After nearly a month of promotions, contests, and other miscellaneous hullabaloo, Usher performed for the first time in Shanghai at the Mercedes Benz Arena at Expo. Apparently it was worth the wait – the R&B hit maker played all his most recent singles and invited a fan up to be serenaded to. Shanghaiist reader Niels Fontein was near the front row, snapping pictures of the event – it turned out to be a tough task. “Security was shining lasers into our eyes and trying to snatch our cameras away every time we tried so snap a shot,” he said.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like any English-language outlets have reviewed the show yet, but several Shanghai bloggers weighed in. Terence of You Used to Be Alright called the show a success, and had great things to say about the venue:
Maybe that’s only in comparison to other Chinese arenas, but they had plentiful food choices, the sightlines were good, the seats were good – the only thing I would say that could be improved would be transport in and out – maybe a subway entrance closer to the arena itself.
Before he left the stage, Usher thanked the crowd and promised he’d be back. But that was to be about as expected as every quote in his Shanghai Daily interview. Wouldn’t it be funny if, one of these days, a big mega-act actually vowed never to set foot in this place again?
Photos by Niels Fontein and AEG