The Triumph Tour is a concert tour by the Jacksons. The tour lasted from July 8 to September 26, 1981.

According to Rolling Stone, it is hailed as one of the greatest live shows of the 70s and 80s. It also grossed $5.5 million as well.

Tour OverviewEdit

Tour HistoryEdit

By 1981, the Jacksons had regained success as a platinum-selling recording group with two albums, "Destiny and "Triumph".

Lead singer Michael Jackson was in the final stages of promoting his multi-platinum album, "Off the Wall". Embarking on this tour provided Michael to bring in new ideas as to how the group can produce a show to his liking.

Inspired by the live shows by Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael created the costumes and designed the stage and alongside his brothers collaborating, created an intro that signaled similarities to their "Can You Feel It" music video.

As since the early days, the choreography was done by Michael, Jackie and Marlon Jackson. The shows included magical elements designed by Doug Henning.

Touring TenureEdit

The Triumph Tour began in Memphis, Tennessee and ended with a sold-out week of shows in Los Angeles, California.

The tour was given great reviews upon every show in part due to Michael's leadership and showmanship.

The brothers also came in for praise, particularly Randy and Tito's musicality and Marlon's dance ability. The tour also marked the last truly integrated group effort as Michael's solo career would soon eclipse his success with his brothers.

The tour was so well received and popular that Epic had the brothers record one of the shows (though it's not entirely clear where the recording took place, at one show or at a variety of other shows that were then compiled for the recording. However, it was rumored that the tracks were recorded during stops in Memphis, New York City, Buffalo and Providence.)

The live album "The Jacksons Live!" came out in the winter of 1981 and went gold in its initial run. The current sales are two million.

After the tour ended, Michael went back to record his follow-up to "Off the Wall." It would be three years before the Jacksons would go back on the road again. Rolling Stone later named the Triumph Tour one of the best 25 tours of 1967-1987.

To showcase the success of the Triumph Tour, Michael commented that it was their first show without any marginal material. Michael patterned the Victory Tour and his Bad World Tour after the Triumph Tour.


The stage was dark and had three groups of strobe lights, all of them containing different colors of lights, facing the stage diagonally. It also had a spotlight that followed the main performers.

In addition to the lighting, the musicians played their instruments on fixtures (the horn section to the left of the stage, the drums to the center, and keyboards to the right; with the exception of the guitarists and Randy Jackson who played the piano, keyboards, and assorted percussion).

Set ListEdit

  1. "Can You Feel It"
  2. "Things I Do for You"
  3. "Off the Wall"
  4. "Ben"
  5. "This Place Hotel"
  6. "She's Out of My Life"
  7. Movie Rap (Video monologue featuring excerpts of "I Want You Back" "Never Can Say #Goodbye" and "Got to Be There")
  8. Jackson 5 Medley: "I Want You Back" / "ABC" / "The Love You Save"
  9. "I'll Be There"
  10. "Rock with You"
  11. "Lovely One"
  12. "Workin' Day and Night"
  13. "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough"
  14. "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)"

Tour DatesEdit

Date City Country Venue
North America
July 8, 1981 Memphis United States Mid-South Coliseum
July 10, 1981 Oklahoma City The Myriad
July 11, 1981 Dallas Reunion Arena
July 12, 1981 Albuquerque Tingley Coliseum
July 15, 1981 San Antonio HemisFair Arena
July 17, 1981 Baton Rouge Riverside Centroplex
July 18, 1981 Mobile Municipal Auditorium
July 22, 1981 Atlanta The Omni
July 24, 1981 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum
July 25, 1981 Charlotte Charlotte Coliseum
July 26, 1981 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
July 28, 1981 Lakeland Lakeland Civic Center July 31, 1981 Landover Capital Centre
August 1, 1981
August 2, 1981 Buffalo Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
August 4, 1981 Richmond Richmond Coliseum
August 5, 1981 Toronto Canada Maple Leaf Gardens
August 7, 1981 Uniondale United States Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
August 8, 1981 Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum
August 10, 1981 Columbus Veterans Memorial Auditorium
August 12, 1981 Atlanta The Omni Coliseum
August 13, 1981 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Civic Arena
August 15, 1981 Philadelphia The Spectrum
August 16, 1981 Providence Providence Civic Center
August 18, 1981 New York City Madison Square Garden
August 19, 1981
August 22, 1981 Chicago Chicago Stadium
August 23, 1981 Trotwood Hara Arena
August 26, 1981 Milwaukee Milwaukee Arena
August 28, 1981 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
August 29, 1981 Detroit Joe Louis Arena
September 2, 1981 St. Louis The Checkerdome
September 3, 1981 Denver McNichols Arena
September 5, 1981 Chicago Chicago Stadium
September 7, 1981 Paradise Las Vegas Convention Center
September 8, 1981 Kansas City Kemper Arena
September 16, 1981 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
September 17, 1981 Daly City Cow Palace
September 18, 1981 Inglewood The Forum
September 19, 1981
September 25, 1981
September 26, 1981

Tour PersonnelEdit

Lead performers

  • Michael Jackson: vocals
  • Jackie Jackson: vocals, percussion
  • Tito Jackson: guitar, vocals
  • Marlon Jackson: vocals
  • Randy Jackson: vocals, congas, piano, keyboards

Band members

  • Drums: Jonathan Moffett
  • Bass: Mike McKinney
  • Guitar: David Williams
  • Synthesizer: Bill Wolfer
  • Horns: (East Coast Horns): Wesley Phillips, Cloris Grimes, Alan (Funt) Prater, Roderick (Mac) McMorris