Aloha Stadium approves Usher concert
Popular R&B artist Usher may help Oahu residents ring in 2012, if a mainland promoter and the Hawaii Stadium Authority get their way.
The Stadium Authority approved use of Aloha Stadium for a concert by the artist on Dec. 30. However, approval by the venue doesn't mean Usher has a signed contract to actually perform in Honolulu on that date.
The world of concert promotion is a very fluid environment, with artists' schedules and external circumstances often affecting the actual results of preliminary talks between promoters and venues. Until a signed contract between the artist and concert promoter is obtained, there is no guarantee the show will take place.
While the economic downturn of recent years has meant fewer concerts of the size necessary to fill Aloha Stadium — promoters generally need to draw at least 30,000 people to realize a positive return on their investments there — the venue has seen its share of big names in the past. More than 40,000 fans were on hand in 2008 for a U2 concert, and the late 1990's through the mid-2000's saw award-winning recording artists like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam and the Rolling Stones all perform inside the stadium.
Another big factor with producing events at Aloha Stadium is the cost of shipping equipment not easily found in Hawaii. Concert production costs can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that doesn't include the six figures (or more) some artists command per performance.
Calls to Memphis, Tenn. promoter NuDawn Entertainment and the Hawaii Stadium Authority were not immediately returned.
Usher, who hails from Tennessee himself, celebrated his 33rd birthday earlier this month. His latest album, "Raymond Vs. Raymond," was released along with an EP, "Versus," in 2010 and included the tracks "OMG," "DJ Got Us Falling in Love" and "Somebody to Love," which have enjoyed mainstream pop success since their release.
Usher has also continued to be involved in the career of his protege, Justin Bieber; the two recently recorded the holiday classic, "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)," which will be released on Bieber's upcoming Christmas album, "Under the Mistletoe."
Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.