Janet Jackson All For You Tour Washington DC 2001

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August 16, 2001
Washington, DC
All For You World Tour 2001
Capital One Arena

I had really wanted to see Janet during the Velvet Rope world tour in the late 90s but alas, it was never meant to be. At the time I made my friend Jamaal promise he’d go with me to see her the next time she went on tour. Well, that was around 2 years before Janet finished work on the album All For You. I was kept at bay with her duets with Busta Rhymes, Blackstreet, Shaggy, and a starring role in the Nutty Professor Movie (with a Janet song on the Soundtrack even). But I’ll never forget when I heard her first single off the album, the title track, for the first time.

I was still living at home that March and rushed home from work one nite because I knew the that the song was being released to radio that day. I figured I’d use Napster to get the song (R.I.P. Napster) and was so excited to finally hear it! I couldn’t wait to get the album, and in April it came, with funk and dance beats galore. In fact, the album came out on the day that I was moving out of my home, and my friends bought it for me as my going away gift to listen to on the way to my new destination.

Since I was moving I knew that I’d be living near Washington, D.C., and Janet would most definitely perform there, so once the tour was announced I found out when (August 16, 2001) and where (MCI Center, now the Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.) and ticket Info. The tickets left on TicketMaster were sucky, so I went to another good source: eBay. I found decent tickets for a price I won’t mention here, and made the transaction. Couldn’t be happier! Jamaal said he would come visit me, and we decided to make a mini-vacation out of it.

All summer long I waited anxiously, but patiently, for the concert. In fact, I picked my outfit out way before we went. This was my first big concert with a real superstar. So after work on Wednesday Aug. 15, I drove to White Sulpher Springs, WV to meet Jamaal as this was about the halfway point. He had never been to where I lived at the time so after the 5ish hour drive I showed him around town, showed him the Walmart and the Movie Theater I work at.

We went to bed early that nite because we had wanted to get to D.C. early and do some site-seeing on Thursday before the concert. But first, I got on the internet and made reservations for one nite at a motel in D.C.

Mid Thursday morning we woke up, got ready, and left for D.C. It takes around 2 hours to get there from where I lived, but we were going to be in the car FAR longer than that… D.C. is a nice place to visit if you know where you’re going. We couldn’t find our way around very well.  Unfortunately we missed our exit and, as is common in the District, there wasn’t a next exit to get off and get back on and swing back around, so we were lost for 4 hours looking for the motel we were staying at.  This was not fun.  We ended up in some bad areas of D.C., were given directions by a police officer to turn down a 1 way street, and eventually ended up by RFK Stadium before I realized where we were, but we did get a nice look at the city, since it was Jamaal’s first time there.  I had noticed the National Guard Armory from a recent news story, so we stopped in and got directions.

When we finally did find our motel, we checked in and prepared for the concert. I had asked the person at the front desk what was the best way to get to the MCI Center without driving, and she told me that the motel had a shuttle bus that left at around 5pm  to the bus station at Union Station, where we could catch the Metro and that would come out right under the MCI Center, so we followed her instructions. Once we got to Union Station  we asked how to get to the MCI Center from there and were soon on our way. I was excited about this because I had always wanted to ride the Subway and this was my first time.

We got off at our stop, went up to the surface, and went in to the MCI Center. They weren’t letting people in yet, so we went to a Burger King a block down the street & ate before heading back to wait in line.

When they finally did let us in after 7:00 (the opening act was on at 7:30) I went straight to get a Tour Book, then to get a T-Shirt and Keychain. I’d spent $70 before I even got to my seat. We asked the ushers where our seats were and I was much happier when I actually saw our seats, since they were much better than what I initially thought. The First thing I noticed was the HUGE stage set-up, something many fans complained had complained online about being big but plain. This was not the case after the first couple of songs, when the stage transformed for every set.

Jamaal called his sister on his cell, and I went for a walk around the corridors, visiting all the radio station booths (even playing a game at one), and then went to buy a big bottle of water. I made my way back down to the seats just in time to see the opening act, 112, come on. They did okay, performing on stage with the curtain closed and a large picture of their album cover behind them. Plus I really like “Peaches & Cream”. But I wanted to see Janet!

After they finished, Jamaal and I walked around for about 10 minuets (the water had kicked in for me) and went back to our seats. I was happy, but not as excited as I thought I would be.

