Joining the pantheon of Las Vegas residencies, Christina Aguilera revealed to Billboard that she will debut The Xperience inside Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood May 31. The show is scheduled for 16 performances throughout 2019.
“This is the next chapter in something new, exciting, creative and epic for my fans,” says Aguilera, who recently returned to touring after more than a decade. Through her experiences on The Liberation Tour, which wrapped in November, the seeds were planted that have now germinated into Christina Aguilera: The Xperience.
“Liberation was such a success for me. The last time I had been on tour was when I was pregnant with my son [2007’s Back to Basics]. And being such a mama bear and wanting to take care of my kids and all of that first it was a long time coming. [I] want[ed] to get back to my fans and definitely [get] back to what my soul needed to do. To be on that stage has always been my first love since I was a tiny little girl,” Aguilera says. “The whole point of Liberation was getting back in touch with myself, finding that love, being in my artist body again, finding my true self and identity on stage again. It was just like coming home. And I want to take that to Las Vegas.”
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) January 28, 2019
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) January 29, 2019
Liberation also helped Aguilera work out the kinks with how her kids would adapt to the hectic pace of life on the road or life during a residency. “Now it’s in their blood. It worked out perfectly. They would get mad at me sometimes if they weren’t able to come on stage,” Aguilera says. “It was a family affair by the end. It was a heartwarming, loving experience and I was, like, ‘okay, I need to do more of this’ and expand on it and allow more fans and more audience members to enjoy what this is all about.”
The Xperience will be a collection of creative ideas that Aguilera has been cataloging for years and she hopes the show will fulfill the audiences’ desire to melt away from reality and into the wonderment of the infamous adult playground.
“I’m such a visual person and I’ve been acquiring all these inspirations,” Aguilera says. “Las Vegas is an amazing place to put all of that together. People visit to experience something new, different, exciting, to escape their everyday world. I wanted to put together a fantasy and let people [slip] into a world of finding their own true selves. It will allow people to come, just for one night, to let go, to explore their own sense of freedom and give the audience a chance take off whatever mask they might have to wear in their regular lives.”
Expect an Aguilera spectacle through and through with interactive elements and surprises plus incredible custom costumes from an impressive list of designers. “You know I love a theme and a concept and I’m creating a specific world for this show,” she says. “ [We are] playing with elements of Mother Nature and visual effects. I’m excited where that takes us.”
The setlist is still a work in process but Aguilera says she is actively listening to fans for their feedback on what to put in the show. “I always like to get what they’re feeling and thinking. We’re going to touch on a little bit of everything and make that into an amazing experience— which is the title of the show.”
And while Aguilera has not yet seen any of her fellow Strip headliners, past or present—including Britney Spears, J-Lo, Gwen Stefani or Lady Gaga—a trip is in the works.
“I’m getting a bunch of my girls together and we’re going to Vegas. Check out Gaga’s new extravaganza. I’m sure it’s going to be so exciting. She always brings a great show,” she says, noting that she will be watching the crowd as much as the action on stage. “[I’ll be looking at] what is a Vegas audience all about? How do they react to the show? I want to feel their energy, see what they react to.”
In terms of what the future may bring with regards to touring The Xperience, she is firmly focused only on the here and now onstage in Las Vegas.
“I have to listen to my creative voice at the end of the day and what I’m being inspired by. That’s really what has to drive where I go and what I do next,” Aguilera says. “Like The Liberation Tour, I want to make sure it’s a right family fit, right for my kids, right for myself, my soul.”
Tickets go on sale Feb. 2.