American Idols Tour 2011 – Oakland, CA – Video & Live Blog

The American Idols Live tour heads to Oakland CA tonight!  Will Lauren Alaina and her bedazzled foot boot get through another night?  She’s a trooper…I bet she does! 

Stick with us. We’ll be live blogging all of the action right here. The show begins at 7 pdt/10 edt

Check out the tour set list HERE.

Tons of videos from last night’s concert are HERE.

Reviews: Contra Costa Times

Videos: StefanoLangoneOnline, LadyKayMarie, sushmiorka, lorisoto464, TeamAims, bellaratamaltese

Thia Megia – “Who Says”

Pia, Thia, Haley & Naima – “Tightrope”

Stefano – Grenade

Stefano and Pia – California King Bed

Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart – Moanin

James – Sweet Child of Mine

James – Uprising

Jacob with Pia, Naima and Stefano – “You’re All I Need To Get By”

Haley Reinhart – “House of the Rising Sun”

Haley Reinhart – “Bennie and the Jets”

Scotty and Lauren – When You Say Nothing at All

Scotty McCreery with Lauren, Thia, Pia and Haley – “Gone”

Finale

  • Desdemona

    Hope James is feeling 100% tonight.

  • phil25

    This should be Thia’s hometown show. It’s the closest to her hometown of Mountain House, although San Jose and Sacramento are only about an hour away as well.

  • ninergrl6

    I’m at the concert! In the 5th row! (I’ll be in San Jose tomorrow too) I’ll probably tweet but my account is private & I can’t figure out how to switch it to public right now, sorry. Met Lauren, James, Scotty, Pia, Jacob & Paul this afternoon. Lauren said she’s supposed to wear the boot for 2 weeks but said she’s stubborn so it’ll probably only be a few days. She was SUPER social & chatty, which was cute. She even offered to retake pix with people after she had some make up on. Paul said Nikki just went home yesterday but she’ll be at the LA show. James & Jacob were pretty quiet but friendly. James is obviously excited to be close to home.

  • clearone

    Was James not feeling well?

  • halo9125

    He tweeted earlier an apology to fans for not taking pics last night, that he was sick and needed to lie down.

  • clearone

    Thank you! I don’t follow Twitter and didn’t realize that. I sure hope he’s better today considering he’s getting close to home!

  • AmyJoe

    I hope that both James and Lauren are feeling better today! And that Lauren don’t has the pain she has yesterday. They are Amazing.

  • SajiNoKami

    Hope James is feeling 100% tonight.

    Ditto

    He tweeted earlier an apology to fans for not taking pics last night, that he was sick and needed to lie down.

    Plus in the curtain call vid of last night, didn’t look his normal hyper self.

    Jammasta said: …[James] finally does sign autographs, it seems like something is bothering him. He’s rushing through and very quiet. I was a bit worried.

    Hope things are better for him.

  • Trina

    Yeah I thought it was sweet he helped Lauren despite the fact he was on the verge of puking..

  • yellin

    hmmm, question. DatKaren tweeted that her 5th row center seats ended up being front row center (prob cause the stage comes out into the audience for what would normally be the first 4 rows) If that is the case, and I have 2nd row center seats, where would I sit? I will not be impressed if it is not 2nd row for the price I paid! lol:)

  • SajiNoKami

    teamaims: casey and james keeps dancing together. they make a cute couple

    XD

    Ngarcia3: No shirtless stefano thank god…

    I am kind of hoping this is the direction of the show I am going to as well… no half naked boys please.

  • Buffynut

    Yellin, This arena has a completely different set-up. I’d say you are fine and your 2nd row is really 2nd row! :)

    http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/1C00468D7FC34B72?artistid=838399&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=1

  • jammasta

    So Stefano decides to keep his shirt down and not traumatize my virgin eyes the day after my concert. BITCH PLEASE.

  • yellin

    yep, it does look set up different! But every venue so far has been set up the same, so I guess I will just have to wait and SEE!:)

    btw, love all of the live blogs!

  • Desdemona

    btw, love all of the live blogs!

    Me, too. Tonight’s tweeters don’t seem as talkative though. Ready for second half!

  • Desdemona
    DatKaren: James is working his way through the crowd! [via Twitter]

    Tuesday July 12, 2011 11:54 DatKaren
    11:54 Ngarcia3: James just passed by people are shaking and crying! [via Twitter]

    Tuesday July 12, 2011 11:54 Ngarcia3
    11:55 cp0828: Oh yeah, james is fr0m sta cruz so basicaly ths s turf. [via Twitter]

  • abbysee

    So Stefano decides to keep his shirt down and not traumatize my virgin eyes the day after my concert. BITCH PLEASE.

