Alicia Keys plans an intimate evening for her fans on her upcoming Diary tour.
The tour begins Feb. 25 at the Knight Center in Miami. Columbia artist John Legend will open all dates, and another support act will be announced.
The tour is in support of Keys’ triple-platinum, Grammy Award-nominated 2004 J Records release “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” her second album.
Keys said the tour will be “conceptual” and “thematic” in nature, with rehearsals to begin later this month. “I’m rearranging songs to go with it,” she told Billboard. “This one’s going to be pretty exciting.”
The Diary tour will play 36 shows in major markets across the United States, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.
Keys last toured the States as part of the Ladies First tour with Missy Elliott and Beyonce in 2004. The trek grossed more than $20 million and drew nearly 300,000 to 28 shows.
The Diary tour will offer longer sets by Keys, tailored production and a chance for Keys to connect with fans in more markets, she says.
THEATERS OVER ARENAS
“The whole point is an intimate evening with Alicia,” said Sam Kirby, of the William Morris Agency. “That’s why we booked her in beautiful, intimate venues.”
WMA’s Keith Sarkesian added, “For that reason we purposely chose theaters instead of cut-down arenas.”
Ticket sales began Friday (Jan. 21). A VIP presale at Keys’ Web site, aliciakeys.net, began before the public sales. A select number of fans, no more than 20 in each market, will be offered exclusive onstage seating.
“The production will have a ‘Cotton Club’ vibe, and fans seated onstage will be expected to dress the part,” Kirby said.
Keys will be on the road for two months. She said she resisted the temptation to stay out for much more than that. “I’ve learned to take care of my voice, so I can be around forever.” She added, however, that touring does not stifle her creative process.
“I have found that when the spirit is saying it’s time to work, it’s time to work, no matter where I am,” Keys said.
When it comes to touring vs. recording, Keys said, “I love both. I find that after I’ve finished with a tour, I’m ready to go into the studio, which (provides) a more private and personal record of my thoughts and self. Then, after recording, I’m ready to get on the road, where there’s that energy you can feed off. I try to keep the show very spontaneous.”
Keys will play her hometown of New York April 22-23 at Radio City Music Hall. She will also play the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles March 16-17 and the Fox Theatre in Atlanta April 6-7. The tour concludes April 24 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.