Usher is coming back to Las Vegas, in even bigger, bolder style.
After a 20-show stint at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace that had fans flying out to Sin City in droves last year, the R&B superstar is returning to the stage for a new show with big surprises and a revamped performance. Few artists typically return to residency so quickly, but when fan demand and talent desire intersect, the time is always right.
“Success is always a reason to come back again, right?” Usher said ahead of the show’s announcement.
“I felt like it actually ended before I wanted it to,” he added. “So I just took my time and figured out where I could go that I felt would really support the type of show that I would put on and give me an opportunity to shock my audience again.”
The exclusive, only-in-Vegas spectacular will be packed with smash hits spanning the multi-talented entertainer’s 20-year career.
“The show that you experienced at the Colosseum is going to totally be different than what you’re going to experience at Park MGM,” he said. “There were elements that we had to make adjustments to because of COVID. I’m going to have a full band this time, that’s one thing I can tell you.”
On top of a full band, the new, immersive new show will incorporate audience interaction and staging throughout the 5,200-seat entertainment venue. With a new, innovative setup, every guest will have an up-close and personal experience with the 8-time Grammy-winning superstar. He even plans to perform some new music.
“Matter of fact, by the time we get to July, people will have heard new music from me,” he said. “Who knows, my album could be ready to come out close around the time that we launched the entire show.”
This album would be Usher’s first solo venture in 5 years, since 2016’s Hard II Love. Of course, the R&B landscape and music, in general, have each shifted some since that time. As a veteran crooner and blueprint-builder of modern R&B, Usher is more than ready to not only add what’s missing but contribute to what’s present.
“My voice didn’t change, it got better,” he observed of his place in today’s soundscape. “I think that I’m mindful of where music is and I’m also too mindful of what I think is a necessity. What I do as an artist, don’t nobody do. What I do and what I offer as a performer, nobody does. So this is an opportunity for me to touch on all the things that I know are a necessity, and also to just participate.”
“I love where music is. I don’t feel like it’s missing anything, but I think that we can add new flavors. And now that we have technology to play with, we can do things that we couldn’t do in the ’90s, in the 2000s,” he said. “Now I’m happy and I’m just exploring and just excited to educate people about what it is to be a live performer.”
Part of that live show excitement is his now-famous skating performance of “Don’t Waste My Time,” which went viral last year as concertgoers shared video. Now that he’s seen the vigorous fan response, he’s planning on delivering on what works.
“Now imagine how hard it is to skate and sing!” he laughed. “But looking at artists like Gene Kelly as a kid, I managed to be able see these things that became inspiration to me. I don’t know if I could even see myself in those characters because they were white. But there was something amazing about what they were doing that made me say, one day I’ll have the opportunity to be that.”
While crafting an unforgettable experience for his fans, recording new tracks, and plotting his big return to the R&B landscape, Usher is also enjoying family duties. As a father of four, including two babies under age two, it’s a juggling act that the singer is still figuring out.
“I think everybody had to figure that out over the last year. First and foremost, being in the space with each other,” he said, referencing the new stay-at-home culture that we’ve all adjusted to over the last 24 months.
“To be honest, managing my five-month-old and my 16-month-old girl is probably the easiest thing because they don’t really talk back,” he explained. “The hardest part is my teenagers. I’m not Usher to my kids, I’m Dad to my kids.”
“Because they’re quick, they say little slick stuff like they’re talking back. But they’re boys. It’s really a lot, but I’m enjoying the whole process. I’m enjoying what it is to find that balance between being Dad and also still remaining who I am as an artist.”
Overall, Usher is ready to get back on the stage in grander fashion at a fuller capacity. With the nation moving from pandemic precautions to endemic adjustments, audiences are now vaccinated, boosted, and ready to return to see their favorites grace the stage once again. As was the case for many of us, Usher says his prior residency and preparation for his next one have taught him perseverance through the unforeseen.
“The one thing that I will say I learned in putting that show on is that the
show must go on and that’s life. Right now we’ve been trying to figure out how to get back to normal. And maybe it isn’t exactly the way that it was, but life goes on and the show must go on. We have to figure out what the next step is.”
Tickets for all 23 performances of Usher – The Vegas Residency are on sale now, with shows starting July 17, 2022 at Dolby Live inside the Park MGM. Get yours HERE.