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This is my 3rd American Idol Concert. I went to Season 7 (David Cook fan) once and Season 8 (homeboy Matt Giraud & Kris Allen fan) twice. I loved the other 2 seasons I’d seen, and this year I was prepared to not like the concert as much. Just thought nothing could compare. Plus the talent this year, although they seemed to improve throughout the season, just weren’t as “seasoned” as past years. I went with my daughter who is a casual AI fan.
I’m a regular follower, infrequent poster @MJ’s, so I knew there had been some concerts canceled due to low ticket sales. I’m not surprised sales were low to this concert in Michigan. Michigan has the one of the highest unemployment rates of all 50 states, and it’s been going on for a while. People just don’t have the money for concerts. Plus it’s a long holiday weekend, and Michiganders go north to the lake or camping. Bad timing is the main culprit. Also, I believe the concert would do better to start in cities such as LA or New York area where there are a myriad of concert critics who would hype the show and get other cities on board. Having said all this, I had purchased the $20 tickets I heard of from MJ’s site (offered by Ryan), which were upper bowl seats. When we got there, they said the arena wasn’t full, so they moved everyone from upper bowl to lower bowl. Sad for the Idols, sad for the people who actually paid full price for lower bowl tickets, but needless to say, my daughter and I were Thrilled! We had awesome seats! The lower bowl was about 80% filled and floor was full.
First thoughts…I was very wrong about this season’s talent. In person they were 10 times better than on the TV program. Or else they’ve just grown that much as artists. I don’t know which, but I was pleasantly surprised. Idols I didn’t care for on the show blew me away. Let me tell you, everyone’s set was entertaining! I’ll rank them from least favorite to most favorite.
Tim’s was probably the weakest, he performed standing over to the side of the stage the entire time, almost like he didn’t feel he deserved to be in the middle/front??? Just a thought that crossed my mind. But the girls were wild over him! His songs were inspirational, which fits his personality. He rearranged Viva La Vida a little and I liked it better than Better Days (a little pitchy on this one, too.)
Andrew sounded great, much better than on the show, but he probably put the least amount of passion into his set. He thanked everyone for putting him there, as did all the Idols to a man. Andrew told us to shake our booty to Sunday Morning, but it wasn’t booty-shaking fare, just in my estimation.
Didi was lovely…my daughter and I both thought of Faith Hill. She just looked so, so happy to be there and sang beautifully. Not the best one to open the show with, however, as her set was quite peaceful, and I think it works better to start with a bang. But she was good.
Katie was a little Christina Aguilera wannabe….but she pulled it off. Strutted all over the stage – she had a lot of confidence. She wore some tight white pants with high black boots and a sparkly sequenced scarf. Both my daughter and I thought it was a little much, but it fit her performances. I couldn’t really hear if her singing was on pitch or not, because the music drowned her out at times, but it seemed good.
On the TV show Michael bugged me because I thought he was kind of cocky, plus I’m not a big R&B fan, so I didn’t expect to like his set. I was so wrong – he was very entertaining. He rapped on the JT song which was really, really good! I liked his set a lot! And even though I’ve ranked him 5th, his duet with Casey was one of my very favorite moments of the entire night. Much, much better than on TV, and even better than the I-Tunes version I downloaded. Plus Michael and Crystal had the most easygoing banter with the crowd, which I liked. Michael pointed to different sections of the crowd and asked how they were doing, kind of got a “crowd war” going, which was cool. Michael seemed very genuine and kind, not cocky, so I think I may have been wrong about him.
During the season I found myself feeling sorry for Casey because I felt he had to endure the most ridiculous bull**** , which was not fair. He really was never, ever taken seriously by any of the judges or Ryan throughout the season. But Casey is a guitar player first and singer second. His set was all guitar, with some vocals. I liked it, but it was a little too much, and it stretched on forever. Like they started playing and couldn’t stop. However, I will say the Idol Band guitarist (Tim somebody?) and Casey are some of the finest guitar players I’ve seen. Casey had very little banter except to thank everyone for being able to live his dream. Don’t was my favorite of his, and he sang with a lot of emotion. Made me wonder if it was being sung for someone????
