|Back to Basics Tour|
|Tour by Christina Aguilera|
|Associated album||Back to Basics|
|Start date||November 17, 2006|
|End date||July 27, 2007|
|Shows||18 in Europe
42 in North America
11 in Asia
9 in Australia
|Christina Aguilera concert chronology|
The Back to Basics Tour was the fourth concert tour by American recording artist Christina Aguilera. The tour was lauched to support her fifth studio album Back to Basics and visited North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. After her 2004 summer tour was scrapped due to vocal cord injuries she suffered shortly before the opening date, Aguilera began planning a intimate club tour to promote her fourth studio album Back to Basics, released two years after. However, an arena tour would give her more time to work the bigger show and then strip it down to something raw and organic. Costumes were designed by Roberto Cavalli.
The show was divided into four segments, namely 1920s, Duke Joint, Circus and an encore. The setlist consisted mainly of songs from her last studio album released at that point. The first segment paid homage to old jazz and blues singers. In the duke joint segment, it basically displayed the artist singing atop of a piano, the third segment was described as a journey going on, with fire spinners, dancers on stilts and trapezes, and an strip club, and the encore consisted of two old songs. The tour generated positive reviews from critics, who praised Aguilera's voice and artistry.
The Back to Basics Tour was a commercial success. Tickets were completely sold as soon as dates and venues for the tour were announced, prompting the organizers to add more dates. After it wrapped up, it was named the most successful by a female artist in 2007, grossing over $90 million worldwide with 80 dates. It also received two nominations at the 2007 Billboard Touring Awards. The Back to Basics Tour has been broadcast on a number of private channels and websites while a DVD version of the performances, titled Back to Basics: Live and Down Under, was released in February 2008.
After the success of the Stripped Live... on Tour in 2003 which promoted her fourth studio album Stripped, another US summer tour was scheduled with Chingy to begin in 2004 with a new theme, however it was scrapped due to vocal cord injuries Aguilera suffered shortly before the opening date. Doctors told Aguilera that she should not sing for the next six weeks, cancelling the tour. She said, "I'm extremely disappointed to have to cancel this tour. I was looking forward to being on the road again and spending time with my fans". Service company FansRule had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and had no ability to refund the money to buyers. Aguilera's team then hired legal representation to deal with the designated trustees for FansRule, Joe Baldiga and John Aquino, and the bankruptcy court to help the fans. But it was a slow-going process, punctuated by hearings where the singer's lawyers had to fight motions from FansRule to pay the trustees before paying back the fans. According to Baldiga, $320,000 was due as repayment to the hundreds of Aguilera fans who had bought VIP tickets. Aguilera's publicists said in a statement:
"You should know that Christina has arranged through her attorneys to ensure that consumers would be receiving the maximum return possible, by virtue of the fact that Christina has agreed that any amounts due to her and her company should instead be used to satisfy the claims of the many fans who purchased tickets through FansRule."
The Back to Basics Tour was announced on September 11, 2006, with only European dates revealed. Tickets from her canceled 2004 tour, which ranged from $125 to $325, could be refunded. She said after it was announced: "At a certain point, we are fitting in the more intimate blues/jazz club tour, which I'm really excited about. It's going to be an amazing, amazing show that I can't wait to put on." On October 12, 2006, it was annouced that the Pussycat Dolls would be one of the opening acts of the US tour. The same day, US and Canada dates were announced. Aguilera also partnered with I Love All Access to offer fans VIP ticket packages. On July 31, 2007, a statement was released cancelling the last two shows from the tour, in Auckland, New Zealand, due to the singer's illness. Other two concerts in Melbourne, Australia had been previously canceled. She said:
"I would like to apologise once again to all of my fans here in New Zealand for having to cancel my last two shows of my tour. This is my first time in your beautiful country and I have really been looking forward to performing for you all. Unfortunately, I caught a bad flu virus and I have not been able to recover in time. Thank you all for your continued love and support and I can't wait for the next time.
