Concert review: Usher at Amway Center

Usher Raymond in concert may be the closest thing my generation and younger gets to seeing an all around performance similar to that of the late great Michael Jackson, and on Friday night the R&B star brought his “UR Experience Tour” to Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

No, the “UR Experience Tour” is hardly any rendition of what the seasoned artist will display on his eighth studio album “UR,” which has been delayed and still has no release date. Instead the show was to display how the 36-year-old singer has contributed greatness to multiple genres throughout his 20-plus years in the music industry.

After a blend of “My Way” over Drake’s “0 to 100” — which gave his younger fans a chance to still vibe whether or not they knew the lyrics because they were familiar to the beat — Usher broke out into his first “freestyle” dance session of the show. He would eventually be joined by eight dancers, who he did not mind sharing the spotlight with.

It’s has become extremely rare these days for artist to showcase the art of dance in their performance and let their backing group get solo; so when Usher invited the audience into his past and focused on a part of culture that was deep in his roots it was hard not to be appreciative. It also helped raise the question of would him and his team be able to serve Chris Brown and his crew in a dance battle.

He would even reference the choreography from his “You Make Me Wanna” music video and provide a hidden treasure to those truly paying attention

Mr. U-s-h-e-r didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. The 90 minute set touched multiple areas of the veteran artist song catalog, giving fans all the hits they wanted to hear but in a way he needed them to be heard.

Pop singles like “OMG” and “Without You” were flooded with stage antics, fireworks, flashing lights and a ton of pyrotechnics to  help show why Usher has been able to crossover to multiple genres and gain international success. These tracks served as an opportunity for everyone to vibe together.

Meanwhile songs like “Confessions Part 1” and “Let it Burn,” which were song acoustically gave fans the opportunity to sing along. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s amazing that both those songs, and a song like “Climax,” which talks about the complications of a relationship, provided the perfect opportunity for all few guys in in attendance a reason to be hugged up with their ladies.

Without warning, Usher’s long time friend and producer Jermaine Dupri joined him on stage and performed an extensive set of older work from the artist that his day one fans, or “OG fans,” what JD called them, would enjoy. Many of the songs dated back to as far as Usher’s debut album “My Way” and sophomore follow-up “8701.” Jermaine Dupri was 100 percent accurate when he said that “we could do this all night,” because their brief mini set did not even scratch the surface of records they did together.

Great seats for @augustalsina x "Hold You Down" #Testimony #URXTour #WeTheBest #AugustAlsina #AmwayCenter #Orlando #Florida

A video posted by Ty "Uncle Melonhead" Wright (@tru2ty) on

R&B newcomer August Alsina opened up the the show. Alsina is not the explosive dancer like Usher, in fact the closest he might get to an actual dance move during his set, besides his two female background dancers, was a simple two step. Backed by a drummer, guitarist and DJ, Alsina uses his vocal abilities to grasp the attention of the large crowd, which he knows the majority of has never heard of him or his music.