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The Royal Concert is a free concert performed by Michael Jackson on July 16, 1996. It was performed in Brunei, before the HIStory Tour.

Royal concert in Brunei

Prior to the tour, Jackson performed a free concert at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei on 16 July 1996. The concert was in celebration of the fiftieth birthday of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei and was attended by the Brunei royal family.

Much of the concert resembled Jackson's Dangerous World Tour, including his outfit, stage, and the setlist, keeping the details of the upcoming HIStory Tour a close secret. This concert was not part of the Dangerous World Tour nor the HIStory World Tour. The concert also marked debut live performances of "You Are Not Alone" and "Earth Song" as well as the last performances of "Jam", "Human Nature", "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and "She's Out of My Life" at a Jackson concert. This concert was also among the last performances of "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" being sung fully live; most subsequent performances have been partially lip-synched.

The full concert was never broadcast on television, but was a rare promotional item in possession of private collectors; a high quality VHS copy was leaked.

Changes

  • "Carmina Burana" of the "Brace Yourself" introduction was replaced with a similar piece of opera, as it had been in some Dangerous World Tour concerts.
  • "Jam" had a shorter ending than usual.
  • "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" was performed with Marva Hicks rather than Siedah Garrett. In the middle of the song, Michael almost sang Marva's part. They sang an extra chorus.
  • "The Way You Make Me Feel" replaces "Workin' Day and Night".
  • "The Way You Make Me Feel" begins with the slow intro from the 1988 Grammys performance, which features the 1st verse, and the main instrumentation skips the 1st verse.
  • "You Are Not Alone" replaces "Will You Be There".
  • "Billie Jean" instrumentation is slower than the Dangerous or Bad World Tours, similar in style to the later HIStory Tour, but sung live. The dance ending has a repeated snare sound like that from "Why You Wanna Trip on Me", similar to the 1995 MTV Awards performance but without the bassline. Future performances of Billie Jean had this snare, but only in the beginning of the dance. Like the Dangerous and Bad Tours, Jackson does not beatbox before singing the final line and throwing the hat.
  • In "Beat It", Michael sang the wrong lyrics in the second verse. Also, he threw his jacket at the end, which he did in HIStory Tour.
  • The 1995 MTV Video Music Awards version of "Dangerous" replaces the 1993 American Music Awards version.
  • Michael wore the golden shin pads in "Black or White" instead of the black ones. It began to be used in this show before HIStory Tour.
  • "Heal the World" wasn't performed, but would be present in the HIStory World Tour.
  • "Man in the Mirror" ended with a curtain call, instead of the Rocket Man finale.
  • "Earth Song" was performed as an encore,and was sung entirely with live vocals.
  • Although "Earth Song" is usually performed with the cherrypicker (and it was present in the concert because Jackson performed "Beat It"), he didn't use it in this performance but would use it on the HIStory Tour. In addition though playback was used during the performance Earth Song during the HIStory Tour, Jackson performs the song fully live for this concert as requested by the Royal family of Brunei.
  • The concert included the final live performances by Jackson of "Human Nature", "Jam", "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and "She's Out of My Life". "Human Nature", "Jam" and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" were later rehearsed for the 2009–2010 This Is It concert series, while "She's Out of My Life" was rehearsed for the first of Jackson's 1999 MJ and Friends concerts in Seoul, but later removed from the setlist.

Set list

  1. "Jam"
  2. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
  3. "Human Nature"
  4. "Smooth Criminal"
  5. "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (duet with Marva Hicks)
  6. "She's Out Of My Life"
  7. "Jackson 5 Medley"
  8. "Thriller"
  9. "Billie Jean"
  10. "The Way You Make Me Feel"
  11. "Beat It"
  12. "You Are Not Alone"
  13. "Dangerous"
  14. "Black or White"
  15. "Man in the Mirror"
  16. "Earth Song" (encore)

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