Smooth Criminals @ Wonderland Festival Review

  • Written by  Elodie Boal
  • Monday, 05 December 2016 14:51
Published in Music News  
Luke Kennedy & Joel Turner: Smooth Criminals Luke Kennedy & Joel Turner: Smooth Criminals

Everyone remembers where they were when Michael Jackson died. It’s a moment in history, much like Princess Diana and David Bowie, where time stopped and the world mourned.


Although the star may have gone, what Michael left behind is a plethora of music and a legacy that is hard to come across in the current music scene.

Bringing his unforgettable songs and memory back to life are the boys of ‘Smooth Criminals’: singer Luke Kennedy and beat-boxer Joel Turner.

For one night only at Brisbane Powerhouse, this odd couple joined forces to pay musical tribute to the world’s greatest pop star.

Transforming the venue into a soulful underground gig, the boys unpacked Michael’s life and reinvigorated his songs with urban beats and a modern approach.


Combining Michael’s greatest hits into a medley of messages, ‘Smooth Criminals’ definitely had the crowd starting something, with toe-tapping and endless grooving in their chairs. It was a passionate tribute, with Luke getting emotionally inspired at one point, which proved how much one artist can impact someone’s life.

For fans of Michael Jackson, the show was everything they could have wanted and more.

This world premiere was loads of fun and a great night of musical entertainment.

The band, accompanied by Michael Manikus and Scotty French, recreated hits including ‘Man In The Mirror’, ‘Dirty Diana’, ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Heal The World’, and many more.

One of the highlights was seeing how songs were put together with beat boxing and vocal tracks.


Joel would start the beat, mix in Luke’s captivating voice, loop the track and the band would come in over the top of it all. The songs and Michael’s memory came to life right before our eyes.

‘Smooth Criminals’ left the audience wanting more. There were sighs as house lights came on to signal the end of the show.

But how can you fit the entire lifetime of the world’s greatest pop superstar into an hour long show?

The answer? You just can’t.

The boys simply picked some of Michael’s best hits and rolled from there.


As mentioned, the show performed for one night only, but considering the reaction from the crowd and how well everything fit together, this won’t be the last we see of ‘Smooth Criminals’.

I can almost guarantee there will be a surge in Michael Jackson iTunes downloads, as people continue to reminisce on some of the best music ever made.

Wonderland Festival runs at Brisbane Powerhouse until 11 December.

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