R&B megastar Usher dropped into Sydney yesterday for the first of his six scheduled gigs at Acer Arena aka The Megadrome as part of his OMG tour. I took my fourteen year-old sister and my Iphone to make notes. Here’s what happened.
9:10pm – START
9:11: Robot intro sequence. Usher has joined Daft Punk. Or some gay bikie gang.
9:14: Wow, Usher’s got lots of bitches. Concert has barely started and there’s already three of them all over him. Of all different ethnicities. What an equal opportunity employer he is.
9:16: Oh they just played that crunk song with Lil Jon in it. Aooow-kay!
9:20: Usher can most definitely sing. This is very exciting. There is falsetto all over the place. Oh, and he just dropped ‘Confessions’.
9:21: This guy’s feet never actually touch the ground. It’s like he’s permanently set the gear to ‘glide’. The choreography is hectic; sort of like *Nsync, if Timberlake was black.
9:21: Usher has just performed a slow striptease which involves taking off his leather gloves and jacket. He is now wearing a singlet and the two girls in front of us pretty much just fainted.
9:21:30: Sister is texting her friend at the other side of the stadium, ‘He is mighty fine’.
9:23: Observation: Usher sweats a lot. Perhaps the girls fainted because they were overpowered by the smell. Someone get that man a towel before he trips.
9:24: Fuck that, it’s costume change time! Silly video montage, but now he’s got his red MJ jacket on with matching fly kicks. He’s going to sweat through that, too. Just you watch.
9:26: That big glittering ‘U’ chain just arrived out of a briefcase. What a smart move, he was rocking this before anyone even used the @ symbol. With enough resources, Usher could probably rebrand the whole Internet.
9:30: Usher has a band. They’re sort of hidden below the runways, but they’re there. And they’re helping out with the vocals, too. Usher is a smart guy; he can move between ad-libbing and lip-syncing so well that my sister has to keep asking me what the hell is going on. No Britney Spears bullshit here.
9:35: Dancing is a very underrated art form. We are now at ‘U Make Me Wanna’ and Usher and his crew have gone into slo-mo krumping. Bono can’t do that.
9:36: Here I have noted ‘Crack back up dancers!’. I assume that refers to their skill, not their recreational drug use.
9:37: Usher just wants to get comfortable with 20,000 people. That’s why we’ve seen his bare chest like, three times already. He has abs of..how old is this guy? He’s making the rest of us look bad. Oh god, he’s done it again.
9:38: In case you didn’t figure it out, Usher is big on carnal relations. Feel bad for the parents who brought their 9 year-old daughters and are now covering both their eyes and ears. There is a simulated sex scene. Two of them.
9:40: I wonder if Usher gets to bang all of his back-up dancers? He certainly cops more than the average feel of their badonka-donks. David Jones this ain’t.
9:41: Am now considering shielding little sister’s eyes. There is an inspired anal scene happening up there. She shrugs, says ‘I’ve seen worse on Gossip Girl.’
9:42: Another bizarre video, another costume change. He’s just going to get naked anyway. What’s the point?
9:45: This is the bit where Usher Wears White. Before we had Black Usher, Red Usher and Black Leather Usher. This get-up includes Yeezy-esque sunglasses.
9:46: He just threw those sunnies into the audience. That’s the second pair of glasses and the third shirt that’s gone in there.
9:46: What the fuck is this space age song? Worlds collide, mad scientist making babes, obvs.
9:47: There is a tragic Usher mum getting up on her chair two rows in front of us. She’s been here the whole time, but now she’s completely lost her shit. I feel a Tom Jones moment may come on soon,
9:48: “Say usher, pick me baby…” or ‘How to stretch a boring song into ten minutes.’ Tragic Mum is making a big punt for the role of Girl Usher Will Seduce On Stage. She’s obviously never heard of a plant. Also, she’s old.
10:00: Thank Christ that’s over. The plant is the worst actress ever. She’s on the chair and ready for a grinding before Usher even has to suggest it. This song is called ‘Trading Places.’ It’s not about understanding women. It’s about sex. He’s on the bottom tonight. What a gentleman.
10:01: Sister is texting ‘He can deffo sing, just not anything important.’
10:03: I am thinking, ‘I liked this better when it was called D’Angelo.’ Which means I just tweeted it.
10:04: Sex addiction is real. Usher needs help. I reckon he could bone the entire crowd and still have the energy to go do some ab crunches.
10:05: Usher’s stomach again. I say to sister, ‘When do you think was the last time he ate a pizza?’
10:06 Fireworks have just gone off for absolutely no reason. This song is not even remotely exciting. But someone threw a bra and it landed on stage. It could be Tragic Mum, but it’s hard to tell. She’s been screaming like a banshee the whole time. Tell sister to examine the chest for signs of sagging.
10:07: Lots of emphasis on tracks people don’t seem to know. Does he have to get them out of the way? I haven’t seen his abs for like, 3 minutes. This must be the serious bit,
10:15: Is there one song in the entire Usher repertoire that doesn’t involve him being faux-felated, losing his shirt or having 3 hoes to choose from?
10:20: Audience is a disposal unit for props not needed on stage. They should be paid for garbage collection.
10:22: ‘There Goes My Baby’ is the strongest performance of the night mainly because Usher has his clothes on and is not trying to prove anything. He’s also singing, which he hasn’t done properly for about 25 minutes.
10:24: Usher is now on his knees in a white jacket covered in smoke. Ergo, he is Jesus.
10:30: There are some awkward BVs going on in ‘Let It Burn’. And some hugely unnecessary 808s in the vocal breakdown.
10:31: Now he is staring smoulderingly at us. What did I do?
10:32: Another girl just chucked a bra at him. This will not be fun for her on the train ride home.
10:33: Sister and I discuss the possibility of leaving, despite the fact that we haven’t heard ‘OMG.’
10:34: Dancers/sluts are now pole dancing. Of course. Do any women in Usher’s world have real jobs?
10:35: Escape. We get to the car on Level 8, overlooking the whole of Homebush. Sister says ‘Let’s listen to Foo Fighters.’