“Forever King,” the fourth annual Michael Jackson tribute night at Market Market, may have had its origins in the untimely death of the late pop superstar, but even that initial iteration was more of a celebration than a time to mourn. “It happened as soon as I heard the news that he had died,” said deejay Ali Gruber. “I wanted to put together a celebration of his life and his work.”
Back in the summer of 2009, Gruber had no clue that she had created a popular annual event, held each year close to Jackson’s late-August birthday. “It was a little self-indulgent, to be honest,” she said. “Michael Jackson was a huge influence on me as a kid. But there were at least 200 people at the first one, and I’d thrown it together at the last minute. Everybody just wanted to celebrate.”
The revelry was rife with tribute, including ‘80s jackets, dance moves and even a Michael Jackson impersonator whom Gruber says was welcome, but not prearranged. As in the past, attendees at Forever King will hear Gruber spin Jackson classics over the span of his entire career, from the Jackson 5 through his solo reign as the King of Pop.
Gruber said that everything from “ABC” to “PYT” has the dancefloor filled, but if there’s one song that really seems to resonate even more than the others, it’s Jackson’s 1984 hit “Thriller.” “Everyone loves ‘Thriller,’” Gruber said. “That song was so huge, and the video was huge.”
The fourth annual Forever King, Deejay Ali Gruber’s Michael Jackson’s Birthday Dance Party, takes place on Saturday, August 25 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Market Market Café in Rosendale. Entry costs $5. For more information, visit https://marketmarketcafe.com.