“Foreverland” honors King of Pop at Merced Theatre

It was the 1980s all over again at the Merced Theatre last Friday, as the tribute group Foreverland performed a crowd-pleasing deluge of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits.

The band played two electrified sets during its Merced appearance, playing songs from Jackson’s massive catalog, including “Smooth Criminal,” “Thriller,” “Billie Jean” and much more.

The group also played songs from the King of Pop’s days performing with his brothers, including songs such as “Can You Feel It,” “ABC,” and “I Want You Back.”

Some members of the audience also showed up dressed in Jackson-esque attire, and by the second set the aisles were filled with people dancing to the infectious beat of the music. The group also played an encore set, in response to the audience’s demanding and enthusiastic applause.

Foreverland was inspired to come together in the Bay Area in 2009, after Jackson announced his “This Is It” tour, which was planned as 10 shows at London’s O2 Arena, according to the band. That tour never came to fruition, as Jackson died on June 25, 2009.

At the inception of the band, there were around six members. As the group began to perform more-complex songs, however, more musicians came into the fold over the years, evolving into the band’s current 14-member lineup, which includes four vocalists, a rhythm section, keyboards, two guitarists and a horn section.

For more information about the group, visit their website at The group is also on Facebook.