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8701 Evolution Tour was the debut concert tour by American recording artist Usher. Visiting North America, Asia, Canada, and Africa the tour accompanies his third studio album, 8701 (2001). Following a milestone, 8701 sold 6 million copies worldwide and spawning two Billboard Hot 100 number one singles "U Remind Me", "U Got It Bad" and hit song "U Don't Have To Call".[1]

8701 Evolution Tour
Tour by Usher
Usher 2002TourPoster.jpg
Promotional poster for the tour
Associated album8701
Start dateApril 4, 2002 (2002-04-04)
End dateJuly 7, 2002 (2002-07-07)
No. of shows44 in North America
2 in Africa
46 Total
Usher concert chronology


Usher originally planned to embark on a supporting tour for the album with a starting date of November 29, 2001 in Baltimore to an end date of December 30 in Los Angeles.[2] Titled by his fans the Evolution 8701 Tour, the original tour plan—to which Usher would perform in venues that held 5,000 to 12,000 seats—was postponed, due to Usher dislocating his shoulder during a rehearsal.[3] Once recovered, Usher announced new tour dates, and commented: "I'm really looking forward to getting out and performing live onstage. Now that my arm is healed, I'm ready to get out there and interact with my fans. Nothing compares to that excitement and energy."[4] Usher would perform in over forty North America Cities, with opening acts including singer Faith Evans, and rappers Nas and Mr. Cheeks.[5] The tour commenced on April 25, 2002 in Denver and concluded on July 7, 2002 in New Orleans.

American singer Faith Evans (pictured) was one of the opening acts for the tour.

Concert synopsisEdit

The show began with his guitarist playing the National Anthem proceeding with an introduction in the background while his dancers hit the stage, Usher emerges jumping from the top of the spiral stage wearing a leather vest and shorts. Kicking off with "I Don’t Know" then going into "If I Want To" sparkles and pyrotechnics off his latest, 8701.[6] During "Just Like Me" Leah Greenblatt said "Usher acted as the eye of a sexed-up storm, surrounded by dancers who gyrated and moved up and down a stripper's pole with skills not learned at Arthur Murray." Next he performed "I Can't Let U Go" white wearing a leather bandana and black shredded shirt he rips off.[6] He exited again for another costume change as a video showed him and one of his dancers engaging in a dance seduction, fading to black just in PG-13 time. Next, donning a white fedora and coat, Usher emerged for "Bedtime" and "Nice and Slow." The intro to "U Got it Bad" presented flashes on lighting as he walked from top of the spiraling stage to the main stage where his mic stand. Leading the crowd in a "U Don’t Have to Call" sing. He ended his performance remembering loved ones they had lost, flashing the names of the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes on an overhead screen as he segued into Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." After introducing his band and dancers, he got the crowd to flash peace and love signs.[6]

Set listEdit

  1. "National Anthem into Bio Video"
  2. "I Don't Know"
  3. "If I Want To" (With Johnny's Guitar Solo)
  4. "Just Like Me"
  5. "I Can't Let U Go"
  6. "Romantic Transition Video"
  7. "Bedtime"
  8. "Nice & Slow"
  9. "I Need a Girl"
  10. "Twork It Out"
  11. "8701 Interlude"
  12. "U Got It Bad"
  13. "My Way"
  14. "You Make Me Wanna..."
  15. "U Remind Me"
  16. "U Don't Have to Call"
  17. "What's Goin' On"

Critical receptionEdit

The tour garnered generally positive reviews from critics.[1] Randy Lewis from the Los Angeles Times stated "The choreography was sporadically dazzling, and in a brief solo number near the end of the show, he suddenly pulled together a routine hinting that he might give Prince or Michael Jackson of yore a run for their money." [7] A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle says "Usher is so smooth, he literally slides. Usher arrived with a burst of fireworks and an energetic performance and showed why he's made a successful transition. The audience loved it all and sang along lustily to a string of hits." Soren Baker from the Cincinnati Enquirer praised "the 23-year-old Atlantan proved you can sing and dance at the same time. Of course, that's how James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Usher's most obvious role model Michael Jackson did it, but in today's high-tech, gimmicky concerts, it's a lost art." [8]

Opening actsEdit


Date City Country Venue
North America
April 25, 2002 Denver, Colorado United States Pepsi Center
April 26, 2002 Albuquerque Journal Pavilion
April 27, 2002 Phoenix Cricket Wireless Pavilion
April 28, 2002 Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Events Center
May 2, 2002 San Diego Coors Amphitheatre
May 3, 2002 Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
May 4, 2002 Sacramento Valley Amphitheatre
May 5, 2002 Concord Concord Pavilion
May 8, 2002 Calgary Canada Pengrowth Saddledome
May 10, 2002 Vancouver General Motors Place
May 11, 2002 Seattle United States KeyArena
May 12, 2002 Portland Rose Garden Arena
May 16, 2002 Minneapolis Target Center
May 17, 2002 Tinley Park Tweeter Center
May 18, 2002 Maryland Heights Riverport Amphitheatre
May 19, 2002 Bonner Springs Sandstone Amphitheater
May 23, 2002 Columbus Polaris Amphitheater
May 24, 2002 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center
May 25, 2002 Clarkston Pine Knob Music Theatre
May 26, 2002 Cleveland Gund Arena
May 30, 2002 Nashville AmSouth Amphitheatre
May 31, 2002 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
June 1, 2002 Raleigh Alltel Pavilion
June 2, 2002 Virginia Beach Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
June 6, 2002 Miami American Airlines Arena
June 7, 2002 Atlanta Chastain Park
June 8, 2002 Tampa Ice Palace Arena
June 11, 2002 Orlando TD Waterhouse Centre
June 13, 2002 Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center
June 14, 2002 Wantagh Jones Beach Amphitheatre
June 15, 2002 Mansfield Tweeter Center
June 16, 2002 Camden Tweeter Center
June 20, 2002 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre
June 21, 2002 Albany United States Pepsi Arena
June 22, 2002 Hartford Meadows Amphitheatre
June 23, 2002 Buffalo HSBC Arena
June 27, 2002 Noblesville Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
June 28, 2002 Hershey Hersheypark Stadium
June 29, 2002 Bristow Nissan Pavilion
June 30, 2002 Burgettstown Post-Gazette Pavilion
July 4, 2002 Selma Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 5, 2002 Dallas Smirnoff Music Center
July 6, 2002 Houston Compaq Center
July 7, 2002 New Orleans Louisiana Superdome
November 20, 2002 Cape Town South Africa Durban International Expo Centre
November 22, 2002 Johannesburg The Dome


  • Keys: Rudolfo Valdez Brantley & Buddy Strong
  • Drums: Mike 'Big Mike' Clemons
  • Guitar & Keys: Natural


  1. ^ "Grammy Award Winning Superstar Usher Gears Up for 8701 Evolution Tour". 2002-10-02. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  2. ^ Reid, Shaheem (October 11, 2001). "Usher Lets Fans Title Upcoming Tour". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Reid, Shaheem (November 13, 2001). "Usher Tour On Hold After Singer Dislocates Shoulder". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Moss, Corey (February 13, 2002). "Usher Announces Rescheduled 8701 Tour Dates". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  5. ^ "Usher's Spring/Summer Tour Evolves". Billboard. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c "Usher Takes Audience Member To Bed At Seattle Tour Opener". MTV News. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  7. ^ "For R&B;'s Usher, Ego Is Still Instrumental". 20 May 2002. Retrieved 20 April 2019 – via LA Times.
  8. ^ Tribune, Soren Baker Special to the. "Usher brims with new confidence". Retrieved 20 April 2019.