After releasing Back to Basics, Aguilera considered launching a tour of small clubs like the Blue Note in New York. "I think there is something really special about doing a performance like that and feeling the energy of a more intimate audience, and that is something we are definitely, definitely going to entertain in the future", she stated. However, Aguilera considered that it is "a more vulnerable approach for your performance. You can't hide behind anything. It's just you, and your audience is right in front of you, but I still love it. I love to perform more than anything else in the world, being on that stage and feeling the energy of the crowd enjoying your music". However, an arena tour would give her more time to work the bigger show and then strip it down to something raw and organic. Before the tour's lauching, Aguilera stated that it was her my most inspired show to date. "[Expect] lots of amazing circus elements and throwback elements to the past and the areas that I am inspired by. It's just an interesting show to watch and to be a part of and to use your imagination", she said. Aguilera gave details of the concert, saying:
"[We are] trying to make it as big as possible... my band gets involved in some of the choreography. It's amazing that everybody sort of gets involved. We're all such teammates with each other when we're on that stage and we just all have such fun together. And then we go into sort of a juke joint feel where we kind of you know, slash that with going to church [...] And then we open it up to a circus element (scene), so there's a – so there's quite a journey that goes on, on stage for my audience and as a performer. But it all does have a tie together, so it all kind of makes sense. You really just got to come see the show, all right. It's so much fun to put on and we have a blast with it".
On the stage were at least 600 moving lights and 820 pounds of confetti. Jamie King was hired as the tour director. On her team there were at least 20 members, including her dancers, who "went into training. I'm so proud of them. "They learned how to stilt-walk, how to trapeze, fire-throw. There are so many different circus elements that are involved in the show, and it's just super fun". Aguilera also recruited Roberto Cavalli, who designed ten costumes. All the costumes have a vintage flare, referencing everything from 1940's-era Marlene Dietrich to 1960's bathing suits. He explained: "I am fascinated by the evolution of Christina’s musical style, as well as her personal style, which has become increasingly glamorous and sophisticated with amazing attention to detail — all values I share in my design sensibility".
The concert was divided into four segments: 1920s, Duke Joint, Circus and an encore. It began with a video introduction of the song "Intro: Back to Basics"; in it Aguilera gets ready for the show as she sings. She dresses up, puts lipstick on and then walks through a hall with images of old time singers. When the video ends, the video screen reveals the real Aguilera wearing a white suit on top of a luminous flight of steps. Along her dancers, she starts performing "Ain't No Other Man". After that, she took off part of her suit and starts singing "Back in the Day". As the song ends, Aguilera performed "Understand" in a white dress while images of singers John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, Louis Armstrong were displayed on screens. A salsa version of "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" was performed next with her dancers back. On screens, newspapers headlines which reads, "Christina goes from 'dirrty' to demure" and "Christina cleans up her act", serve as an interlude for "Slow Down Baby"; the song begins with Aguilera putting on black lace thigh-high boots and a white bodysuit, making playful dance moves to her male dancers. As the song was over, she began performing "Still Dirrty"; at the end of the song she sang excerpts of "Can't Hold Us Down". After Aguilera disappeared backstage, a video interlude of the song "I Got Trouble" was played, in the video Aguilera is seen with erotic moves touching herself in a tub and a bed. When the interlude concludes and the stage is changed to a jazz club, Aguilera rose up on a piano and started performing "Makes Me Wanna Pray", as dancers spin around her. A reggae version of "What a Girl Wants" was performed next. Aguilera sings "Oh Mother" alone on stage as a tribute to her mother, with scenes of violence being displayed on the screens. As the song concludes, the stage changed for the next segment.
An interlude of the song "Enter the Circus" began, with dancers as jugglers, pyromaniacs and trapeze people. Aguilera then rose up in a circus pinwheel as the ringleader to sing "Welcome". After the performance, the lights go down and the female dancers came in stage one by one, Aguilera then rises up in a carousel horse to sing "Dirrty". When the performance ends, the male dancers appeared as drunk sailors singing the line "Tarzan and Jane were swingin' on a vine" and then dancing one by one; Aguilera then came on stage with two of her female dancers to perform "Candyman". As the song ends, Christina presented her male dancers and asks them to bring a male volunteer as she call her female dancers. The male is tied up in the round board, then Aguilera came back to sing the volunteer "Nasty Naughty Boy" and made seductive moves with her girls, as she and her dancers writhed around him. "Hurt" followed this performance with a big faced moon that decends in the stage. The next song was "Lady Marmalade", here the dancers appear with big pink fans then Christina rises sitting in a chair to perform the song. Another interlude is played with the song "Thank You (Dedication to Fans…)" where it includes most of Christina's videos and messages from her fans around the world that have been submitted to Aguilera's fan club website. At the end of the show, the encore begins with Aguilera alone in the stage singing "Beautiful". Then, joined by her dancers, it is followed by "Fighter", the last song from the concert.
