Usher’s new album, Looking For Myself, is scheduled to hit shelves on June 12th. Lucky music and radio industry folks, including myself, had the opportunity to preview the tracks in a unique way on Friday, April 27th.

The Daryl Roth Theatre in Manhattan is the home of an out-of-this-world show called “Fuerza Bruta”. It’s a standing only, interactive show where you can touch the performers, you get sprayed with mist and hit over the head with exploding styrofoam confetti blocks. The performers will move you seamlessly throughout the show to make room for roll-out stages equipped with treadmills, shimmering curtains that are dominated by sideways performers scaling, dancing and running across the walls, not the mention the giant clear water ceiling that elevates up and down with swimming and sliding actors. Here’s a preview of the show:

Usher learned the routine of the show’s lead (the guy in the white suit in the video above). The performance has no dialogue, just 70 minutes of outrageous moves and choreography. The Bruta crew switched out their usual techno-trance soundtrack with tracks from Usher’s new album.

Along with music industry attendees, some celebs were in the house as well. One of the great NFL running backs of all time Barry Sanders was in attendance. Also standing right next to me throughout the entire show was Usher’s artist, Justin Bieber.

With the crowd being moved and positioned in different places throughout the show, Bieber was being shoved into me on several occasions. It occurred to me that I was close enough to punch him in the nuts multiple times during the night - but I’m sure his beefy bouncers would’ve reminded me how stupid an idea it was if I put my hands on him. I saw the national headlines in my head “Albany Radio Personality Punches Bieber In The Sack”. Tempting, but glad I declined.

I had a chance to catch up with Usher after the show. Talk about a humble superstar. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face if you sprayed him in the mouth with mosquito repellent. In the couple minutes I talked to him he was genuinely interested in my opinion of the performance and his new album. He also told me how hard he worked on this album and how proud of it he is. He also thanked me, like I’m sure he did with every other radio person in attendance, for supporting his music with radio play throughout the years. I can tell you from experience, a very small percentage of artists of his caliber go out of their way to thank us. What a classy move.

Overall, the show was one of the most incredible performances I have ever seen. With or without Usher, Fuerza Bruta is a must-see for anyone in close proximity to the city. The addition of the up-tempo Usher tracks and his performance/appearance made it an experience that is hard to match. The look in Justin Bieber’s eyes put everything in perspective. As the performance had transitioned from stages to walls, to the ceiling, etc., Bieber’s gaze said to me – “Wow, why didn’t I think of this? I need to be creative like this. This. Is. Awesome.”