    <3

  • Desdemona

    This is cute:


    Ngarcia3: Jacobs turn.. Everyone sits down… :( *stands up to be a rebel* [via Twitter]

    didilynnPF: Teen girls up and dancing with Jacob – aw sweet [via Twitter]

    Ngarcia3: Security dancing to jacob! [via Twitter]

  • ninergrl6

    James was definitely the star of the show tonight, and I don’t think it’s just because Oakland is near his hometown. As my friend and I just said, he’s the Adam of this season in terms of his command of the stage & the crowd. When he walked through the audience he came right at us (we were at the outside edge of the 5th row) & I got it all on video, surprisingly. My only complaint is that James wasn’t on stage enough. There was a noticeable difference between when he was & wasn’t on stage.

    Yellin, tonight the 5 th row was the 1St one that went all the way across the floor & was the front row in front of the thrust stage.

    I didn’t read the twitter feed, but Stefano definitely lifted his shirt up tonight.

  • Mark

    James was definitely the star of the show tonight, and I don’t think it’s just because Oakland is near his hometown. As my friend and I just said, he’s the Adam of this season in terms of his command of the stage & the crowd. When he walked through the audience he came right at us (we were at the outside edge of the 5th row) & I got it all on video, surprisingly. My only complaint is that James wasn’t on stage enough. There was a noticeable difference between when he was & wasn’t on stage.

    I’m willing to bet, in many respects, this has less to do with any actual “ability” and at least as much to do with who actually attends these things as a rule.

  • music woman

    Ninergrl6, totallly agree with you. I was at the Oracle Arena as well, but we sat way towards the back so I was experiencing not only the performances but the thousands of people there as well.

    James was incredible. He got the biggest roars from the crowds and his performance electrified the whole stadium. You are right ninergrl6, he is this year’s “Adam”. (I was at that AI Tour as well.)

    Mark, the audience demographic is across the board — grandma’s and grandpa’s and mom’s and dad’s and all the kids! It was not a headbanger’s ball crowd. And they all were on their feet for him!

    And while my husband and I really enjoyed the show and its format this year, like Jammasta said in his review, the format short-changed James (and Haley too).

  • YeahRight

    I’m willing to bet, in many respects, this has less to do with any actual “ability” and at least as much to do with who actually attends these things as a rule.

    Yes. The teens and their moms seem to love Durbin. He can get as many roars as he can from the crowd, but will they go out and buy his album? Don’t think so.

  • cmc25

    Many will disagree, but this season’s tour may have better talents but IMO lacks the excitement and energy compared to season 8 (Kris-Adam-Allison-Danny).

    Tweeters, which are not many, from the last 5 concerts of this season appreciate their favorites but are generally lame on their reaction to the performance.

    Posts on this blog are getting less and less as the tour moves on. Four-day total shows concert 1=478 posts, concert 2= 191 posts, concert 3= 105 posts , concert 4 and 5 are both in the downward trend. Hope this does not translate to less attendance in other tours as the current idols are all talented.

    I wish we can have more James and maybe Haley doing up tempo songs to rock the stage.

  • madnessinmotion

    This isn’t really going to be a recap because I’m just going to go by the set list and offer my opinions and thoughts as I remember them. Since I was going to one of the first shows, I have avoided reading any of the recaps or watching videos so it would be all new to me and I’m so glad I did. I had so much fun and there were several exciting moments. My favorites of the season and going in to the concert were James, Haley, Naima and Scotty. They didn’t disappoint me but some of the others won me over.

    Born This Way – All 5 girls sang and they sounded awesome together and I loved them all in white. So pretty. This was a great way to open the show. At first I felt sorry for Lauren as she was being helped down the stairs and was limping around but she was obviously having a ball and doing her best to keep up with the choreography so the boot really didn’t matter.

    Empire State of Mind – Sorry to any of her fans but Pia did not change my mind tonight. During the season I thought she has a great voice but no charisma or audience connection and that is what I got from her tonight also. I didn’t think she did the song justice either. I want to like her but I just can’t get there.

    California King Bed – Again, not a favorite performance from Pia and Stefano. I was kind of getting lost here and not feeling the show. The rest of the audience didn’t seem to be getting into it much either. I had always found Stefano boring and even though he showed more performance style in this song than I had seen on the show I still wasn’t impressed. (Spoiler – change of heart coming on Stefano.)

