Back to Basics Tour

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Back to Basics Tour
Back to Basics Tour.png
Tour by Christina Aguilera
Associated album Back to Basics
Start date November 17, 2006 (2006-11-17)
End date October 24, 2008 (2008-10-24)
Legs 5
Shows 9 in Australia
10 in Asia
20 in Europe
1 in Middle East
41 in North America
81 total
Box office US$ 48.2 million ($54,821,602 in 2015 dollars[1])
Christina Aguilera concert chronology
The Stripped Tour
Back to Basics Tour

The Back to Basics Tour was the fourth concert tour by American recording artist Christina Aguilera. It was launched in order to support her fifth studio album, Back to Basics (2006). The tour was officially announced in September 2006, with dates of European venues revealed. The setlist was mainly composed from her albums Christina Aguilera, Stripped, and Back to Basics, and contained remade versions of her three singles: "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)", "What a Girl Wants", and "Dirrty". The Back to Basics Tour visited Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia from late 2006 to mid 2007. In October 2008, three extra dates to Ukraine and the Middle East were added, becoming Aguilera's first concert in the Middle East.

The concert was divided into four acts: 1920s, Duke Joint, Circus, and the encore. 1920s displayed performances mixing traditional R&B, funk, rock, and hip hop elements. Duke Joint featured Aguilera performing in a red sparkling bodysuit. The performances on Circus employed a circus-inspired theme, and the encore ended with a confetti rain. The show garnered mixed to positive reviews from music critics. In a positive side, critics were favorable towards Aguilera's vocal performance and her outfits, as well as the background of the tour. On the other hand, some critics were not impressed towards the setlist opined that Aguilera's voice was "misguided".

The Back to Basic Tour proved to be a commercial success, grossing over US$48.2 million overall. In late July and early August 2007, Aguilera suffered from the flu, forcing her to cancel four Oceania dates. The show in Adelaide, Australia was filmed as a DVD entitled Back to Basics: Live and Down Under and was released in 2008 by RCA Records.

Concert synopsis[edit]

Aguilera wearing a red outfit performing atop a piano
Aguilera wearing a red outfit performing with a microphone and smiling
During the Duke Joint segment, Aguilera wore a sparkling red bodysuit to perform. She performed "Makes Me Wanna Pray" backed by a gospel choir while sitting atop a piano (left); next, she sang the reggae makeover of "What a Girl Wants" (right)

The show was divided into four sections: 1920s, Duke Joint, Circus and the encore, and lasted for 90 minutes.[2][3] 1920s displayed elements of traditional R&B, funk, rock, and hip hop in the performances.[4] It opened with a video introduction of "Intro (Back to Basics). As the video ended, Aguilera appeared onstage and performed "Ain't No Other Man" with eight back-up dancers dressed in sharp white suits.[5] Subsequently, she performed "Back in the Day" backed by her band, as images of classic jazz and soul artists including John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, and Louis Armstrong appeared on the backdrop.[2] Next, she performed "Understand" in a mini-dress with long train,[6] and performed the salsa version of "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)",[7] which featured a reggae beat.[8] For the performance of "Slow Down Baby", Aguilera wore a white bodysuit; afterwards, she put on black lace thigh-highs and sang "Still Dirrty" featuring excerpts from "Can't Hold Us Down" as newspapers headlines such as "Christina goes from 'dirrty' to demure" and "Christina cleans up her act flashed up on screens.[7] The second act, Duke Joint, began with an erotic video interlude of "I Got Trouble", featuring scenes of Aguilera touching herself on bed and bathing in an old fashioned bathtub.[4][9] For the live performances during this segment, Aguilera dressed in a sparkling red bodysuit.[3] The performance of "Makes Me Wanna Pray", which was backed by a gospel choir,[10] featured Aguilera singing on the top of a piano,[11] while "What a Girl Wants" was remade in a reggae style.[12] The segment ended with Aguilera performing "Oh Mother" alone as images of a man repeatedly punching a woman as blood dripped from her face shown on the backdrop.[5]

