Smooth Criminals – Brisbane Powerhouse


Joel Turner and Luke Kennedy in Smooth Criminals. Photo by Christopher Wayne.What does a beat boxer and the runner up of The Voice have in common? The late great Michael Jackson.

The unlikely duo is Luke Kennedy from Team Ricky on The Voice (and The Ten Tenors) and Joel Turner (world champion beat boxer and platinum selling hip hop artist), and they’ve teamed up to premiere Smooth Criminals – The Songs of Michael Jackson.

More than a back catalogue concert, Kennedy has managed to interweave some of Michael Jackson’s personal backstory into a more intimate cabaret style which is the element that gives the show gravitas.

By the looks of the audience chair dancing and toe-tapping, everyone was having a really cruisey, enjoyable night. Within the opening bars of each song, my friend, Miss P (who is a raging MJ fan) would lean over and tell me the song title in a game called MJ nostalgia trivia – she had a hoot. Miss P said it was the most enjoyable show I’ve taken her to (and I’ve taken her to a lot).

It doesn’t matter who you’re a fan of – Michael Jackson, Luke Kennedy, or Joel Turner, but there’s truly something there for everyone.

The one-hour show was timed perfectly and even though Joel Turner’s beat boxing was impressive, he also lent some husky vocals and harmonies to the duo, which complimented Luke’s remarkable crisp tenor range.

If you were wondering (as I was before seeing the show), if the beat boxing would over-shadow or become wearing on the audience, the duo were backed by two other gifted musicians (keys and guitar), who rounded out the sound, and gave variety throughout the set.

Favourites for the night was ‘The Girl is Mine’, ‘Man I the Mirror’, ‘Heal the World ‘ (the harmonies were divine), and a nice surprise number that I had never heard, which MJ wrote for Lisa Presley.

Watch below to check out their rendition of ‘Remember the Time’.

Presented by Christopher Wayne (from the Naked Magicians) in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse, played at the ‘Love Box’ as part of Brisbane Powerhouse’s Wonderland Festival.

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

Bobbi-Lea is's QLD Co-ordinator, writer, reviewer, and reporter. She is also an actor, presenter, and theatre/film producer for Drama Queen Productions in Brisbane. Bobbi-Lea holds a Degree in Music Theatre as well as a Degree in Film & TV, and is currently doing her Masters in Screen Production.

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

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