    Maggie May – Gotta give it to Paul. I have never been a fan of his voice and wondered many times during the season what he was doing on my TV but he actually put a smile back on my face with this song. I was back to having a great feel for the show by the time he was done. He still isn’t the best singer but he did make me happy. He used the full stage and really interacted with the audience but I’m still not sure I’m ready to call what he was doing ‘dancing’.

    Who Says – IMO Thia has a beautiful voice but for some reason she bores me. I loved her in the early rounds during the season but she eventually put me to sleep. She was more energetic tonight and was really trying and seemed to be having fun but for some reason her performance still just wasn’t ‘there’ for me. I fully expect her to come into her own as the tour goes on though. I can’t wait to watch videos later in the tour.

    Tightrope – Again, the girls sounded great together. I really enjoyed this song. It was the four girls without Lauren and they were all dressed in silver glittery outfits. Pia’s dress was scalding hot. I couldn’t really notice the other girls because I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She should have worn that dress all show long and I probably would have been more impressed with her performances.

    Grenade – Stefano played the keyboard and sounded pretty much like he did during the season. Great voice but kind of lounge singerish on this one. I’m not to my ‘changed mind’ moment with him yet.

    DJ Got Us Falling In Love – Tony Orlando and Dawn were awesome. This was my first over the top ‘loved it’ of the night. Stefano really put on a show and finally I felt a real audience connection coming from him which I have never seen before. He danced, he pulled his shirt up, he flirted, he worked the stage and he impressed me. More Stefano, please. He was having fun and so was I. The girls were singing backup but Stefano is definitely the star of this performance.

    Animal – The guys, minus Scotty on this one and for the first real surprise of the night, the audience went wild when James stepped onto the stage for the first time. He is my favorite of this season but I was still surprised that he got such an awesome welcome. Casey got a pretty excited welcome also. As the show progressed I realized their reputations preceded them. They are both already in the zone performance wise.

    On the Floor – I love Naima, what can I say. I loved her on the show and she brought it to the stage tonight. The audience was really into this performance also. Toward the end of the song she did some highly energetic dancing and then went back to singing and she has gotten her breath control issues under control. I totally love watching her perform and she did not disappoint me.

    This Time – I guess it’s a good sign for Pia that her single was my favorite song she sang tonight. Unfortunately, Naima had the audience on their feet and Pia sat them back down. That must be a disheartening response when you are singing your debut single so I felt a little sorry for her. She seemed to be uncomfortable while singing this song even though she sounded great.

    Firework – Lauren sounded great on this one and once again, the girls sounded great together. I really enjoyed hearing the girls sing together tonight and this was no exception.

    Smooth – Casey on stage with his bass is always a good thing. I have always liked Casey but I was not really a fan of his singing during the season but he sounded great on this song. I could really feel it and I was definitely moving to the groove.

    Moanin’ – Casey acted like he was surprised when Haley joined him on stage and started singing. It was cute. I liked Casey better than Haley on this one so I have to say Casey is another one who won me over tonight.

    Harder to Breath – We got the Casey growl. Surprise of surprises, I really enjoyed this performance also. All three of these songs are ones I will be following in videos.

    Forget You – Everyone but Scotty performed and they were all in red. Some of them don’t really look good in red *cough* James *cough* but I love the song and thought they did a good job with it.

    ****Intermission and a chance to look at my program. (To all of the people who think James is an asshole check out the program. He comes across as caring and thoughtful to me.)****

    Flat On the Floor – Lauren didn’t shine in this song. Maybe it’s because the song is somewhat energetic and her sprained ankle prevented her from doing it justice? I don’t know but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

    Like My Mother Does – On the other hand Lauren sounded great on this song. She, of course, dedicated it to her mom but also to all the moms in the audience and then sang it very well so I think all the moms in the audience were probably really feeling it.

    If I Die Young – Lauren singing with Stefano, Haley and Thia singing backup. I don’t know the song and it was just okay for me. Kind of boring. I preferred both of Lauren’s other songs more.

    Sweet Child O’ Mine – The audience were very excited when they realized it was going to be James singing and then when it turned out that he was in the audience and making his way to the stage they went nuts. I was on the floor third seat over from the edge so he passed very close to touching distance to me. Did I mention that I am one of the ones who went nuts? He did an incredible job on this song with several really great high notes that were perfect. My favorite part of this performance was the awesomeness of him literally running all the way across the stage and then running back midway and up the stairs and then back down the stairs and the rest of the way across the stage. He was singing the whole time and hitting all the high notes and I was amazed, yes, I was.

