jerudong Park Ampitheatre in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei on July 16, 1996. The concert's purpose was a birthday performance for the Sultan of Brunei's 50th birthday. The concert was attended by the royal family of Brunei.
Much of this concert resembled Jackson's Dangerous Tour, keeping the details of the HIStory Tour a close secret. Jackson would later return to Brunei during the HIStory Tour on December 31, 1996.
The concert was never broadcast on TV, but was in possession of private collectors. A high-quality VHS copy has been leaked on YouTube.
- This concert marked the debut live performances of "You Are Not Alone" and "Earth Song".
- This concert also marked the last performances of "Jam", "Human Nature", "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", and "She's Out Of My Life".
- "Jam" has a much shorter ending.
- "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" was performed with Marva Hicks instead of Siedah Garrett.
- "The Way You Make Me Feel" replaces "Working Day And Night".
- "You Are Not Alone" replaces "Will You Be There".
- Instrumentation for "Billie Jean" is slower than the Bad or Dangerous Tours, similar to the upcoming HIStory Tour, but sung live.
- Michael sings the wrong lyrics in the second verse of "Beat It". He also throws his jacket just like the HIStory Tour.
- The 1995 MTV Awards version of "Dangerous" is present in this concert.
- "Heal The World" wasn't performed.
- "Man In The Mirror" ends with a curtain call instead of Rocket Man.
- "Earth Song" wasn't performed with the cherry picker.
Royal Brunei Concert Setlist:
- 1. "Brace Yourself" Introduction
- 2. "Jam"
- 3. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
- 4. "Human Nature"
- 5. "Smooth Criminal"
- 6. "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" with Marva Hicks
- 7. "She's Out of My Life"
- 8. The Jackson 5 Medley
- "I Want You Back"
- "The Love You Save"
- "I'll Be There"
- 9. "Thriller"
- 10. "Billie Jean"
- 11. "The Way You Make Me Feel"
- 12. Black Panther Video Interlude
- 13. "Beat It" with Jennifer Batten
- 14. "You Are Not Alone"
- 15. "Dangerous" (samples an extract from "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes, Ennio Morricone's "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" theme, "Smooth Criminal", Janet Jackson's "You Want This" and "Let's Dance," Judy Garland's "Get Happy", Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme", and a guitar intro from Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill")
- 16. "Black or White"
- 17. "Man in the Mirror"
- 18. "Earth Song"
Set list (1996-1997)
- 1. "Gates of Kiev" Video Intro
- 2. "HIStory Medley"
- "They Don't Care About Us" featuring snippet of "HIStory"
- "In the Closet" featuring snippet of "She Drives Me Wild"
- 3. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
- 4. "Stranger in Moscow"
- 5. "Smooth Criminal"
- 6. "The Wind" Video Interlude
- 7. "You Are Not Alone"
- 8. "The Way You Make Me Feel" performed on select dates
- 9. "The Jackson 5 Medley"
- "I Want You Back"
- "The Love You Save"
- "I'll Be There"
- 10. "Off the Wall Medley" performed on select 1996 and 1997 dates
- "Rock with You"
- "Off the Wall"
- "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
- 11. "Remember the Time" Video Montage Interlude
- 12. "Billie Jean"
- 13. "Thriller"
- 14. "Beat It"
- 15. "Come Together"/"D.S." performed on select 1996 dates
- 16. "Blood on the Dance Floor" (performed from Bremen to Oslo in the second leg, omitted on July 2)
- 17. "Black Panther" Video Interlude (sometimes replaced with "Brace Yourself" video)
- 18. "Dangerous" (withdrawn from Tokyo concert on Dec. 20 and from Manila concert on Dec. 8; samples an extract from "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes, Ennio Morricone's "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" theme, "Smooth Criminal", Janet Jackson's "You Want This" and "Let's Dance," Judy Garland's "Get Happy", Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme", and a guitar intro from Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill")
- 19. "Black or White"
- 20. "Earth Song"
- 21. "We Are the World" Video Interlude
- 22. "Heal the World"
- 23. "They Don't Care About Us" Instrumental
- 24. "HIStory"
- 25. "HIStory Teaser"
- July 16, 1996 - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
First leg (Europe)
- September 7, 1996 - Prague, Czech Republic
