The tour was announced by various media outlets in January 2004. Conceived by Verizon Communications, the tour was sponsored by Steve Madden and L'Oréal. Hayman Entertainment and Clear Channel Entertainment served as tour promoters. Costumes were designed by Dolce & Gabbana. When the tour was announced, Knowles dispelled any conflict while touring. She says all three acts are good friends and there will be no competitiveness. All three acts expressed their interest in performing in a tour of this nature. It became the first tour highlighting women in the urban music scene. Knowles stated:
"Even before I started putting my album together last year, I wanted to get together a tour with other women. I know that you have a lot of types of tours with other types of artists, but not just strictly hip-hop and R&B women".
The tour was lauded by critics and spectators. Although most reviews praised the ensemble, many felt Keys and Knowles were the stars of the show. Neil Drumming of Entertainment Weekly thought Keys was the most "radiant" performer of the evening at the Office Depot Center. He felt, "Her old-school references charmed, and her clap-along 'How Come You Don't Call Me' obliterated the CD version. Mounting the piano, tickling keys with one hand, she struck a quirky balance between class and kitsch". Jon Parles from The New York Times wrote all the ladies "earned their due" during the concert at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. He continued, "The three headliners have made their way in a hip-hop culture that largely treats women as playthings and conquests. Their response has been to play along while making modest demands of their own. In the meantime, they're willing to work like superwomen".
Unlike the previous reviews, Steve Hammer of the newspaper NUVO was not impressed with the show at the Conseco Fieldhouse. He states the show felt "inconsequential". He further explained, "Any show featuring three multiplatinum recording artists is bound to struggle against time limitations. But the problems plaguing each of the three fine artists — Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé — was not that the sets were so short, but that they were so meaningless".
High praised continued as the act performed at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. Portsia Smith of The Free Lance–Star says the show was a night of "talent" and "beauty". She spoke highly of all the acts but says Keys was the most in-demand for the audience. She elaborates, "She wowed the audience members, who probably thought she would just sit at her piano and sang. But how wrong were they". Keys received another positive review from Stephen Kiehl from The Baltimore Sun who states, "But the most astute set closer belonged to Keys, who sang 'You Don't Know My Name' from her new album. The song features a one-sided cell phone conversation between a coffee shop waitress and the guy she has a crush on. She asks him out, but then loses the signal".
Ben Johnson of the newspaper The Day wrote the show at the Hartford Civic Center was nothing short of "decadence". He continues, "[...] became a rallying point of girl power fit for an appearance by the Powerpuff Girls". The highlight of the tour was the concert at Madison Square Garden. The show feature guest appearances from Big Boi, Fabolous, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Stephen Reid of MTV News felt that throughout the entire show, Knowles was the star. He says, "If Muhammad Ali had been at Madison Square Garden Monday night, no doubt he would've found something to pound like a drum as he yelled, 'The champ is here! The champ is here!' That's exactly the aura Beyoncé gave off as she began her closing set of the Verizon Ladies First Tour, which also features Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott and Tamia". Reid also gave rave reviews for Keys' section of the show. "Fittingly, she started with 'Heartburn', shaking her body like Ike-era Tina Turner, causing a sudden rise in blood pressure among the men in the audience. The sex appeal was being poured all over Madison Square like milk on Cheerios".
Jennifer Wood of East Valley Tribune enjoyed the show at the America West Arena. She says, "From the moment Elliott appeared on stage wearing a black suit covered in rhinestones to Beyonce’s exit nearly four hours later, the audience rarely sat as it ogled three of the most celebrated female talents in hip-hop and R&B".San Francisco Chronicle's Neva Chonin says the concert at The Arena in Oakland proved why Knowles is a star. She says, "In a time of assembly-line pop icons, she manages to infuse her packaged performance with charisma and genuine talent. Her vocal workouts on ballads like 'Dangerously in Love 2' clambered smoothly up and down the scales".
Elliott and Keys did not perform during the concert at Reliant Stadium. Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams replaced Tamia as the opening act.
Keys did not perform during the concert at the American Airlines Center.
During the April 10th concert at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jay-Z joined Knowles onstage to perform "Crazy in Love". He also made appearances during the concerts at the MCI Center and Madison Square Garden.
During the concert at Madison Square Garden, Fabolous joined Tamia onstage to perform "I'm Into You". During the same concert, Knowles as joined by Big Boi to perform "Hip Hop Star". Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Knowles to perform "Survivor".
During the April 18th concert at The Arena in Oakland, Carlos Santana joined Keys onstage to perform "A Woman's Worth".