Concert Review: Usher, Vector Arena

By Jacqueline Smith

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Usher's physique shared equal billing with his music in his show at Vector Arena last night. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Usher's physique shared equal billing with his music in his show at Vector Arena last night. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Well, the first thing that came over the pre-recorded autotune when he emerged as a biker spaceman was "you want all of me", so Usher would probably argue that his audiences should have been prepared for what happened next. Besides, they had seen his music videos.

But it would be safe to say that watching him fool around on stage with his "randomly selected" Kiwi fan - and ignoring another one he had been teasing beforehand - was not really what most of his fans had signed up for. It certainly didn't meet the ecstatic screeches and hair flinging of his dance hits Yeah and U Remind Me, or his older hit U Don't Have to Call.

In fact, it was really awkward.

But hey, Usher is at the point of his career where he probably doesn't have to think about what sort of impression he leaves on the PG13 members of his audience.

Through his "video interludes" - which bought him a bit of time between costume changes - Usher reminded his heaving Auckland audience of how many Grammys he has won (seven) and how many records he has sold (more than 65 million).

And then he showed them there is a lot more to his success than his ability to melt hearts with his smooth R&B.

His abs have a lot to answer for. And Usher took every opportunity to flash them to his hyperventilating female fans. Flanked by his zealous dance crew, he strutted, sweated, danced and posed like a Greek god, cooing the odd interlude between the pre-recorded songs, all the while grinning as he introduced the four corners of the stage to his six pack.

Yes it could be seen as being obnoxious, but Usher has his charm down pat, too. He acknowledged his roots and the inspiration for his extravagant showmanship - the King of Pop.

"Without Michael Jackson this would not be possible," he said, before launching into a tribute sequence in a pair of ridiculously sparkly shoes.

It was a show that exuded extravagance - and ego - and muscles. And if there was one song that summed up Usher's performance last night, it was probably his closing number, OMG.

- NZ Herald

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