The third segment, Circus, opened with an interlude of "Enter the Circus" and a brief performance of "Welcome", which portrayed a circus-inspired stage as dancers swung on trapezes and breathed fire.[5] The performance of "Dirrty", which incorporated elements from two compositions: "Cell Block Tango" from the Broadway musical Chicago, and the classic march "Entrance of the Gladiators" by Julius Fučík, featured Aguilera performing while riding a carousel horse.[13] Next, Aguilera and her female dressed in sailor styled suits and paid tribute to The Andrews Sisters while performing "Candyman",[14] recreating a World War II theme.[12] For the next number, "Nasty Naughty Boy", Aguilera dressed in a bra and shorts and expressed her S&M fantasy as she took a male audience member onstage and attached him to the Wheel of Death.[15] Subsequently, Aguilera and her dancers playfully whipped around him.[13] For the followup, "Hurt", Aguilera performed alone onstage in a plume outfit while a giant crescent moon descended from the ceiling.[16] The section concluded with "Lady Marmalade", during which Aguilera performed in a cotton-candy pink embellished corset.[17] The encore began with a video interlude of "Thank You (Dedication to Fans...)", featuring excerpts from Aguilera's previous music videos and voice mails from her fans.[12] Aguilera performed "Beautiful" alone onstage before ended the concert with "Fighter", at the end of which confetti rained down.[18]

The 2008 setlist of the Back to Basics Tour was slightly similar to the 2006-07 setlist, but was shorter and did not have the encore due to the show's complexity.[19] The electropop version of "Genie in a Bottle", entitled "Genie 2.0", was performed before the closing song "Fighter".[20]

Critical response[edit]

Aguilera performing "Understand" in a mini-dress with long train

The Back to Basics Tour received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Sarah Godfrey from The Washington Post criticized the setlist and Aguilera's "overconfidence" during the show.[21] Dave Simpson of The Guardian gave the tour a two out of five stars rating, calling the song selection for the setlist "equally confusing" and opined that the tour was "delivered in a similar Mariah Carey tinnitus-inducing wail and the subject matter, generally, is that X-Tina is fantastic, is tough, is a victim and still enjoys sex - though hopefully not at the same time".[3] Critic Kitty Empire from The Observer and Dave Tianen from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that the songs on the show did not go well with each other.[9][22]

An editor from Manchester Evening News opined that the concert had "unusually-genuine message of empowerment" and compared its setlist to Britney Spears' The Onyx Hotel Tour.[23] In a journal for The Press of Atlantic City, Regina Schaffer noted the similarities between the show and Madonna's Confessions Tour (2006) and was not impressed towards the makeovers of Aguilera's previous singles, such as "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" and "What a Girl Wants".[7] Writing for The New York Times, Kelefa Sanneh called the tour "disappointing" because of Aguilera's "misguided" voice.[12] On a more positive side, Cameron Adams from the Herald Sun and Cathy Garcia from The Korea Times praised Aguilera's vocals on the Back to Basics Tour.[24][25]

Jim Farber from the New York Daily News praised the show's accompaniment with a "horn-punctuated" band, the background visuals and the choreography, but called out Aguilera for her oversinging.[26] An editor of the South China Morning Post, Paul Kay, provided a positive review toward the tour, applauding its synopsis and Aguilera's voice.[27] Katie Boucher writing for the Abu Dhabi journal The National complimented the concert's setlist and Aguilera's attitude, writing that "you couldn't fail to be impressed by her spirit".[20] Likewise, The Miami Student '​s Nicole Smith opined that "she really does prove that she is a fighter, through domestic violence, deceit and the basic wear and tear of fame".[8]

Barry Walters from Rolling Stone wrote that, "Whereas Madonna pioneered her brand of bustier feminism with knowing finesse, Aguilera and pals opt for strip-club bombast, even when belting pro-female anthems. Now more woman than girl, Aguilera's looking and sounding stronger than ever, but could benefit from a little adult nuance".[5] Joey Guerra, on a review for the Houston Chronicle, praised Aguilera for being "no mere copycat" but "[taking] essential pieces from other performers, other sounds, other eras and blends them into her own sexy style", further concluding that the artist "claims her pop throne".[6] Daily Trojan's Michael Cooper labelled the tour "an almost-perfect pop concert" and commended on the show's "eye-catching" background and Aguilera's costumes.[28]

Commercial performance[edit]

Aguilera performing "Still Dirrty" in a white bodysuit and black lace thigh-highs

After the United Kingdom leg, the Back to Basics Tour gained a huge number of tickets sold and revenue, with the tickets sold out in Dublin and Birmingham.[29] Combined with the Belgium show, Billboard Boxscore calculated that the European leg of the tour garnered about $7.8 million.[30] For the North America leg, although Billboard Boxscore did not calculate the attendance and gross for each date, the forty-one date run grossed a total of $28,921,000, with 391,700 tickets sold (but none of the shows were sold out).[31] After ten concerts held in Asia in early-July 2007, the Back to Basics Tour grossed $43,566,000, became the second highest grossing concert tour as of mid year 2007, only behind Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveShow (with $52,187,000 grossed).[32]