    Uprising – Again, James was awesome on this one and he ended the song with an incredible high note. For some reason those high notes make me euphoric and I CANNOT wait for my chance to see James Durbin sing live again. He better be getting the chance to record music and tour. He got the best audience response of the evening by far.

    Never Too Much – Jacob has a tendency to oversing but it actually comes across much better live than it does on TV. He also has a great voice but a little went a long way during the season. In the live show I really enjoyed listening to him.

    You’re All I Need to Get By – Jacob with some other people on stage (the set list says Pia, Naima, and Stefano but I couldn’t tell you). I could not take my eyes off of Jacob. He really put on quite a performance with this song. It was a little ‘take me to the church to get saved’ over the top but was still an awesome performance to watch. I loved it!!

    House of the Rising Sun – This was my favorite of the season from Haley and also my favorite of the night from her. She sounded amazing.

    Benny & the Jets – And back to back Haley sang one of my favorite and my least favorite songs of the season. In the program she says Benny & the Jets is her favorite song she sang on the show but I just don’t get it.

    ***And now they showed the winning moment for each of the seasons. That was cool and ended up being the intro for Scotty who had up until this time been the only Idol to not be on stage so far. It was great to see him get so much love from the audience. I’m pretty sure most everyone was standing up cheering for him. We love our Idol winners.***

    Baby Lock Them Doors and Turn the Lights Down Low – I had no idea the name of that song was Your Man until I just read it on the set list, lol. I’m not much of a country music fan but it was still fun getting to see Scotty sing that live. I picked him as the winner in the pool because of something special that he has that I can’t put my finger on. I don’t listen to his genre but for some reason I enjoy listening to him. BTW, he has obviously been working on holding his mic in front of his mouth instead of off to the side, lol.

    Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not – I didn’t like this as much as Your Man but I was still enjoying watching him. I like him. What can I say?

    I Love You This Big – As I mentioned earlier with Pia, I also felt sorry for Scotty when everyone sat down when he started singing his single. That seems disheartening to me. At first I thought it was a good thing they were getting to do their singles but now I’m not so sure. Forty some shows of seeing people deflate when you sing your own song can’t be good for Scotty or Pia. That being said, I didn’t really enjoy the performance of I Love You This Big. It was boring and the sad part is that the audience really didn’t get back into the show until the final song and then it was only half hearted.

    When You Say Nothing At All – I enjoyed this. It was pretty but low key. When Lauren sang a lyric something about ‘catch me when I fall’ she looked like she got embarrassed. It was cute. I personally think they should have put something more up tempo this close to the end of the show.

    Gone – Scotty and all of the girls except Naima on this one. This performance was a crowd booster and the audience had fun with it but the excitement was never really back at the level it was with his first two songs. He never had the majority of the crowd on their feet again. I enjoyed watching him perform this one though. He seemed to be having fun with it.

    Rock Medley finale – I wanted to feel it but I didn’t. I felt like I needed more show for the finale. In the end the finale is the only part I really wasn’t happy with. It seemed a little disjointed and the audience never really responded the way you would expect them to at the end of a show. I would definitely go see them again if I had the chance though.

  • SajiNoKami

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_cnB_8NYWI
    finale/curtain call
    XD
    DatKaren asked what to film
    put the request on twitter
    and she got my request… there are just so few vids of the end
    Casey lifting james LMAO

  • kmd

    I am glad to hear that James is getting a good response from the audience. It sounds like he puts on a great show. James, Casey. Haley, and Stefano continue to sound like the ones I would want to see if I went to the show.

  • Falfor

    cmc25, regarding the downfall of participants: The first show was over a Holiday, and people were curious as to how the show would turn out. With work, the late hour of the shows put a damper on following for me (as I suspect it does for many). You are right, the talent is here, but like you, Season 8 remains my fav. Something about it had the “it” factor that Simon speaks about. Season 8 still gets the most hits on this blog whenever something happens for one of them. People are invested in seeing Kris, Adam, Danny and Allison succeed as well as just ogling any of them.

  • Pam

    Stefano-Grenade

    Stefano & Pia-California King Bed

    Lauren/Scotty duet-When You Say Nothing At All

  • LexieN

    I had been wondering about the reaction on the West Coast…it had been surprisingly strong for Scotty up to this point (maybe still, but just not his single?) since I don’t think any of us would say California is a country music stronghold… for me, this is the only season that has held my interest, since I’m def only a country music gal. I’m glad James had a great hometown (or close to it) show (not saying he hasn’t gotten a great reaction elsewhere), just interested to see regional differences as the show moves around… Oh, and as far as number of posts, I would daresay country fans are in the minority here, no?