- September 10, 1996 - Budapest, Hungary
- September 14, 1996 - Bucharest, Romania
- September 17, 1996 - Moscow, Russia
- September 20, 1996 - Warsaw, Poland
- September 24, 1996 - Zaragoza, Spain
- September 28 and 30, October 2, 1996 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
First leg (Africa)
- October 7, 1996 - Tunis, Tunisia
First leg (Asia)
- October 11 and 13, 1996 - Seoul, South Korea
- October 18, 1996 - Taipei, Taiwan
- October 20 ,1996 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- October 22, 1996 - Taipei, Taiwan
- October 25, 1996 - Singapore, Singapore
- October 27 and 29, 1996 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- November 1, 1996 - Mumbai, India
- November 5, 1996 - Bangkok, Thailand
First leg (Oceania)
- November 9 and 11, 1996 - Auckland, New Zealand
- November 14 and 16, 1996 - Sydney, Australia
- November 19, 1996 - Brisbane, Australia
- November 22 and 24, 1996 - Melbourne, Australia
- November 26, 1996 - Adelaide, Australia
- November 30, December 2 and 4, 1996 - Perth, Australia
First leg (Asia) Part 2
- December 8 and 10, 1996 - Manila, Philippines
- December 13, 15, 17, and 20, 1996 - Tokyo, Japan
- December 26 and 28, 1996 - Fukuoka, Japan
- December 31, 1996 - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
First leg (North America)
- January 3 and 4, 1997 - Honolulu, Hawaii
Second leg (Europe)
- May 31, 1997 - Bremen, Germany
- June 3, 1997 - Cologne, Germany
- June 6, 1997 - Bremen, Germany
- June 8 and 10, 1997 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
- June 13, 1997 - Kiel, Germany
- June 15, 1997 - Gelsenkirchen, Germany
- June 18, 1997 - Milan, Italy
- June 20, 1997 - Lausanne, Switzerland
- June 22, 1997 - Bettembourg, Luxembourg
- June 25, 1997 - Lyon, France
- June 27 and 29, 1997 - Paris, France
- July 2, 1997 - Vienna, Austria
- July 4 and 6, 1997 - Munich, Germany
- July 9, 1997 - Sheffield, United Kingdom
- July 12, 15, and 17, 1997 - London, United Kingdom
- July 19, 1997 - Dublin, Ireland
- July 25, 1997 - Basel, Switzerland
- July 27, 1997 - Nice, France
- August 1, 1997 - Berlin, Germany
- August 3, 1997 - Leipzig, Germany
- August 10, 1997 - Hockenheim, Germany
- August 14, 1997 - Copenhagen, Denmark
- August 16, 1997 - Gothenburg, Sweden
- August 19, 1997 - Oslo, Norway
- August 22, 1997 - Tallinn, Estonia
- August 24 and 26, 1997 - Helsinki, Finland
- August 29, 1997 - Copenhagen, Denmark
- September 3, 1997 - Ostend, Belgium
- September 6, 1997 - Valladolid, Spain
Third leg (Africa)
- October 4 and 6, 1997 - Cape Town, South Africa
- October 10 and 12, 1997 - Johannesburg, South Africa
- October 15, 1997 - Durban, South Africa
Broadcasts and Recordings
A number of full or near-full concerts were broadcast on television and are now available on YouTube. Here is the list:
- Bucharest 1996 - The first full televised concert and also the third concert of the tour. "The Great Gates of Kiev" introduction was filmed off-screen onto the JumboTron, not a direct feed like the other concerts. The footage and audio for the "Remember The Time" Interlude was different from that shown at other concerts. The crowd noises and some crowd footage is from the Dangerous Tour in Bucharest DVD, but the true origin of these sounds is unknown, as the Bucharest DVD did contain footage from Wembley, Madrid and several other concerts. During "Billie Jean," the playback started late as Michael Jackson covered his mouth to lipsync, and during the final number "HIStory," for a brief moment, he sang over playback. This concert was televised by TELE 7 ABC.
- Tunis 1996 - This concert was aired on September 18, 2010 by the Nessma TV channel in Tunisia. Before then, only parts of this concert were shown on television as well as a very poor quality amateur-filmed far from the stage. The broadcast ended at "Heal the World," cutting off the final number "HIStory." The quality of the broadcast was rather average as the entire concert was on a VHS and broadcast at a low bit rate. A large, spinning Nessma TV logo occasionally rolled across the screen as a means of copyright protection. The concert broadcast twice, with the red ball appearing in different places in both broadcasts (which has allowed fans to re-edit the two broadcasts to remove this logo). During the first broadcast, a scrolling bar of text was placed at the bottom of the screen informing viewers of the second broadcast.
