Concert review: Usher highlights Atlanta’s culture at the ‘UR Experience Tour’


It was Usher’s night, but it was also a moment to pay homage to Atlanta’s thriving hip-hop culture. When Usher’s “UR Experience Tour” made its way to Philips Arena in his hometown Atlanta, it was obvious that this show would be different from the other 26 cities that will get a chance to see his live set.

Dressed in all-black and assisted by a live band and a multitude of backup dancers, Usher opened his two-hour show with “My Way” and “OMG.” Once the music stopped, Usher took a moment to speak to the crowd and revealed that Atlanta’s culture would play a key role during the entire show.

Usher went into “Love In This Club” before Young Jeezy emerged to perform his verse. Young Jeezy remained on stage and performed “Lost My Mind.”

After Young Jeezy’s exit, Usher dimmed the lights and performed “Lil Freak,” “Nice and Slow” and “Remind Me.”

Usher proved that he could still dance with the best by channeling James Brown and Michael Jackson during his performance of “Twisted” and “She Came To Give It To You.”

Jermaine Dupri, who has produced multiple hits for Usher, entered the stage and served as hype man as Usher performed “Confessions” and “Daddy’s Home.” Dupri then introduced Lil Jon and Ludacris who assisted Usher on “Lovers and Friends.”

Usher also highlighted Atlanta’s strip club culture on “I Don’t Mind.” While two voluptuous women twerked on stage, Usher brought a taste of Magic City to Philips Arena along with Juicy J.

Usher slowed things down again with love ballads such as “There Goes My Baby,”  and “You Got It Bad.” Usher told the crowd that guys today don’t take their time with women. He was interrupted by T.I. who came on stage to serenade women in hip-hop fashion with “Whatever You Like.” T.I. also performed “Ain’t About the Money” with Young Thug.

Rae Sremmurd also joined Usher on stage to perform their hits “No Type” and “No Flex Zone.” To remain true to the Atlanta cultural theme, Usher and his dancers did an old-school Atlanta dance known as the “Yeek.”

Shortly thereafter, Lil Jon and Ludacris returned to the stage to perform “Yeah” and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What.”  Usher ended his show with “DJ Got Us Falling in Love” and an encore performance of  “Without You.”

With new age R&B acts such Chris Brown and Trey Songz building their presence in music, some may forget Usher’s overall impact on the genre. But the “UR Experience Tour” proves, again, that Usher’s legendary status remains intact.


A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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