Then the lights went down. A black Curtain opened on the stage, and there was a very large white screen behind it. The intro started with sound bites from Janet’s past and Pics of Janet through the last 10 years flying onto the screen, getting faster and faster. It culminated in a pic of Janet on a funky couch wearing large white boots just before pyro went off and the screen disappeared into the ceiling of the stage. Then the moment came!! The spotlights were on Janet standing on a tall pedestal wearing a white fringed sparkling outfit and fedora.

The beat to “Come On Get Up”, one of the songs off the All For You album, started playing. And every body DID get up! Six dancers were lowered onto the stage from lighting fixtures on the back wall of the stage as the beat played. The music was loud. Janet played 
through the first and second songs (the second being one of my favorites off the album, “You Ain’t Right”) and then went into “All For You”. Finally, I started to get excited. Three large panels in the back wall of the large stage opened to reveal a large screen and part of the band.

After “All For You” Janet did one of the songs Jamaal likes, “Love Will Never Do (Without You)”. Then there was a costume change. “Trust A Try” was next, with funky costumes as the platform where the band was located rolled out onto the main stage.  Janet then went into the slow medley of “Come Back to Me”, “Let’s Wait A While”, & “Again”, at the end of which she threw her towel into the crowd (too bad I wasn’t close enough!!).

The stage went dark once again and the platform that the band was on rose up. Two of the dancers in whimsical dress came out and played around a bit till the stage lit up and two large Jack’s in the Box, as well as other large toy-like inflatables, completely transformed the stage into a playland. “Runaway” was the next song, followed by “Miss U Much”, “When I think of You”, and “Escapade”, which ended with the girls running around madly acting like they were cleaning the stage up while a Cartoon-esq “Escapade” played.

Then the the lights went low as the opening of “Son of a Gun” started with Carly Simon singing her intro from the screen. After that the opening beats for “Got Till It’s Gone” started playing before she went into a medley of that and “That’s The Way Love Goes”.

Right after TTWLG, Janet did an old school medley of “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”, “Control”, and “Nasty” with a sweet break-down to Jay-Z’s “Give It To Me”. Next, the stage was turned into a Zoot Suit playground as Janet, her 2 suited pals, some drunks, old women, and a police officer danced around to “Alright”.

An instrumental version of “Love Scene (Ooohh Baby)” played as Janet appeared on stage in a Cat Suit for “Would You Mind”, in which she had a lucky male audience member brought up and strapped into a device (?) so she 
could dance for till they disappeared down into the trap door.  Then the stage changed completely.  You could hear the mechanics raising the back panels of the stage to be replaced by neon Asian letters. The band was back in their holes in the wall, as the hydraulic lift they were on was raised back up with stairs for the dancers.

At this point I went wild! Janet had been cutting 2 songs from her tour on certain dates, “if” & “Black Cat”. I went to the concert mainly to see “if”, my favorite song, performed live and was scared she wouldn’t do it. But after seeing the Asian lettering and hearing a the intro I knew “if” was next, so I freaked! I was jumping up and down and screaming. It was awesome, my favorite part of the concert! This was definitely worth it; I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing it live!

After that Janet did do“Black Cat”before the stage went dark again. But this time sound effects were playing and I knew “Rhythm Nation” was up next. I had always wanted to see this live too, and Janet did a great job ending with a break-down from “The Knowledge” and pyro.

It is amazing how quiet thousands of people can be when they are in anticipation of what will happen in front of them next, but after “Rhythm Nation” there was a long pause and a dark stage. Eventually, Janet and the dancers appeared with beginning beats from “Doesn’t Really Matter” playing and the finale. Janet did a performance of DRM close to what she’d done a year before on the MTV VMAs and then introduced the band and Kids.

After that the dancers left the stage Janet did a little theory like she does on the “All For You” album about either going home or doing a couple more songs. Of course the audience wanted more songs so Janet did “Someone To Call My Lover” all by herself on stage. She then went directly into the first part of “Together Again” when she was rejoined by the dancers.

At the end of the song, the band went back into their holes, the panels on the back wall came down over the screen, and the dancers left the stage for good. Janet stood there among the music and screaming fans while more pyrotechnics went off. She thanked us for coming, and then went off stage her self. It was awesome. People started to leave as the single version of “All For You” started playing.

It took around 10 minutes to get out and get on the Metro, but I was in a great mood. I wish I had bought one of the cheap T-Shirts people were selling outside of the concert but I didn’t, so we got on the Metro and went to Union Station to catch a cab to the motel. After we got back, we walked to Checkers for some food, and went to bed. I was hoarse from screaming 
but had to rest because I knew that the next day I was going to be screaming all over again at Six Flags America.

Six Flags America