- Seoul 1996 - During the performance of "Earth Song," Jackson, (who was up on a cherry picker) was accosted by a male Korean fan who climbed up the crane just to meet Jackson. Michael held on to the man because he had a risk of falling. The man was then taken away by security after the crane was lowered. This concert was commercially released on VHS in Korea. Before the release of the Live in Bucharest DVD, this was the only commercially released Michael Jackson concert. Despite an official release, the versions that have appeared online are poor quality leaks because copy protection of the original VHS has prevented a good quality rip. The intros and endings of some songs are cut off.
- Kuala Lumpur 1996 - Performances of "Come Together / D.S.," "Black or White," "Earth Song," "Heal the World," and "HIStory" were not broadcast. The available broadcasts go up to "Dangerous." Snippets of the October 29 concert (including the aforementioned songs) were also released during a news report on TV1000. Because crotch grabbing is considered impure in Islam, Jackson altered his crotch-grabbing move in this concert. It was televised by NTV7, but so far, only poor quality VCD recordings are known to exist.
- Auckland 1996 - This was the last known professionally filmed concert with the "Off the Wall Medley" and last performance of "Come Together / D.S." It was also the only known performance of "Billie Jean" with a repeated chorus near the end of the dance sequence. Also, when Jackson began singing "Thriller," for a brief moment, the a cappella could not be heard.
- Sydney 1996 - Only a few songs were broadcast from this concert, as well as parts from the concert on November 14. Nine Network also showed some footage from the first concert in the days after Jackson died; it is revealed that he sang "Beat It" fully live as the a cappella track was malfunctioning at the time. Just a few hours after the latter performance, Jackson married Debbie Rowe in a civil ceremony in his presidential suite at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel. Also in Sydney, Michael's latest short film Ghosts had its film premiere.
- Manila 1996 - This was televised initially by GMA Network. This was also broadcast on Singapore's Mediacorp Channel 5 around October 2006. The Channel 5 version fades after each song (there is no intro to "Billie Jean"), but is in higher quality than the GMA version. This was one of the few HIStory Tour concerts where Jackson did not beatbox before he threw his hat at the end of "Billie Jean" (another example being the concert in Moscow). "The Way You Make Me Feel" was performed, but not broadcast (although there was an amateur snippet of "The Way You Make Me Feel" filmed and put on a news report in Manila). This was one of the two concerts where "Dangerous" was withdrawn from the setlist (the other being the concert in Tokyo (December 20). "Scream" is censored (along with the concert in Copenhagen).
- Brunei 1997 - This was never televised, but known to exist as a rare promo item as with Royal Concert. Along with the latter performance, it is one of the rarest known concert footages to exist. Private collectors have obtained the concert on VHS in high quality but have never released full concert footage, remaining controversial for their refusal to share the tape. In October 2008 a poor-quality VCD copy (also additionally compressed and watermarked) was uploaded onto the internet by a fan in Brunei who obtained the concert from a stage crew. Video quality was fair and the sound was badly encoded with a rumbling distortion when bass was played. Unwatermarked files from the same VCD source had been uploaded, though the sound quality is still very poor. As of 2012 this concert is still only available in poor quality, though an edited high quality soundboard CD was leaked in 2013. In the CD, the live vocals in Scream are replaced by playback and drum ending of Billie Jean has been shortened. As with Malaysia, Brunei has a mostly Muslim population, so Jackson altered his crotch-grab move and this is also obscured by camera angles that are different from most other concerts. This concert is also noted for the first verse of "Scream" being sung live. The curtain used in "Smooth Criminal" and the cherry picker for "Beat It" and "Earth Song" were not present during this concert (though they were during the Royal Brunei Concert).
- Munich 1997 - Jackson planned upon filming this concert for a DVD release by Christmas, so more camera angles (including individual crowd shots) were used, and the audio was later remastered heavily to emphasize the percussion and audience sounds. Jackson also had the concert filmed with HD cameras. The release was ultimately cancelled due to Jackson's dissatisfaction of the behind-the-scenes filming, as well as having laryngitis and the flu which affected his live vocals and dancing. However, the performance was televised extensively in many different countries, making it one of the most readily available concerts. The most common version is the one aired by Sat. 1 and most other channels, but other versions, such as the one that aired in South Africa (with a small segment from a concert at Johannesburg), and a Japanese version with alternate camera angles also exist. Most versions have also been edited with a segment from the concert on August 3, 1997 at Leipzig before the "Jackson 5 Medley" where Jackson talks about an insect on the stage which he calls the security to remove. An unedited version of the concert from July 4 has the original camera angles seen on the jumbotrons and original sound. Two amateur videos from July 6 (one of which contained footage of both concerts) also exist. Following Jackson's death, this concert was re-televised by RTL 5, who had previously televised it on their Veronica channel.This was also televised in Singapore's MediaCorp Channel 5 in 2009. It was also recently televised in Germany on ZDF on June 24 with alternate camera angles and being upscaled to 720p HD, and in Australia on the music channel MAX for his death anniversaries. In Malaysia, 8TV had broadcast the concert on August 2009 in conjunction with the King of Pop's birthday, and it was shown again on June 26, 2010 on the first anniversary of Jackson's death. Also, Brazilian channel Multishow always air this concert in HD and with no cuts.