Siobhan is in a league of her own. She’s so cute! (and she’s right – the boots rock!) She’s the real deal – rocker chick. She pulled it off very well. I think she had some of the best vocals of the season, and having seen Adam Lambert’s set twice last year, I can say she reminded me so much of him, right down to the spikes sticking out of her shoulders. No holds barred for Siobhan, and no apologies, either. It was very entertaining. My daughter thought it was a little much for this type of concert. (glad she never saw Adam’s set last year!) We both wondered how her voice was going to hold out all summer after releasing “the scream” every night! She had very little crowd banter except to say “I guess if someone has a birthday out there, happy birthday.” That was random, but that’s Siobhan.
Aaron was my surprise of the evening….he was sooooooo comfortable with the country genre he was singing, and he sounded fantastic! He sang beautifully with so much passion, and he commanded the stage probably better than any other idol all night (Lee, Katie, Siobhan tie for 2nd). Aaron’s voice is very pure. He sang those country songs with such passion and I can really see him having a great country career. His banter was thanking everyone, very genuine, and he just seemed so happy to be singing for us. Both my daughter and I said we’d buy his record if he records one. (She’s a country fan.)
When it came to Crystal and Lee, it became very evident that America got it right. These 2 deserved the top spots. Crystal has such talent. And she brought it all to the stage last night. She hit high notes and then even higher notes with such ease. Her rendition of the 4 Non Blond song and the Janis Jopin song, in my opinion, were better than the original artists. (Yes, I said that about Janis, but I feel a little disrespectful, sorry Janis fans.) Awesome! And yes, she did sit on the edge of the stage holding her water bottle while singing Up To The Mountain, but I think she just forgot to put it away before she had sat down, and it would have been too awkward to get up and put it away after starting the song. She just sang anyway, and she put so much emotion into that song. You could really feel her life’s journey as she sang. She had a laid back set and talked to the audience like they were her friends. It was delightful. Also, every time someone brought her a guitar or her harmonica, she thanked them by name, which I thought was cool.
Lee was also a surprise. Not because of his singing – I always liked that because I feel he has a very current singing style and one that will be great for mainstream radio. He sang with such passion and he really commanded the stage. He was all over it (almost too much!) and it was so very evident he was having the Time of his Life! No kidding…guy was having fun. And singing his brains out. And the crowd loved it. They came to life and were on their feet for his entire set. He just had such a confidence. Both my daughter and I looked at each other and said Damn! Where did this come from? (Lee was her favorite from the get go.) It was so good. My daughter goes to a lot of concerts, and she thought he must have done this before. He was good at it. My only criticism is he walked around the entire time, and he did get slightly out of breath. I think during one of the songs he should just stand and sing. Hallelujah would be a good time to do this. Speaking of Hallelujah, when he started the song it was evident he’d changed it to make it more rock. I thought oh no, don’t change this song, it’s so great already. But it worked – I really liked it. His banter was thanking everyone. He said he misses his family and friends, but we’ve all become like family and friends to him and he loved us! Rocket Man was awesome…much better than when he did it on Leno. Also, he kept looking down at the girls on the edge of the stage when singing, and even one time he said “Hi Hannah.” Cute.
Some random thoughts: 1) The band needs to tone it down just a bit, especially the drum player. He was drowning out some of the singing at points. This could be a sound technician issue, I don’t know. 2) I liked the group numbers a lot, but last year’s were much better. 3) Nobody thanked the band, and in previous years several idols did and always at the end they did. Unless I missed it, but I did not hear any band love. 4) The most signs in the crowd were for Tim, Crystal and Lee, but Andrew and Aaron had a showing, also. 5) The monitors before the show played a lot of footage with the current idols, which I really liked, better than footage of all past idols. 6) There was an awful lot of switching around of guitars. Casey about 5 times (which made some sense), but Lee and Crystal changing from one acoustic guitar to another seemed a little unnecessary in my opinion. (but what do I know about guitars?) 7) I didn’t see near as many people leaving early as I did both concerts last year, but I think that was mostly Adam fans trying to get a spot at the buses.
All in all, a very entertaining 3 hours concert, well worth the money (even if I’d paid full price), and they really are right when they say there’s something for everybody. Enjoyable. Of the 3 idol concerts I’ve seen, I’d rank in this order: Season 8, Season 9, then Season 7. (Season 7 has my all-time favorite David Cook, but the others weren’t near as exciting.) I would recommend going to this concert.
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