  • Tess

    I may be the odd duck but I don’t think I’d take the time while watching a concert, that cost me close to a hundred bucks, to post away on twitter…especially if the concert is a repeat. I would also expect that Twitterers are as biased as the rest of us and would be reporting their impressions of what is happening…which may or may not be what is really transpiring.

    And this year there doesn’t seem to be that earth shattering “competition” thing going on that was the focus of the season 8 tour when peeps were measuring the decibels of screams to insinuate who was the most popular idol at any given moment. In fact I often find that the on-line interest in an idol tour once the set-list is known, is all about the audience and their reactions as opposed to what is actually happening on stage. And those reactions are distorted by everything from geography to demographics. I would also hazard a guess that interest in reading about a tour is directly proportional to “fandom” for particular idols rather than fandom for the tour as a whole. Some idols just have a more vocal online fan base than others.

    I don’t think the tour is going to be impacted as to interest, attendance, and sales by the online interest paid these first few weeks. I am sure the majority of peeps who have tickets or will be buying tickets could give a rat’s ass about how the tour is being conceived by people 3000 miles away….they probably made up their minds to attend while the season was in progress and are not being swayed by what is happening post TV show.

  • Ringo

    Better later than never: Tightrope from SAC — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tG0ad60xoY

  • Q3

    The comments on this thread inspired me to go watch the video of James.

    The staging of SCOM is pretty great. Beyond that the videos are not good enough for me to make any fair judgments about James performances.

    But I can give a thumbs down to the arrangements of both SCOM and Uprising –well sung, true to the original, but I don’t hear much that is James in this. And that is unfortunate because the Tour would have been a great place for him to start to introduce his fans to James the singer vs. James the cover artist.

    In the past few years, the Idols had original arrangements some of which they did and they used the tour to establish who they were. This years tour seems to have moved back toward karaoke-style singing.

    I am routing for James — and that is a turn around for me — but unless he starts to define who his is, I fear his future will be as frontman in a great tribute band or in a featured role in the touring company of Rock of Ages.

    And IMO I think he can do much much much better than this.

    Too bad they didn’t give him one more song that was not “owned” by someone else. Something he could own.

    JMHO YMMV I am not bashing James, I am being critical of the show producer/director and 19.

    One final comment: 19 botched their management of Allison Iraheta. Jive did not do her justice with her debut album. This feels like it could go the same way. I REALLY hope I am wrong.

  • Trina

    There was an interview the other day with James where you can tell he sounds frustrated about the tour. He doesn’t complain about the lack of one more song but he complains about how he isn’t allowed to change things up or improvise anything. I wouldn’t be shocked if SCOM wasn’t even his first choice for a song he got to pick on his own.

    Overall its kind of hard for this format to generate a lot of excitement when it seems the most popular contestants are getting shortchanged in favor of people who left early.

  • Valentin432

    Pre show interview:
    Scotty McCreery on the road with ‘Idols’ tour

    As far as how the tour is doing so far, I’m guessing TPTB will judge it first and foremost on the attendence numbers and not post counts on the blogs.

  • brie200

    As this is even the first show where I’ve heard it mentioned that ILYTB didn’t get a great response and slowed down the show, I’m not sure it’s an indication of much except this particular crowd. I don’t love the song, but Scotty seems to be getting plenty of love with it at other stops. Not to mention no way will they pull it from the tour when it’s doing so well on radio and iTunes.

    FWIW, I also don’t think less people posting online about the tour stops means anything either. Nor do I think everything needs to be compared to the magical world of S8 (which I personally didn’t care about the first time). All the tour people care about is if people buy tickets–and it seems like in that arena the tour is quite successful so far. Especially after the disaster that was the S9 tour. I’d guess that most of the people that attend the tour stops are not people posting their every move online. I also agree with the sentiment that if I was at the concert and excited to be there, the last thing I would be doing is wasting my time tweeting and posting away.

  • Ringo

    This is the first season where I have followed the tour blog and what strikes me is the numbing toll singing the same songs, over and over again, must take on the performers. Particularly those like James or Pia who do not seem to be changing up their performances, venue to venue. This could be the product of the songs they are given or innate to their artistry. Casey and Haley appear to have escaped a bit because of their inclination to vocally “play” within each performance.

