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Usher : London Wembley Arena
Usher has real soul prowess...
The functional musicians are banished to one side of the stage, and the vision mixers for the live video projections to another. A huge ramp takes centre stage. Everything’s geared towards bringingUsher’s athletic soulman persona to life.
Three images stay in mind, for a while. The sight of two corn-fed cheerleader types working poles like they're in a lap-dance club. The vision of a huge bed set up onstage with massive pillows and candles for the time-honoured seduction routine. And the various communal dances, including a stab at hip-hop choreography and a session with baseball bats. If there's a risqué element, it's all safe and tasteful. But what really lingers is the ear-shredding screams from the audience.
Oh yeah, there’s music. Languid boudoir ballads, saucy imprecations, and uptempo booty-shakers are set to drum-heavy funk or layers of keyboards. And the other side of a bristling 'Pop Ya Collar', a most eerie cover of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' proves Usher
has real soul prowess.
It’s obvious the Atlanta, Georgia dweller continues in a long showbiz tradition, from Motown revues to their Philly equivalent - he's just got the suss to overcome obstacles today's short attention-spans set in his own way. The third MTV generation might've been accused of being shallow, superficial, apolitical, materialistic and self-obsessed. But no-one ever said they lacked taste.
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