Back to her dive bars roots with lat­est al­bum

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

IT HAD been a long day for the spec­ta­tors of the For­mula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix, which took place over the week­end at the Sepang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit. But all that was for­got­ten at the Af­ter-Race con­cert when Usher took to the stage, for what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate the fi­nale than with this multi-Grammy-award­win­ning singer-song­writer.

Be­fore his per­for­mance, lo­cal artistes Mode­scope, Back­2Basixx, Fazura and Natasha Sass helped to set the mood for the thou­sands of mu­sic fans at the con­cert with per­for­mances of their own songs as well as cov­ers of hit tunes like Ari­ana Grande’s Bang Bang, Imag­ine Dragon’s Ra­dioac­tive, Sia’s Cheap Thrills and more.

At 7.45pm, LED lights blasted from the stage and the iconic au­to­tune in­tro­duc­tion of Usher’s OMG broke the si­lence, trig­ger­ing rap­tur­ous cheers from the crowd at the sight of the pop­u­lar R&B artiste.

Usher con­tin­ued to thrill with the soul-funk-in­fused beats of She Came to Give It to You, up­tempo sen­sual R&B tune Good Kisser and the funk-trap rhythm of Missin’ You.

Paired with his smooth hip-hop dance moves, it was al­most im­pos­si­ble not to sway along to the groovy beats.

Fans were also trans­ported back in time when Usher per­formed the song that helped launch his ca­reer, You Make Me Wanna.

“I just wanna set the mood

Burn, U Got It Bad, Con­fes­sions Part II, and U Don’t Have to Call.

The R&B singer also im­pressed and moved the au­di­ence with his in­cred­i­bly smooth vo­cal fi­nesse, matched with emo­tional lyrics, when he sang Cli­max from his Look­ing 4 My­self al­bum.

Fans also had the op­por­tu­nity to dance to some of his catchy new songs off his lat­est Hard II Love al­bum, such as Crash and No Limit, as well as Ri­vals which had a more clas­sic R&B Usher feel.

They cheered even louder when Usher de­liv­ered his most pop­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tive hits over the years such as My Boo, the well-favoured love duet fea­tur­ing Ali­cia Keys; Need a Girl, the P. Diddy sin­gle in which he was fea­tured to­gether with Loon; as well as Love in this Club, his own sin­gle fea­tur­ing rap­per Young Jeezy.

Of course, he in­cluded the more re­cent chart-top­ping Crush, his track with lo­cal songstress Yuna, as well as I Don’t Mind, his sin­gle fea­tur­ing Juicy J.

Usher took the time to address the re­cent tragic hap­pen­ings in the United States such as “the loss of black lives, law en­force­ment [and] mi­nor­ity rights” which have in­flu­enced many to live in fear from all the shoot­ings.

“All I ask is [for] you to say some­thing, if you see some­thing that looks odd to you, if you see some­thing that doesn’t feel right to you, say some­thing … again, what I do, I could not do with­out you,” he con­cluded, as the fa­mil­iar synth melody in­tro­duc­tion of David Guetta’s With­out You played, prompt­ing cheers from the crowd.

The splen­did flash­ing LED light show and at­trac­tive bright­ly­coloured screen vi­su­als in­stantly turned the con­cert area into a disco floor, as the in­de­fati­ga­ble singer en­ter­tained jump­ing fans with the mega-hit, DJ Got Us Fallin in Love.

Usher ended the show with his Grammy award-win­ning up-tempo hit Yeah!, but turned it up a notch with a heavy dub­step remix which proved to be a win­ner for the fans that night.

The con­cert was in­deed a fit­ting end to an al­ready siz­zling F1 event. LADY GAGA ( left) might be set to rock the Su­per Bowl next year, but that will not stop the Grammy-win­ning singer from r emem­ber­ing her roots. The Per­fect l lus ion song­writer has an­nounced that she will be play­ing at a string of dive bars in sup­port of her up­com­ing al­bum with the Bud Light X Dive Bar Tour that kicked off on Wed­nes­day at

IIan undis­closed tiny venue in the US.

Fans can livestream Gaga’s gig through the beer com­pany’s Facebook Live at 10pm to lis­ten to the pre­miere of her new song, Mil­lion Rea­sons.

“My first per­for­mances were in dive bars in New York City and around the coun­try, so work­ing with Bud Light to go back to my roots to per­form songs from my new al­bum is such an ex­cit­ing way to con­nect with my fans and share this mu­sic with them for the first time,” Gaga said in a state­ment.

She added that the “raw Amer­i­cana vibe” of her new mu­sic is best suited to these styles of venue.

Per­fect Il­lu­sion re­ceived a mixed re­cep­tion from fans and crit­ics when Gaga first per­formed it at Lon­don’s Moth club last month.

She later ap­peared on the Ra­dio 1 Break­fast Show, when she re­vealed that the song is about so­cial me­dia, and the “many fake things around, things that ap­pear to be real”.

“Peo­ple feel pres­sured to live up to that per­fect il­lu­sion in their real lives,” she said. “This is about ac­cept­ing that and let­ting go.

“I’m not say­ing not to use your phone, I’m not that crazy. I think so­cial me­dia is great. But there’s also a lot of things that are on the in­ter­net that aren’t re­al­ity.”

Gaga’s re­turn has been hyped for months and ex­cite­ment was ranked up fur­ther when she re­vealed that she has recorded a duet with Florence + the Ma­chine’s Florence Welch.

“There’s a fea­ture on the al­bum that I think you will be very ex­cited about,” she told Ra­dio 1 Break­fast Show host Nick Grimshaw.

“Me and Florence Welch did a duet to­gether. I started to work on an idea for a song that I re­ally wanted to do with a girl. You’ll see why when you see what the song is about.

“I just thought: ‘Who do I want to sing with?’ She’s re­ally to me if not the best, one of the great­est vo­cal­ists in the world.”

is due out on Oct 21, with two tour dates sched­uled on Oct 20 and 27. – The Independent

PIX COUR­TESY OF SEPANG IN­TER­NA­TIONAL CIR­CUIT (SIC)

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