Verizon Ladies First Tour

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Verizon Ladies First Tour
Tour by Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Missy Elliott
Vlft04.jpg
Start date March 12, 2004 (2004-03-12)
End date April 21, 2004 (2004-04-21)
Legs 1
No. of shows 30 in North America
Box office $19.1 million ($27.90 in 2016 dollars)[1]
Beyoncé tour chronology
  • The Verizon Ladies First Tour
  • (2004)
Alicia Keys tour chronology
  • The Verizon Ladies First Tour
  • (2004)

The Verizon Ladies First Tour was a co-headlining concert tour by American recording artists Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Missy Elliott. Canadian artist Tamia was featured as a special guest. The tour, dubbed the "urban Lilith Fair" supported Elliott's fifth studio album, This Is Not a Test!; Keys' second studio album, The Diary of Alicia Keys and Knowles' first studio album, Dangerously in Love.[2] The trek visited the United States performing in over twenty cities in March and April. The outing was the first three-act show to feature three female R&B artist in a headlining role. It became one of the biggest tours in 2004, placing 34th on Pollstar's "Top Tours of 2004"—earning over 22 million dollars.[3][4] The success of the tour promoted a 2005 leg but the plans were scrapped and Verzion focused on creating the Verizon VIP Tour.

Background[edit]

The tour was originally supposed to feature Beyonce with Ashanti, Monica, and Mary J. Blige but scheduling conflicts caused the other three ladies not to be up for the tour.[5] When the tour was officially announced, it was Beyonce, along with Keys, Elliott, and Tamia joining the bill. 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.[6] Costumes were designed by Dolce & Gabbana.[7] 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.[8] It became the first tour highlighting women in the urban music scene.[9] 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".[10]

Critical reception[edit]

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".[11] 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".[12]

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".[13]

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".[14] 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".[15]

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".[16] 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".[17] 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".[17]

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".[18] 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".[19]

Set list[edit]

Shows[edit]

List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue, opening act, tickets sold, amount of available tickets and gross revenue
Date City Country Venue Opening act Attendance Revenue
North America[20][21]
March 12, 2004 Sunrise United States Office Depot Center Tamia 11,962 / 12,285 $808,378
March 14, 2004 New Orleans New Orleans Arena 10,983 / 12,390 $659,606
March 15, 2004 Dallas American Airlines Center 6,624 / 12,096 $444,138
March 17, 2004 San Antonio SBC Center 8,988 / 13,391 $535,029
March 18, 2004[a] Houston Reliant Stadium N/A N/A N/A
March 21, 2004 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum Tamia 6,520 / 10,564 $366,003
March 23, 2004 Philadelphia Wachovia Center 12,571 / 12,571 $864,919
March 24, 2004 Boston FleetCenter 12,061 / 17,201 $815,963
March 25, 2004 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 8,686 / 17,472 $620,425
March 26, 2004 Hampton Hampton Convocation Center N/A N/A N/A
March 27, 2004 Charlotte Dale F. Halton Arena Tamia 10,145 / 17,549 $632,375
March 28, 2004 Atlanta Philips Arena 12,310 / 12,310 $845,693
March 29, 2004 Cleveland Gund Arena N/A N/A N/A
March 30, 2004 Indianapolis Conseco Fieldhouse Tamia 6,883 / 14,123 $369,175
April 1, 2004 Minneapolis Target Center 8,123 / 12,363 $369,287
April 2, 2004 Rosemont Allstate Arena 11,585 / 14,391 $723,885
April 3, 2004 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills 10,674 / 14,899 $703,978
April 5, 2004 East Rutherford Continental Airlines Arena 11,505 / 15,474 $817,340
April 6, 2004 Philadelphia Wachovia Center 9,382 / 14,182 $623,428
April 7, 2004 Washington, D.C. MCI Center 25,379 / 30,826 $1,708,805
April 9, 2004 Hartford Hartford Civic Center 8,944 / 11,245 $609,898
April 10, 2004 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 12,936 / 12,936 $940,406
April 11, 2004 Washington, D.C. MCI Center [b] [b]
April 12, 2004 New York City Madison Square Garden 13,725 / 13,725 $1,110,090
April 15, 2004 Phoenix America West Arena 9,326 / 11,932 $568,350
April 16, 2004 Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Events Center N/A 9,131 / 9,378 $778,917
April 17, 2004 Anaheim Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim Tamia 21,697 / 25,432 $1,616,943
April 18, 2004 Oakland The Arena in Oakland 20,725 / 24,362 $1,644,858
April 20, 2004
April 21, 2004 Anaheim Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim [c] [c]
TOTAL 280,865 / 515,049 (55%) $19,177,889

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The March 18, 2004 concert in Houston, Texas at the Reliant Stadium was a part of the Spring Break Stampede.[22]
  2. ^ a b The score data is representative of the both shows in Washington, D.C. at the MCI Center on April 7 and April 11 respectively.
  3. ^ a b The score data is representative of the both shows in Anaheim, California at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim on April 17 and April 21 respectively.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  2. ^ Patel, Joseph (28 January 2004). "Beyonce, Alicia Keys And Missy Elliott Plan Spring Tour". MTV News. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ladies First Tour Sets Bar for R&B Outings". Yahoo! News. 8 May 2004. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "2004 Top 100 Tours". Pollstar Online. Pollstar, Inc. 7 March 2005. Archived from the original on 8 March 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.contactmusic.com/beyonce-knowles/news/beyonce.s-all-girl-tour
  6. ^ "Ladies First Trek Sets Bar For R&B Outings". Billboard. 116 (20): 18. 15 May 2004. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Dolce & Gabbana Design Exclusive Wardrobes for Beyonce and Missy Elliott for the Verizon ``Ladies First Tour 2004" (Press release). Business Wire. 23 March 2004. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Moss, Corey (6 February 2004). "Missy Predicts Friendly Competition On Tour With Alicia, Beyonce". VH1 News. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Gibson, Kendis (18 March 2004). "Beyonce, Missy, Alicia hit road for 'Ladies First Tour'". CNN. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Jones, Steve (9 March 2004). "For ladies of hip-hop, R&B, a musical 'First'". USA Today. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Drumming, Neil (2 April 2004). "Tour Report: Ladies First". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  12. ^ Paroles, Jon (27 March 2004). "POP REVIEW; Ladies of Hip-Hop, Receiving Their Due". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Hammer, Steve (7 April 2004). "Show review – Verizon Ladies First Tour". NUVO. NUVO, Inc. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Smoth, Portsia (15 April 2004). "Beyoncé! Alica! Tamia!". The Free Lance–Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. pp. 11 (Weekender). Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Kiehl, Stephen (9 April 2004). "Keys proving to be first lady of tour". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  16. ^ Johnson, Ben (11 April 2004). "Four divas show it is always 'Ladies First' in Hartford". The Day. New London, Connecticut. pp. D6. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Reid, Stephen (13 April 2004). "First Among Equals: Beyonce Steals The Show At Ladies First". MTV News. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  18. ^ Wood, Jennifer (16 April 2004). "Beyonce and friends thrill Phoenix crowd". East Valley Tribune. Freedom Communications. Archived from the original on 4 November 2004. Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  19. ^ Chonin, Neva (10 April 2004). "Beyonce, Keys, Elliott do the diva number in Oakland". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  20. ^ "The Verizon Ladies First Tour Starring Beyonce, Alicia Keys, & Missy Elliott With Special Guest Tamia" (Press release). PR Newswire. 10 February 2004. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  21. ^ Box score data:
  22. ^ "Rodeo parade draws thousands downtown". Houston Chronicle. 1 March 2004. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.