- Copenhagen 1997 - Broadcast by TV1000 and Channel 3. Most VHS rips of this version that have appeared seem to suffer from a greenish video noise and audio problems. This concert, along with the 1996 concert in Seoul, were televised on Korean Television in July 2009; the songs "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Stranger in Moscow," and "Blood on the Dance Floor" were edited off in this new televised version of this concert. However, only a version with poor sound quality was recorded by a fan. This performance was also televised on Singapore's Mediacorp Channel 5 in early 2010, both on its standard definition channel as well as upscaled to 1080i HD. The upscaled version has been recorded by fans but has not been shared. The audio of the concert had been edited by the TV station, resulting in some compression issues as well as the censoring of "Scream" ("stop fuckin' with me" has been replaced with "stop pressurin' me"). The concert in Manila also censored this song.
- Gothenburg 1997 - This was also broadcast by TV1000 and Channel 3. This concert is very similar to the Copenhagen concert; also contains the last televised performance of "Blood on the Dance Floor" (though the concert in Oslo on August 19 was the last actual live performance of this song). During "Scream," the pre-recorded a capella vocal of Jackson did not play back. Jackson continued to lip-sync and dance until the vocals continued during the chorus.
- Helsinki 1997 - Most versions that have appeared suffer from audio noise and the video has some ghosting artifacts, although there is no watermark. The HIStory Teaser is shown at the end of the programme. This is the last known full performance to exist on video.
- Basel 1997 - On December 25, 2016, YouTube channel MJ Beats leaked the full concert, and it is now available on YouTube. At first, they leaked a couple songs, then they would release a poll asking the fans which performance they would like to see next. They would continue to do so until every song was leaked, they then live streamed the full show on Facebook, then on YouTube.
Snippets and amateur recordings also exist:
- Prague 1996 - Most notably the first part of the concert with "Scream."
- Warsaw 1996 - Most notably "The Way You Make Me Feel."
- Zaragoza 1996 - "The Way You Make Me Feel" is the only song available and is a 3-minute snippet.
- Amsterdam 1996 - The full concert is an amateur recording available on YouTube for viewing.
- Singapore 1996 - Snippets of "Scream", "They Don't Care About Us" and "History" are found on TCS (Now Mediacorp) Singapore Channels 5 and 8. The quality is very poor but it is stated that the defects are inherent in the programme.
- Tokyo 1996 - The near-full concert is on YouTube with Jackson falling during the lean sequence in "Smooth Criminal."
- Honolulu 1997 - The full concert is an amateur recording.
- Bremen 1997 - Only available on audio.
- Cologne 1997 - Amateur snippets of "Scream" and "Smooth Criminal" are available and a news report on the concert there.
- Gelsenkirchen 1997 - The full concert is an amateur recording and is available on YouTube.
- Milan 1997 - Amateur snippets of "Scream", "Blood on the Dance Floor," "Billie Jean," "Smooth Criminal," and "HIStory" are available, also the full concert is available in parts.
- "The Way You Make Me Feel" was performed without the second verse and was withdrawn from all shows after the concert in Gelsenkirchen (June 15).
- "Off the Wall Medley" was withdrawn from the show in Tunis and was withdrawn permanently following the concert in Kiel (June 13, 1997).
- "Come Together / D.S." was withdrawn from the concerts in Mumbai, Manila, Bandar Seri Begawan, and all the second and third leg concerts.
- "Blood on the Dance Floor" was performed in all second leg show until August 19 (in Oslo), except Vienna (July 2), and it was performed with a red jacket in Bremen.
- "Dangerous" was withdrawn from the concert in Tokyo (December 20) and Manilla (December 8).
- Only two numbers from the set list were sung fully live, "Wanna be Startin' Somethin'" and "The Jackson 5 Medley. The rest of the set list was either fully lip-synced or sung live at the end of the song. It's never been publicly revealed why Jackson elected to lip-sync but many fans have speculated vocal difficulties as Jackson's voice is noticeably hoarse throughout the first half of the tour.