Sometimes musical artists forget how to keep their craft fresh without losing themselves in gimmicks and trends. Fortunately, after 15 years of dominating popular music, Usher still knows how to think ahead of the game without losing himself, his fans, or his quality of music. On Friday night (Apr. 27), Usher joined forces with Fuerza Bruta: Look Up in a unique listening event for his upcoming seventh studio album, "Looking For Myself," at NYC's Daryl Roth Theater.
Every audience member, including Justin Bieber, stood for the entire time and shuffled around the floor at different times in order to soak in the seamless set changes and every unique moment of the show to the fullest, from Usher running on an elevated treadmill to members of the Fuerza Bruta cast "swimming" on Plexiglass above the heads of the audience. The R&B singer took full advantage of this experience to get personal with his fans, as the tracks for his new album acted as the soundtrack for the evening.
The opening song was Usher's lead single, "Climax," and he closed the show with "Can't Stop Won't Stop" a title that suggests his longevity, dedication, and determination to remain ahead of the younger generation of his R&B counterparts. Here are the highlights of "Looking For Myself":
"Lemme See" featuring Rick Ross
The song was coupled with the performance of a dream sequence where Usher was center stage on a broken-down bed, and a silver curtain enclosed the audience in a circle. As Usher was dreaming, two members of the Fuerza Bruta cast rolled, tumbled, ran, danced, and chased each other around to portray a lovers spat. "Lemme See" sounds like "Hot Toddy" 2.0 laced with the grunts and baritone voice of MMG's head honcho, Rick Ross. "Lemme See" has the potential to define the summer of 2012.
This was the first ballad that was heard off of "Looking For Myself," and it was appropriately coupled with the women of Fuerza Bruta performing choreography above the audience's heads in a pool of water. The visual component gave the song a very sensual feel and also reassured fans that Usher has not completely fallen victim to Euro-pop.
"I Care 4 U"
The cast of Fuerza Bruta was still frolicking in water for "I Care 4 U," but this time the audience watched a love triangle unfold. The most beautiful part about "I Care 4 U" is the tribal feel to the track that allowed the onlooker to get lost in an fantasy and feel like the Amazon was only a few steps away for four minutes.
Here is the full list of tracks performed from "Looking For Myself":
"Looking 4 Myself"
"Climax (Kaskade Remix)"
"I Care 4 U"
"Can't Stop, Won't Stop"