Barry Walters from Rolling Stone was positive of the show stating "Aguilera's looking and sounding stronger than ever, but could benefit from a little adult nuance". While reviewing the concert in New Jersey, Michael Slezak from Entertainment Weekly was positive commenting that "To [Aguilera's] credit, though, even after months of touring, there’s no doubt The Voice still has the ability to thrill". Ann Powers from Los Angeles Times was also positive, noting that "Aguilera cares about her cultural progenitors - not only music genres such as blues and soul, but also visual motifs such as the circus and the speak-easy. It's one successful trick she's picked up from Madonna: Instead of merely trading in moves now recognized as hot or cute, she presents her own performance as a sex symbol within hallowed traditions of female spectacle", and complimented that she "may someday step away from the sequins and props and turn inward, finding what's classic in her own life and art. There's plenty of time for that future". She finished saying that with this concert, she is having fun with history. Michael Cooper from Daily Trojan commented that "Aguilera definitely proved her merit as a pop star. Sorry, Britney, but by the time your hair grows back, your former competitor will be in a whole new league". Bernardette McNulty from The Daily Telegraph praised the dancers, saying they "were fantastic, the loose choreography giving the show the feeling of a musical, weaving a story and internal drama into songs that largely have none". However, she said that Aguilera "doesn't really dance. She stalks the stage and then she folds forward, eyes scrunched, clutching her stomach". She finished saying that the singer "hit a nerve" with the encore. Krone.at called the concert "perfectly staged", and said that Aguilera "honored" the Wiener Stadthalle. Daily News noted that "Aguilera's flashy Roberto Cavalli-designed costumes and preternatural interest in the risqué could have been ripped right off the pages of Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition Tour or Janet Jackson's 1998 Velvet Rope Tour. But while the two pop legends dazzled with dance moves and shocking stunts, they lacked Aguilera's one true strength: her voice, which exceeds all expectation and endures despite the din".
Regina Schaffer from the Press of Atlantic City noted some similarities to Madonna's 2006 Confessions Tour. She wrote: "Instead of hanging from a crystal-studded cross like Madonna, Aguilera hung from a giant circus pinwheel. Instead of riding a carousel horse to 'Like a Virgin' Aguilera rode a carousel horse to 'Dirrty'. Instead of wearing a riding outfit with a whip, Aguilera wore a dominatrix outfit with a whip". However, she noted that Aguilera brought a show that is hard to top. Kitty Empire from The Observer also noted that Madonna was an obvious reference point, as Aguilera dons mannish suits and Rococo burlesque nightwear. However, she wrote that "Aguilera may echo Madonna in many things - the blondness, the petiteness, the Napoleonic ambition, the endlessly morphing visual style - but Aguilera can't quite echo Madonna's seven sold-out Wembleys just yet. There is plenty of room at the back of the stalls, amplifying the boom of a pretty good show falling on deaf ears". Dave Simpson from The Guardian gave a mixed review calling the musical selection as "equally confusing", ommiting like 'Genie in a Bottle' in favor of tracks from Back to Basics that the audience barely know, and saying all the songs were "delivered in a similar Mariah Carey tinnitus-inducing wail". However, he concluded that "X-Tina is fantastic, is tough, is a victim and still enjoys sex - though hopefully not at the same time". Kelefa Sanneh from The New York Times said that it was "a spectacle to be sure. There were stilts and acrobats, sharp musicians and sharper dancers, costume changes on top of costume changes", but found it "dissapointing" due to the singer's "unshakable faith in her own instincts". Ben Walsh from The Independent was negative on his review, saying that when ripping off her clothes during "Slow Down Baby" felt a bit like cheating. He finished saying "couldn't she just stand there and show off her four-octave cakehole?".
