Filmed at London’s state-of-the-art O2 Arena in April of this year, Usher: OMG Tour captures the R&B star on tour in support of his seventh album, Raymond V. Raymond, which achieved platinum status in the United States and earned him Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
Beginning with his 1997 album My Way, Usher has captivated fans with his energetic, club-ready music, smooth vocals and swift dance moves. Perfecting his formula, Usher had success after success over the next decade, including the singles ‘U Remind Me’, ‘Yeah‘, ‘U Don’t Have To Call’, ‘Burn’ and Confessions Part II‘.
Raymond V. Raymond, something of an experimental album for Usher, and has proven to be somewhat controversial among his most loyal fans. Stylistically, the album moves away from traditional R&B in favor of prominent pop beats, some edgy guitar solos, and a strong electronica feel.
At the O2 show, Usher takes the stage wearing a rather odd outfit that looks like the results of collaboration between Will.i.am and Tron. The first part of the concert the concert has a distinctly futuristic/post-apocalyptic vibe. It definitely catches your attention. The guy knows how to entertain. Long known for using his sexuality on stage, Usher seduces the audience between songs, with numerous PG-13 stripteases over the course of the concert. The singer slowly peels off a variety of shirts and flexes his muscles while gazing longingly into the eyes of the ladies in the front row.
Technically, the show is very impressive. The massive pyrotechnics, visual effects, and stage movement are all top-notch, transforming the show into a real feast for the eyes. It should come as no surprise that Usher, an accomplished dancer in his own right, has talented back up dancers around him throughout the show.
The show was choreographed by Edwin Moore (Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson) and produced by John Rubey (The Black Eyed Peas: The E.N.D. World Tour). Usher’s supporting band are Juan Najera (MD/keyboards/guitar), Rudolfo Valdez Brantley (MD/keyboards), Aaron Spears (drums), Arthur Strong (keyboards), and Issiah Avila (DJ/percussion).
- She Don’t Know
- U Remind Me
- U Don’t Have To Call
- You Make Me Wanna
- Mars Vs Venus
- Nice & Slow
- Love In This Club
- Lil Freak
- Hot Tottie
- There Goes My Baby
- Bad Girl
- Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)
- Caught Up
- DJ Got Us Falling In Love
Despite an abundance of fireworks, this 1.78:1, 1080p transfer is a solid one. Detail is spot on in both faraway and close-up shots. Flesh tones are accurate and contrast levels are good. Low lit sequences don’t lose detail which doesn’t always happen with performance Blu-rays. There is some film grain, but it adds to the overall presentation.
The DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio track is where this release really excels, as the music is given an immersive, aggressive mix. The instrumentation gets a little muddy at times, but that’s due to the arrangement and not the mix. Crowd noise is included in a prominent yet unobtrusive way. This is a big, showy concert and it certainly has a mix which represents it nicely.
English, French, and Spanish subtitles are included.
The following special features are included:
- On the Shoulders of Giants (20 min, 1080i) In this behind-the-scene featurette, Usher explains what he tries to accomplish with his elaborate shows, as well as what it takes to put them together. Also included are comments from production manager Omar Abderrahman, choreographer Edwin Moore, lighting director Eric Wade, production coordinator Jon Bumgarner, lighting designer Peter Morse, wardrobe manager Hadassah Boyd, etc.
- New Look Spot (3 min, 1080i) A short video piece about Usher’s New Look Foundation, which was established in 1999.