Mary J. Blige may be the best source for what the shows on her The Breakthrough Experience tour will be like. But don’t expect to break through her desire to keep things secret until the tour opens Friday (July 14) in Maryland Heights, Mo.
“I hate giving everything away, because then everybody knows what’s going to happen and I don’t like that,” says Blige, who’s touring to promote her seventh studio album, “The Breakthrough.” The set debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with first-week sales of more than 727,000 — the biggest opening week by a solo R&B female artist in Nielsen SoundScan history.
The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul will say, however, that fans can expect “just me, my band. We’re coming live. I think when you think of me, you just think of Mary coming with what she is and whatever I’ve evolved into as far as my talent is concerned. I don’t have a lot of gags and whistles and dancers and stuff like that. It’s just me.”
As far as repertoire, Blige assures us that “people are definitely going to get a lot of songs from ‘The Breakthrough,'” as well as “a lot of songs from the ‘Share My World’ album, a lot of songs from the ‘My Life’ album, the ‘What’s the 411?’ album. Songs like ‘Real Love,’ you could do that every tour, every show. There’s so many, [but] you can’t do every last one of them, so we just give them a little of everything.”
Blige has 29 shows scheduled for the summer outing, which wraps up Sept. 8 in Concord, Calif. Another leg of the tour may follow.