    I also think James and Haley are getting shortchanged as they deserve an extra song each. Cut the Stefano/Pia duet and the Pia original (or virtually any of the all girl or all boy songs), move Jacob on down to the first half, and let James and Haley do something new. They and the country kids seemed to be the stars of the season, at least to me.

  • SajiNoKami

    There was an interview the other day with James where you can tell he sounds frustrated about the tour.

    Noticed that too.
    It sounds like these people in general seemed to have a lot of restrictions or just some of them more than others, which I really do not get at all and some come off annoyed and one is coming off bored already [Scotty, dude you have 42 more shows]. s9 never seemed to have problems with their songs for the tour [on the show was another matter]. Then from what I have seen and heard of 8 on Youtube etc, they looked happy with what they were doing.

    I wonder what changed with s10..

  • Valentin432

    some come off annoyed and one is coming off board already

    I can’t coment on the annoyed part but Scotty doesn’t come off bored to me, he seems to be the same old Scotty very chill and relax, watching a baseball game before going on stage.

    As far as repeating songs, they better be used to it because that’s pretty much what a recording artist does all their life. If you get a hit single in your first album and if you’re lucky enough to have a long carreer, you could be singing it tousands of times, for instance, how many times did Steven Tyler sing Dream On in his life?

  • Buffynut

    As far as how the tour is doing so far, I’m guessing TPTB will judge it first and foremost on the attendence numbers and not post counts on the blogs.

    I don’t think the point was TPTB being interested in post counts. It was why there is less interest here in the tour threads than previous years.

  • Ringo

    As far as repeating songs, they better be used to it because that’s pretty much what a recording artist does all their life. If you get a hit single in your first album and if you’re lucky enough to have a long carreer, you could be singing it tousands of times, for instance, how many times did Steven Tyler sing Dream On in his life?

    Of course, you are correct. It’s a predicament that they will be lucky to face, I guess. Maybe if it’s their hit, making them money, its easier. Or, using Steven Tyler as an example, they can change things up “chemically,” so to speak, to temper the tedium. Is it any wonder many performers turn to booze, pills, herb and powders to augment their performances.

  • zzatrms

    madnessinmotion

    Thank you so much for your great review. It makes me want to try to get to a show.

  • hoosiermama

    So, did they change anything to accomodate Lauren’s injury last night? I’m getting the sense that they didn’t.

    This is random, but I really like that they do a curtain call, by name, at the end. Really nice way to wrap up the show.

  • halo9125

    As far as repeating songs, they better be used to it because that’s pretty much what a recording artist does all their life.

    I haven’t (and won’t, lol) watch all the videos starting with SLC and watch for a progression/change/growth in the performances. But I’m betting that some of them are learning very fast that touring isn’t the glamorous life they thought it would be- and it’s only a week into the tour! Pretty soon they will all be humming “Another Opening, Another Show” in their downtime.

    IMHO- if it’s true the kids are only getting $1000/show- they’re getting robbed.

  • hoa_teca

    I Love You This Big – As I mentioned earlier with Pia, I also felt sorry for Scotty when everyone sat down when he started singing his single. That seems disheartening to me. At first I thought it was a good thing they were getting to do their singles but now I’m not so sure. Forty some shows of seeing people deflate when you sing your own song can’t be good for Scotty or Pia. That being said, I didn’t really enjoy the performance of I Love You This Big. It was boring and the sad part is that the audience really didn’t get back into the show until the final song and then it was only half hearted.

    Thanks a lot for your detailed recap of this show.

    It is also the first time I heard that ILYTB did not get good response from the audience. While ILYTB has cheesy lyric, its melody and the way Scotty sings this song are nice. As I watched fancams from the other concerts, Scotty always tried to engage with the audience while singing it, so I do hope this is just for this concert (though I still believes girls smiled happily when he sang this song in Oakland – maybe just older people didn’t really get into the song).

    During AI 10, Jimmy praised Scotty for his subtlety but also worried that such subtlety could put him in danger. Well, we all know Scotty is a country guy with deep, warm voice so it is hard to expect any bang moments like James does with his rock songs. Scotty’s strength is in his story-telling skill, which engages the audience into his songs. I remember Scotty said in an interview that he enjoyed singing “Gone”, partly because it is the type of song that he could see the audience immediately while he was singing it. With slow, deep country songs, I normally see the AI audience sat quietly in silence during his performances and mainly showed how they liked these performance when they clapped their hand and cheered for them at the end.

    That being said, I am happy that Scotty gets good responses from the audience for his sets even though he sings low songs like Your man, When you say nothing at all….

