R&B superstar Usher Raymond returned to Minnesota with his UR Experience Tour on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul and brought a few friends with him. DJ Cassidy and August Alsina are tour support for the sultry seductive crooner throughout the North American leg of the tour.
What is a little different about this tour is that normally a recording artist will first release a new record then launch a tour to support it. Usher did no such thing, in fact the smooth singer hasn’t released an album for several years. Usher’s new record titled “UR” was pulled from the list of upcoming releases so he could take his time on the album. Rumored collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Drake, Skrillex and Chris Brown are slated for the upcoming release.
First up was DJ Cassidy who seemed to be out of place on this tour all he really did was, well, spin records and wave his arms back and forth and jump around, which isn’t something unique to DJing. The Xcel Energy Center is not the type of venue for a club performance and it didn’t seem like people were really into it tonight.
One of the more impressive performers of the night was relatively newcomer August Alsina who was the perfect match for the tour. Alsina, a New Orleans native had the crowd mesmerized by his performance and is definitely going to be someone to watch in the coming months as the young rapper who is just 22, has a very promising career ahead of him.
Finally after a little over an hour and fifteen minutes Usher would take the stage for the next 115 or so minutes, taking the crowd of just over 9,000 back in time with some of the singer’s biggest hits. There was nothing really different from the last time Usher was in town and that was largely reflected in the volume of of fans who came out to see their favorite singer once again.
Sure the show was full of all of Usher’s signature moves, grinding, dancers and choreography but the energy that was here last time was no where to be found. There were a few things that seemed to be off for the night starting with the overall sound. Usher’s vocals seemed to be pushed so high that it severely distorted the sound for the whole evening. The other issue was the overall energy level of the show, he tried, but came up short, still people enjoyed hearing their favorite songs. One of the things that would have set this tour literally on fire would have been a release of a new record so fans wouldn’t know what to expect. The anticipation wasn’t there and to put it simply, they’ve tasted this food before and longed for something new to sample.
Several times throughout the night Usher attempted to get the crowd rallied up teasing them and pointing to one side of the arena claiming this is where is true fans are. In return the other side of the arena would scream louder than the other side.
Usher waited until the very last minute to flash his signature abs and onlookers got ten seconds of heaven to admire his chiseled physic.
The UR Experience North American leg of the tour continues on until Dec. 14.
Usher Set List
Love In This Club
You Make Me Wanna…
Nice & Slow
U Remind Me
She Came to Give it to You
Hey Daddy / My Boo / I Need a Girl
Lovers and Friends
(Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz cover)
I Don’t Mind / Body Language / New Flame
There Goes My Baby
U Got It Bad
U Don’t Have to Call
DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love