Aguilera initially planned a six date tour for the Australian leg. Subsequently, all of the tickets for the six dates had been sold out, leading Aguilera to expand the tour for three more dates in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.[33] Four other dates for Melbourne and Auckland (New Zealand) were also planned, but was cancelled due to Aguilera suffering flu virus.[34][35] By the end of its 78 date run across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia throughout 2006 and 2007, the Back to Basics garnered a total of $48.1 million, becoming the highest grossing concert tour by a female of the year.[36] With three more shows in Kiev, Ukraine and Abu Dhabi, UAE, the tour grossed $48.2 million overall.[37] At the 2007 Billboard Touring Awards, the Back to Basics Tour received two nominations: "Breakthrough Act" and "Top Package".[38]

Broadcasts and recordings[edit]

The show filmed at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia on July 17 and 18, 2007, entitled Back to Basics: Live and Down Under, was aired on VH1 at 10 PM on January 26, 2008.[39] RCA Records released the DVD for sales on February 4, 2008.[40]



List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue, opening act(s), tickets sold and revenue
Date City Country Venue Opening act(s) Attendance Revenue
November 17, 2006 Sheffield England Hallam FM Arena None 10,898 / 11,300 $926,365
November 20, 2006 Belfast Northern Ireland Odyssey Arena 8,045 / 8,500 $723,691
November 21, 2006 Dublin Ireland The Point 8,000 / 8,000 $703,705
November 23, 2006 Manchester England Manchester Evening News Arena 13,835 / 14,000 $1,186,584
November 24, 2006 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena None 8,343 / 10,000 $718,917
November 26, 2006 Birmingham NIA Academy 12,345 / 12,345 $1,073,674
November 29, 2006 London Wembley Arena 17,252 / 20,000 $1,758,203
November 30, 2006
December 2, 2006 Rotterdam Netherlands Ahoy N/A N/A
December 3, 2006 Antwerp Belgium Sportpaleis Antwerpen 11,784 / 15,719 $675,066
December 5, 2006 Frankfurt Germany Festhalle N/A N/A
December 6, 2006 Paris France Bercy
December 8, 2006 Oberhausen Germany Oberhausen Arena
December 11, 2006 Hamburg Color Line Arena
December 13, 2006 Stuttgart Schleyerhalle
December 14, 2006 Zurich Switzerland Hallenstadion None
December 16, 2006 Vienna Austria Stadthalle
December 17, 2006 Prague Czech Republic Sazka Arena
North America[10][31][44]
February 20, 2007 Houston United States Toyota Center 391,700 $28,921,000
February 21, 2007 Dallas American Airlines Center
February 23, 2007 Omaha Qwest Center
February 24, 2007 Kansas City Kemper Arena
February 26, 2007 Denver Pepsi Center
February 28, 2007 Glendale Glendale Arena
March 2, 2007 San Diego ipayOne Center @ The Sports Arena
March 3, 2007 Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Events Center
March 5, 2007 Anaheim Honda Center
March 6, 2007 Los Angeles Staples Center
March 9, 2007 Oakland ARCO Arena
March 10, 2007 San Jose HP Pavilion at San Jose
March 12, 2007 Vancouver Canada General Motors Place
March 14, 2007 Edmonton Rexall Place
March 15, 2007 Calgary Pengrowth Saddledome
March 17, 2007 Winnipeg MTS Centre
March 19, 2007 Saint Paul United States Xcel Energy Center
March 23, 2007 New York City Madison Square Garden
March 25, 2007 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre
March 26, 2007 Ottawa Scotiabank Place
March 28, 2007 Montreal Bell Centre
March 30, 2007 Boston United States TD Banknorth Garden
March 31, 2007 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
April 2, 2007 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center
April 3, 2007 Philadelphia Wachovia Center
April 5, 2007 East Rutherford Continental Airlines Arena
April 7, 2007 Uniondale Nassau Coliseum
April 9, 2007 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills
April 11, 2007 Uncasville Nationwide Arena
April 13, 2007 Cleveland Quicken Loans Arena
April 14, 2007 Pittsburgh Mellon Arena
April 20, 2007 Milwaukee Bradley Center
April 21, 2007 Rosemont Allstate Arena
April 24, 2007 Manchester Verizon Wireless Arena
April 25, 2007 Providence Dunkin' Donuts Center
April 27, 2007 Hartford Hartford Civic Center
April 29, 2007 Baltimore 1st Mariner Arena
May 1, 2007 Raleigh RBC Center
May 2, 2007 Duluth Arena at Gwinnett Center
May 4, 2007 Tampa St. Pete Times Forum
May 5, 2007 Sunrise BankAtlantic Center
June 18, 2007 Osaka Japan Osaka-jō Hall None N/A N/A
June 20, 2007 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
June 21, 2007
June 23, 2007 Seoul South Korea Olympic Gymnastics Arena
June 24, 2007
June 26, 2007 Shanghai China Shanghai Grand Stage None
June 28, 2007 Bangkok Thailand Impact Arena
June 30, 2007 Kallang Singapore Singapore Indoor Stadium
July 3, 2007 Chek Lap Kok Hong Kong AsiaWorld-Arena
July 6, 2007 Taguig Philippines Fort Bonifacio
  • Kris Lawrence
  • Philippine All Star Dancers
July 13, 2007 Perth Australia Burswood Dome
  • Low Rider
July 14, 2007
July 17, 2007 Adelaide Adelaide Entertainment Centre
July 18, 2007
July 20, 2007 Brisbane Brisbane Entertainment Centre 18,383 / 19,982 $1,889,450
July 21, 2007
July 24, 2007 Sydney Acer Arena 25,450 / 25,450 $2,466,666
July 25, 2007
July 27, 2007 Melbourne Rod Laver Arena N/A N/A
October 20, 2008 Kiev Ukraine Palats Sportu None N/A N/A
October 21, 2008 Palats Ukraina
Middle East[50]
October 24, 2008 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Emirates Palace Hotel None N/A N/A