  • Mike M

    So far, the responses I’ve read from people who attend tour shows has been overwhelmingly positive, and attendance seems to be strong.

    James has been getting strong response at all the tour stops, and it seems now that he is in his home territory it has gotten even stronger. Good for him. He finished fourth among what I consider a strong cast of contestants this season, so it’s not surprising people like him.

    Lauren seemed to make it fine last night. Glad to see the producers took my advice and cut down on the stair activities. For the finale, she stayed at the top of the stairs and let James jump down and do his thing, then made a side entrance for the rest of the performance.

    In that finale, it struck me how good Haley, Paul and Casey sounded on “Faithfully.” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Haley and Paul are old pros when it comes to performing, and Casey has a great musical sense. Also absolutely loved Jacob’s dancing. He just takes so much joy in being up there and letting loose. I also get a big kick out of hearing Thia sing “hey diddle diddle with your kitty in the middle.” I’d bet any amount of money she has no idea what that means…lol

  • Tess

    I think we can all empathize with the idolettes….some of us have been doing the same job for upteen years and even though every project is different the routine of it may tend to get pretty same-same after a while.

    Besides, unlike some of the others, Scotty (and maybe Lauren and Pia) aren’t being given any down time to themselves to enjoy the side benefits of the tour. Their off days are probably spent in a recording studio (we know for a fact this is what is happening with Scotty), or in meetings, or doing a hundred other things associated with their upcoming albums so they aren’t having the downtime to recharge their batteries. No matter how much someone “wants” to give a 110% every performance it may not always happen. And, based on what other idolettes have said in interviews, there is a distinct aura that a crowd gives off and some audiences have a more compelling vibe than others for the performers to play off of.

    I don’t know, I haven’t been there, to judge whether a performer is already bored with the tour…but I think that may not be the primary emotion that is going on when someone isn’t as “up” as they were the day before.

  • LexieN

    Case in point….Scotty was on CMT radio live on Tuesday night and will be (or already has been, it’s shown twice a day, I think) on Access Hollywood today with a preview of his video and and an interview… even though he seems to engage the audience to me:) I’ve been to about seven George Strait concerts and the man stands and sings:)

  • Montavilla

    So, did they change anything to accomodate Lauren’s injury last night? I’m getting the sense that they didn’t.

    I noticed that in the final song that Lauren didn’t go down the stairs with James as she had the night before. Which is good — if she doesn’t need to use the stairs, she shouldn’t.

    Rock Medley finale – I wanted to feel it but I didn’t. I felt like I needed more show for the finale. In the end the finale is the only part I really wasn’t happy with. It seemed a little disjointed and the audience never really responded the way you would expect them to at the end of a show. I would definitely go see them again if I had the chance though.

    I know what you mean. Now, I’ve never seen the show live, so I’m just going off the videos. The structure of that final number probably confuses the audience a bit. The groupings look kind of random, and probably takes people a while to realize that they are watching the final number. Especially since there are so many random groupings throughout the show.

    I looked at the videos of the finales from Seasons 6-9, and those generally had the Idols appear in order of elimination on the show. I think that helps the audience know that they are seeing the final song and respond accordingly. Just like most musicals will have actors enter for their final bows in order of importance.

  • ninergrl6

    I agree about the Rock-of-Ages-rip-off finale being awkward. In theory I love it, but the sings are cut SO short that just when you’re getting into it & singing along, it switches to something else. Give us 2 min of each song at least, not one verse.

  • lla2827

    Casey and Haley appear to have escaped a bit because of their inclination to vocally “play” within each performance.

    Casey & Haley are def changing up and improvising with Moanin at every performance. They are having a lot of fun with it. In Oakland Casey gave her a little kiss at the end–she didn’t know it was coming–LOL! I would post the video-but some people would probably get mad at Casey. LMAO

    In fact, Casey is changing up all his performances. I remember Debra Byrd saying that he never sings a song the same way twice. I am sure this is due to his personality and his jazz background and improvising. Anyway, he is so much fun to watch and I love that he doesn’t take it all so seriously like it’s brain surgery or something.

    I can’t wait to see what he does a month from now when I go to the concert.

  • JOJOSIE

    Madnessinmotion, I was glad to see your re-cap as since I’ve attended a couple shows last year with you, that your take on things might just about mirror mine. Glad to see some other Adam fans supporting James. I think he has a boyish charm and sings with pure emotion, wether it’s excitement or sadness or humor. I think he’s torn right now as I think to get signed he has to give up what he really wants to do in music. It’s like giving up more of your freedom, but maybe it might be worth it. Happy to hear positive reviews.

