The Jacksons, minus Michael & Jermaine, return

June 22, 2016 GMT

Beware of “the official website” for The Jacksons.

Anyone clicking on thejacksons.com, will get the message: “Warning — this web site may harm your computer.” Access the same site via the link on The Jacksons’ Facebook page, and the message is even more ominous: “The site ahead contains malware.”

How this bodes for The Jacksons’ Friday night concert at the San Diego County Fair’s Grandstand Stage remains to be seen. With or without malware warnings, it should be a curiously fascinating show.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: San Diego County Fair Toyota Summer Concert Series on the Heineken Grandstand Stage, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar

Tickets: General admission free with fair admission; $31-$37 for reserved terrace and grandstand seats

Phone: (858) 792-4252

Online: sdfair.com

That may, or may not, be a good thing.

Jermaine Jackson, the only male member of the Jackson family to have any solo hits besides the late Michael Jackson, will not be performing. Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson will. The concert will include a tribute to Michael.

As longtime fans recall, Tito, now 62, plays guitar. Marlon, 59, and Jackie, 65, are both percussionists. All three pimarily sang harmony vocals with The Jacksons, when Michael was alive and Jermaine was on board.

After Michael’s death in 2009, his four brothers embarked on a concert trek — billed as The Unity Tour — in 2014. It was their first tour since 1984’s “Victory” tour with Michael. Brother Randy, 54, who replaced Jermaine in 1976, was not involved in the reunion and isn’t now.

Sometime last year, Jermaine left the four-man group, without explanation. He was back on board for the Jan. 7 “Heal the World: A Tribute to Michael Jackson” concert in Las Vegas, but only for that performance, apparently.

So who will sing lead when The Jacksons perform here Friday?

Marlon, who serves as the show’s host and is a featured dancer?

Tito, whose guitar prowess far exceeds his vocal abilities?

Jackie (real name Sigmund Esco Jackson), whose only three lead vocals of note with The Jacksons that I can recall are on “Love Don’t Wanna Lead,” “Man of War” and “Wait”?

Or — it’s a long shot, to be sure — Joseph Bell or Taalib York, who share lead vocal cuties in “Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Experience.” which performs here Saturday at the fair’s Paddock Stage?

With or without a seasoned lead singer, The Jacksons’ recent shows have included “Black or White” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,” two solo hits by Michael on which none of his siblings appeared. The group’s repertoire will also likely feature a medley of three Jackson 5 favorites — their 1969 breakthrough hit “I Want You Back” and 1970’s “ABC” and “The Love You Save.”

All three were sung by the pre-teen Michael Jackson. It’s hard to imagine them being done by any adults in their 50s and 60s, even his brothers. Make that, especially his brothers, who — apart from the absent Jermaine (who scored seven solo hits between 1973 and 1986) — were constantly overshadowed by Michael.

With Michael gone and Jermaine M.I.A., The Jacksons have two gaping holes. This observation is not meant to be disrespectful, just a statement of fact.

The underlying question is: How many successful bands thrived after opting not to replace their lead singers with a new member, but instead had someone already in the group assume vocal duties?

Example One: Genesis, after the band’s drummer, Phil Collins, assumed lead vocal duties when Peter Gabriel quit.

Example Two: Pink Floyd, after Roger Waters quit and lead guitarist David Gilmour filled the vocal void.

Beyond these two examples, it’s a very short list.

The Jacksons clearly have their work cut out for themselves.