REVIEW: Usher, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Usher performing live.
Usher performing live.
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HARD to believe it’s two decades since Usher hip-thrusted his way onto the music scene.

Twenty two years later he still makes his fans wanna move.

Usher gives the kind of polished-to-perfection performance we’ve come to expect from American popstars, all gleaming megawatt smiles and body popping precision.

Releases so far from his forthcoming eighth album UR indicate it may not have the sheen of previous albums - 2004’s Confessions is a classic and a huge seller of the last decade - but its singles, including Good Kisser and I Don’t Mind, have charted higher in the UK than in his native US. Judging by the crowds in Newcastle tonight we’re still very much having a Transatlantic love affair with Usher’s silky smooth vocals.

It’s easy to get dazzled by Usher’s hypnotic hips - he’s got to be one of the best movers out there - but his vocal range is equally impressive.

Singing songs that make you swoon come as easily as talking to this slick showman as he performed sway-a-long tracks that helped make his name including You Make Me Wanna, Confessions, Burn and U Got It Bad.

Usher wowing his fans

Usher wowing his fans

But, of course, Usher doesn’t just do romance. His upbeat hits ramped up the tempo as he donned some obligatory ‘bling’ and a bicep-revealing vest to sing dancefloor fillers such as Yeah, New Flame (his recent collaboration with Chris Brown) and Bad Girl.

It wasn’t the most razzle dazzle of shows in terms of effects and stunts, but when you have vocals and dance moves as good as this the music speaks for itself.

The encore came in the form of Without You, his collaboration with David Guetta, which had us all trying, and failing, to emulate his moves.

You’ve got to hand it to Usher, at 36 he’s still got it.