Posted in: Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on December 3rd, 2011
Somewhere, somehow, Usher has been dubbed the reigning “King of R&B.” I understand his sales are immense and popularity is undeniable, but I am hearing his name being said in the same sentence as James Brown and Michael Jackson. Those are insanely high standards to live up to, so I was was expecting a lot from the “OMG Tour” live performance.
Amidst scantily clad women, soaring lasers, massive video screens, a hyperactive backing band and sweating buckets in front of a sold out crowd, Usher does an 19 song long Michael Jackson impression. Am I watching the next King of Pop? Or (lord help me) King of R&B? (may the ghosts of Motown have mercy on whomever anointed Usher with that moniker). No, I am not. I am, however watching an extremely smooth dancer, a hard working entertainer, and charismatic singer lead an enormous stage production with a confident, cool professionalism.
I will be the first to admit that I think Usher’s music is well below par when it comes to the R&B genre. From this set list, I could possibly hum 2 or 3 songs after watching them based purely on how memorable they were. But this is not a compilation album, this is a concert film, and said concert’s production values and execution compensate for a lot of what the songs may lack.
Usher and his pack of dancers are all skilled and deliver some rather inventive choreography (there was a wonderful routine done for “U Remind Me” with two conveyor belts that I had to rewind a few times to soak in). Like all major pop acts, their backing band consists of stellar players. Drummer Aaron Spears was standout star to me, as his lightening fast fills truly added needed flair to the pop jams.
Widescreen 1.78:1. 1080i HD. The picture quality is immaculate. Every detail is crystal clear, right down to the beads of swear that literally pouring off of Usher’s brow.
DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 & LPCM Stereo available. The beats and vocals (both live and pre-recorded) are mixed very well and are quite clear. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: the sound quality is the absolute linchpin to a successful, or simply worthwhile, concert film. This becomes all the more pertinent on Blu Ray.
On The Shoulders Of Giants: A thorough look at the immense stage production and work that goes into this particular concert. All the while Usher is heralded as one of the greatest entertainers alive. I appreciate the behind the scenes info…not so much the ego stroking.
New Look Spot: A more in depth look into a portion of the other special feature where Usher visits a school sponsored by his charitable organization that helps youths in need. A noble effort made by him…the one time I will accept and even advocate his self-praise.
Fans will adore this concert film. Newcomers will appreciate how grand of a spectacle this show is, and may be able to enjoy it more than they thought they might.