In Australia, the three concerts sold over 200,000 tickets in less than an hour prompting promoters to add 4 additional dates. In New Zealand, tickets also sold out, forcing promoters to add one additional date. The tour is estimated to have been seen by over 1 million people. The Back to Basics tour grossed over $48.1 million in the United States and $90 million worldwide, and became the biggest grossing tour by a female in the United States for 2007. At the 2007 Billboard Touring Awards, the Back to Basics Tour was nominated on the Top Tour and Top Draw categories, which acknowledge the highest-grossing and highest-attended tours of the year, respectively. However, it did not won.
Broadcasts and recordings
The concert in Adelaide, and Sydney, Australia, were recorded for a DVD release, titled Back to Basics: Live and Down Under. It premiered on VH1 and was first released in United Kingdom, on February 4, 2008. The DVD was originally set to be released on December 10, 2007 in the UK and the week after in the US, but Aguilera had to postpone the release as she spoke openly about her pregnancy on the DVD interview and she had signed a magazine deal stating she wasn't to speak about her pregnancy at any time before the magazine release. There was also a Vinyl LP released in the UK. The release accompanies a full length show and interviews with Aguilera, her then-husband Jordan Bratman, her band and crew. It became available only at Best Buy, where she appeared on release day to promote the release and sign autographs.
- Nizlopi (Europe) (select venues)
- Akala (Europe) (select venues)
- Jan Delay (Europe) (select venues)
- Kaye Styles (Netherlands and Belgium)
- Bob Sinclar (Europe) (select venues)
- Pussycat Dolls (North America)
- Danity Kane (United States)
- Ivy (Asia) (select venues)
- Lee Min Woo (Asia) (select venues)
- Mikey Bustos (Asia) (select venues)
- Kris Lawrence (Philippines) (select venues)
- Philippine All Star Dancers (Philippines) (select venues)
- Lowrider (Australia)
- "Back to Basics (Intro)" (Video Introduction)
- "Ain't No Other Man"
- "Back in the Day"
- "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)"
- "Slow Down Baby"
- "Still Dirrty" (contains excerpts from "Can't Hold Us Down")
- "I Got Trouble" (Video Interlude)
- "Makes Me Wanna Pray"
- "What a Girl Wants"
- "Oh Mother"
- "Enter the Circus" (Dancer/Video Interlude)
- "Dirrty" (contains elements of "Cell Block Tango" and "Entrance of the Gladiators")
- "Nasty Naughty Boy"
- "Lady Marmalade"
- "Thank You (Dedication to Fans…)" (Video Interlude)
- Cancellations and rescheduled shows
|July 29, 2007||Melbourne, Australia||Rod Laver Arena||Cancelled|
|July 30, 2007||Melbourne, Australia||Rod Laver Arena||Cancelled|
|August 2, 2007||Auckland, New Zealand||Vector Arena||Cancelled|
|August 3, 2007||Auckland, New Zealand||Vector Arena||Cancelled|
- Tour Director: Jamie King
- Musical Director: Rob Lewis
- Choreographer: Jeri Slaughter
- Costume Design: Roberto Cavalli
- Tour Promoter: AEG Live
- Tour Sponsor (s): Verizon Wireless, Orange, Sony Ericsson
- 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.
- Schulz, Chris (2007-08-02). "Christina Aguilera cancels Auckland shows". Stuff. Fairfax New Zealand Limited. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- "Das war Christina Aguilera in der Wiener Stadthalle" (in German). Krone.at (Krone Multimedia). December 18, 2006. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- Walters, Barry (April 5, 2007). "Live Review: Christina Aguilera's "Back to Basics" Tour". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- Sanneh, Kelefa (March 26, 2007). "Dirrty Girl, Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- Powers, Ann (2007-03-07). "Props mistress". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2013-06-27.
- Laureate, Film. "Christina Aguilera's Tour Dates Sell Out In Minutes". Blogcritics. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (2006-09-11). "Christina Aguilera Reveals European Tour — Next Up, U.S. Clubs". MTV News. MTV Networks. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- Fuoco, Christina (2007-02-07). "Many frills adorn Christina Aguilera's 'Basics' tour". Live Daily. Archived from the original on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- "Back to Basics Tour". LiveGuide. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
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