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Phyllis is a big reality show fan, and a winner of my ticket giveaway! Read her recap from the front row. See her friend’s photos at the bottom of the post…
I’m kind of a competitive reality tv show junkie….American Idol, Amazing Race, SYTYCD….if it’s a competition and real people are doing it on tv, I’m usually there. I discovered American Idol early on, became a fanatic by season two and peaked in season four. Swore off of it, but then after skipping seasons five and six, I’ve slowly wandered back in.
I attended the concerts for Season 4, Season 7 and Season 8 in Duluth. All of these shows were jam packed, sold out and buzzing with excitement before the show even began. This year I attended courtesy of mjsbigblog.com’s fabulous ticket giveaway. Sadly, The arena was just about 3/4 of the way filled and most of the crowd was pretty sedate. Not a promising start. The tickets, however, were amazing. Way down front, to the side of the stage, with only a barricade between us and the performers. Then, the security guard strolls by and tells us to feel free to stand at the barricade. As the show progressed they did absolutely nothing to prevent photos or videos. Sadly, I didn’t come prepared for such photographic freedom and my offerings are meager. Sorry. No videos but my friend took some great photos.
Once I had news of my win, I began to look for someone to attend with me. I have two daughters in their twenties. They both declined. I have a friend that attended two other AI concerts with me. She declined. I have a sister that is usually up for any music related outing. She declined. I’m starting to make it sound like the person that attended with me was literally at the bottom of my barrel, but actually the choice couldn’t have been more inspired. In my teens, I was quite a fangirl. I loved a certain group of teen idols beyond reason. My partner in this teenage stalking adventure that lasted for about twentysomething years, ended up being my concert companion. It couldn’t have been a more perfect choice. It was nostalgia without the teenage angst, and we had a great time. Bonus points for her never having attended an Idol concert before despite watching every season of the show.
The other three American Idol concerts I’ve attended all had performers and performances that I would rate above the ones from this year. More exciting. More entertaining. More dramatic. Overall though, this was the most solid group, start to finish. Didi was a little shaky at the start, and Siobhan’s final number sounded painfully out of tune to my untrained ears but overall everyone was pleasant to listen to, easy on the eyes, and even though at times I felt like I was listening to a cruise ship show or a Vegas revue, I never once felt like I was at an amateur or high school talent show which has sometimes been the case during other Idol concerts.
Most surprising of the night…Aaron. Thought he sounded great, and looked great. Strong country teen idol material.
Other thoughts…I didn’t like Big Mike on the show but found him appealing and personable onstage. Woman’s Work blew me away, but the false on the Timberlake song didn’t really work for him, in my opinion.
Casey was cuter on tv than in person, but I was impressed with his set. Good job, and interesting selection of songs and guitars.
Crystal kind of disappointed me because she was so low key. Her vocals were perfect, but her attire, and her demeanor was so laid back I had a hard time imagining her actually entertaining for a living. If I blocked out the crowd, I could see her still standing on the subway platform.There is a fine line between effortless talent and lazy and her portion left me baffled and wondering which it was. What was she thinking? Maybe I was expecting the high energy of an arena act when she would be more suited to an intimate setting. She is amazingly talented.
Lee…was really good. Rough, rock voice, lots of energy, good interaction with the audience, and a nice selection of songs. A couple of times during his set I found myself thinking that he was ready, and should be doing his own show instead of this. I was pleasantly surprised, and though I liked him on the show I wasn’t expecting him to be that comfortable and polished onstage. Definitely felt like the leader and most dynamic of this group.
As far as crowd interaction, it seemed pretty scripted. There was a kid I let stand in front of me at the barricade celebrating her 10th birthday. She had a sign announcing that fact, and she was pretty vigorously waving it around. I think I saw everyone read it but the only reaction she got was a smile and a wave from Aaron, and was acknowledged by the two parents on the show…Big Mike with a verbal shoutout, and Crystal who came to the edge of the stage, reached over and gave her a guitar pick. Really sweet. The guys got the rock star treatment in the form of two rather large sets of boobies on full display at the barricade, but I didin’t notice anyone of the guys, or the girls for that matter, give them a second look…much to the dismay of the “groupies”.
For the first time, I wasn’t motivated to wait at the barricades for an autograph or a picture. Just another sign of my lack of investment in this years Idols. I’m not sure how many of these kids will make an impact on the music scene but they can all sing, and seemed professional and somewhat polished. This may explain why this season was relatively boring. Not much drama, no roller coaster emotions, just good solid music from above average singers. Definitely worth the price of admission, and I came away having had a great time reconnecting with an longtime concert buddy, and wishing all of these guys much success in the future.
- Check out the photos HERE.
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