They call him U-S-H-E-R . . .

Usher 11 24 14 12
Um, that dimple!

There were many expectations I had for Usher Raymond IV’s performance at the SAP Center in San Jose on Nov. 24. Highest among them, of course, was him dancing his ass off.

But higher than that was him not wearing a shirt for at least some portions of the show. I actually would have preferred if he came out with no shirt and remained that way the entire time.

Have you seen that body and those abs??? Good Lawd!

Unfortunately, only one of those two expectations was met.

I’ll let you ponder a minute on which one was left unfulfilled.

As soon as the tickets went on sale for Usher’s UR Experience (#URXTour), I knew I would be there. Usher is among one of the few artist left on my need to see perform live list.

As is my standard protocol, I spent the last few months listening to Usher’s albums in preparation to sing along to every song. Unfortunately, I don’t have the complete Usher catalog, so there were several times during the night when I had to ask my friend, “Now what song is this?”

See, I know R&B Usher; as I tried to explain to another friend, Usher has crossed over into the pop realm. He’s still an R&B artist, but now he’s able to straddle both worlds – making pop songs for the masses while still appeasing those who have been down with him since day one.

Usher 11 24 14 25I prefer the R&B Raymond myself.

I will never forget the first time I heard Usher’s song Can U Get Wit It. I had one thought – what does this little boy know about getting with anything?? At the time, I was a sophomore in college and Usher was, in my mind, too young to be singing those words.

Well, he is a Grown ASS Man now who can definitely get wit it!

Yes, that is grown with a capital G.

Now back to my expectations. All night Usher teased the ladies with a raised tank top/shirt. During Nice and Slow he slide his hands in his pants, and I had to put my hand over my heart while saying, “Oh my!” at the same time.

I had so many impure thoughts the entire show. Just flashbacking right now . . . WHEW!

There was fire, fireworks and platforms that raised high into the sky and deep into the stage floor; there were giant screens with simulated images and lights galore. There were male and female dancers and backup singers, while the DJ/band combination tied everything together perfectly.

In short, this was a highly entertaining performance filled with just about everything you would expect from an artist whose first album dropped in 1994.

That’s 20 years of grooming and growing, and perfecting his craft. At 36, Usher doesn’t need to drop his pants on stage and dance half-naked.

This, I reasoned, is why Usher NEVER fully took his shirt off – until the end, that is, when the tank top was finally removed as he was being lowered under the stage at the end of the encore.

At that exact moment, the stage went black.

“What, in the hell just happened?!?” I literally screamed. He finally takes his shirt off and the stage goes dark??

Usher drumming . . . with his shirt on.
Usher drumming . . . with his shirt on.

Heated beyond words, I left disappointed, which only intensified when, a few nights later, my sister had her own UR Experience and proceeded to tell me he performed the drum solo before Good Kisser SHIRTLESS.

ARGH!

I was not disappointed, however, in Usher’s dancing skills. If you’ve ever seen him perform on television, you know he is on the Michael Jackson, James Brown level.

Seeing those moves live is an entirely different experience though. Usher comes on stage and gives all he has and leaves it there as well. There were so many times when I said, “How does he move his feet like that???”

I really want to see him and Chris Brown in a dance off. It would be close, but I know Usher would hold his own. Hum, even a Beyonce/Usher dance off would be something to witness.

In the days since this show, I still have Usher on constant repeat. He has definitely made the list of artist I would see again, but the next time, he better take the damn shirt off.

Seriously.

Usher 11 24 14 15Best part: Him singing There Goes My Baby, which is a great song; hearing it live just intensified its meaning for me.

Final disappointment: He starts singing Confessions and launches into the chorus of Confessions II, but abruptly stops and goes into a medley of other songs. Surely, I think, he’s going back to finish Confessions II. Nope!

Sidenote: I’ve finally reached that age where I’m done screaming just because. I’m not screaming for an encore; I actually think it’s ridiculous. Screaming in between songs? I just can’t do it anymore. I’d rather reserve my vocals for singing.

My Videos: Love in This Club, DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again, OMG, Twisted, Without You, New Flame, Lovers and Friends

Setlist: My Way, OMG, Love In This Club, You Make Me Wanna, Nice & Slow, You Remind Me, Twisted, Caught Up, She Came To Give It To You, Climax, Confessions, My Boo, Lover’s and Friends, I Don’t Mind, Burn, There Goes My Baby, You Got It Bad, Superstar, Bad Girl, Good Kisser, You Don’t Have To Call, DJ Gotta Fall In Love, Yeah!, Without You

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