Jackson 5 Launch Tour as 4
16-city event is first time they've toured together since 1984
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2012 12:26 PM CDT
Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson and Jermaine Jackson are seen at the Jacksons tour rehearsal on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 in Burbank, Calif.   (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Tonight, four of the Jackson brothers launch their first tour together in nearly three decades—without their biggest star. Preparing for their "Unity" tour has been an emotional experience for Marlon, Jermaine, Tito, and Jackie after Michael's death, they tell the AP. "The brothers don't know this, but I've broken down several times and cried during rehearsals," Jermaine says. "I'm so used to Michael being on the right and then Marlon, Jackie, on and on."

Tonight's performance at Rama Casino in Ontario, Canada, comes five days before the third anniversary of Michael's passing, but "this cycle that comes around every year—this day, that day—that doesn't affect me because it affects me every day," Marlon notes. The 16-city North American tour incorporates a tribute to Michael, with a slideshow and medley of songs, including "Gone Too Soon." The brothers will also perform adaptations of some of Michael's solo work. "There's certain songs that make you feel the sorrow," but others "bring so much joy and happiness," says Tito. "You can feel his presence here."