Cancelled shows[edit]

List of cancelled concerts, showing date, city, venue and reason for cancellation
Date City Venue Reason
July 29, 2007 Melbourne, Australia Rod Laver Arena Illness[34][35]
July 30, 2007
August 2, 2007 Auckland, New Zealand Vector Arena
August 3, 2007



  • Guitar – Tariqh Akoni and Errol Cooney
  • Bass – Ethan Farmer
  • Drums – Brian Frasier-Moore
  • Saxophone – Randy Ellis and Miguel Gandelman
  • Trumpet – Ray Monteiro
  • Trombone – Garrett Smith
  • Percussion – Ray Yslas
  • Background Vocals – Sha'n Favors, Sasha Allen (North American & Pacific Leg), Erika Jerry and Belle Johnson (European Leg)
  • Dancers – Paul Kirkland, Kiki Ely, Tiana Brown, Dres Reid, Gilbert Saldivar, Monique Slaughter, Nikki Tuazon, Marcel Wilson and Jeri Slaughter


  • Stylist – Simone Harouche
  • Hair & Make-Up Designer – Steve Sollitto
  • Concert Video Design – Dago Gonzalez for Veneno, Inc.


  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
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  4. ^ a b Varga, George (March 5, 2007). "Aguilera a powerful, confounding talent in tights". U-T San Diego. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
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  6. ^ a b Guerra, Joey (February 20, 2007). "Christina Aguilera claims her pop throne". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. 
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  8. ^ a b Smith, Nicole (April 12, 2007). "Aguilera wows in recent Philly concert". The Miami Student. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Empire, Kitty (December 3, 2006). "Christina Aguilera, Wembley Arena". The Observer. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Moss, Corey (July 2, 2007). "Christina's Tour Takes Fans To Circus, Cabaret Club – And Church?". MTV News. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ Stevenson, Jane (March 26, 2007). "ACC, Toronto – March 25, 2007". Jam!. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
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  13. ^ a b "Xtina to Strip, Whip and Flip!". TMZ. November 5, 2006. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ Beck, Aaron (April 12, 2007). "Aguilera turns up the volume in glitz-laden spectacle". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
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  16. ^ Powers, Ann (March 7, 2007). "Props mistress". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. 
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  19. ^ Swan, Melanie (October 25, 2008). "Fans thrilled but not happy with sudden end to show". The National. Abu Dhabi. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c Boucher, Katie (October 25, 2008). "Christina Aguilera, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi". The National. Abu Dhabi. Archived from the original on June 12, 2014. 
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  22. ^ Tianen, Dave (April 22, 2007). "Aguilera shows she has moved on by stepping back". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
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  25. ^ Garcia, Cathy (June 25, 2007). "Christina Aguilera Shows Off Impressive Vocals". The Korea Times. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  26. ^ Farber, Jim (March 24, 2007). "Christina glitzes up Garden". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  27. ^ Kay, Paul (July 4, 2007). "An Evening of High Notes with Aguilera". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. 
  28. ^ Cooper, Michael (March 8, 2007). "Christina gives a master class in concert spectacle". Daily Trojan. Archived from the original on August 2, 2007. 
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External links[edit]