  • Truthiness

    Lauren said she’s supposed to wear the boot for 2 weeks but said she’s stubborn so it’ll probably only be a few days.

    Well as a teen, I guess I get that she’s being impatient (and stupid) here. I just hope her mom and/or wiser heads prevail and don’t let Lauren take off the boot before medically recommended. I know it’s hard for some teens to get, but one can end up spending more time in surgeries, in boots, in pain, if one pushes it too far when one is healing. If Lauren isn’t getitng that, I hope someone explains it to her, or barring that, she’s a minor, just not let her do it.

  • 2dogs

    I was there last night and had a great time. I really like the new format with more medleys and duets. Oakland is a tough crowd, tho. It’s very difficult to get more than the first few rows to stand. People seem to be older and more reserved here than in some other venues.

    My main impressions:

    *I would have liked to see Naima or Paul get a second song over Pia — they worked the crowd and brought so much energy to the stage.
    *Stefano was a lot better live than on TV.
    *Lauren has a lovely voice, but I did think that boot took some of the mojo out of her performances. Still enjoyed her performances and felt bad that she had to perform like that.
    *I thought Durbin’s schtick was a little cheesy, but it worked for a show like this and I don’t think there was anyone who is relishing his time on tour more than him.
    *Haley was awesome.
    *I still can’t believe how young Scotty is. He was very natural and sounded great.
    *Would recommend the tour to anyone on the fence. I saw season 7 & 8 tours, and enjoyed this one the most.

  • http://durbnet.wordpress.com/ DurbNet

    The comments on this thread inspired me to go watch the video of James.

    The staging of SCOM is pretty great. Beyond that the videos are not good enough for me to make any fair judgments about James performances.

    But I can give a thumbs down to the arrangements of both SCOM and Uprising –well sung, true to the original, but I don’t hear much that is James in this. And that is unfortunate because the Tour would have been a great place for him to start to introduce his fans to James the singer vs. James the cover artist.

    In the past few years, the Idols had original arrangements some of which they did and they used the tour to establish who they were. This years tour seems to have moved back toward karaoke-style singing.

    I am routing for James — and that is a turn around for me — but unless he starts to define who his is, I fear his future will be as frontman in a great tribute band or in a featured role in the touring company of Rock of Ages.

    And IMO I think he can do much much much better than this.

    Too bad they didn’t give him one more song that was not “owned” by someone else. Something he could own.

    JMHO YMMV I am not bashing James, I am being critical of the show producer/director and 19.

    One final comment: 19 botched their management of Allison Iraheta. Jive did not do her justice with her debut album. This feels like it could go the same way. I REALLY hope I am wrong.

    Glad you’re putting the criticism where it belongs – on the producers & tour directors.

    A lot of James’ ideas couldn’t be realized on the show for 3 reasons:

    1) the often sucky theme weeks
    2) the song clearance bullshit (PTB lying to him about 18 & Life & Kickstart My Heart not being cleared when they actually were)
    3) the incompetance of the band – eg: the guitarist was out of tune during his WMGGW performance (Melinda Doolittle picked up on this too). James wasn’t gonna risk using the house guitarist for Heavy Metal. I have to say the previous band the show had was better.

    Regarding the tour, again James is being limited WRT creativity in addition to stage time. I highly doubt SCOM was his first choice, I’m willing to bet he wanted to do Dio’s RITD. He complained in his latest interview:

    “We have to do the same exact songs every night with no surprises or changes,” Durbin said Monday by phone from Sacramento. “That part really sucks. By the end of the tour, I will never want to hear or sing those songs ever again.”

    I understand your concern about what this will mean for his future. But as you and I have both realized we are not experiencing James’ uniqueness, not because he doesn’t have it in him but because TPTB are not allowing him to show it to us.

    James is doing the best he can with the hand he’s been dealt though. He certainly doesn’t sing Uprising the way Bellamy sings it. And how much can SCOM really be changed up? And he’s owning the crowds while Pia is failing to win them over despite her pimping.

    I think he’s torn right now as I think to get signed he has to give up what he really wants to do in music. It’s like giving up more of your freedom, but maybe it might be worth it. Happy to hear positive reviews.

    As far as can be assertained at this point James still hasn’t signed a record deal, although he has a management deal with Red Light. My guess is he and Interscope haven’t yet come to an agreement on the type of music he’s going to record. Interscope wants HAC pop-rock and James doesn’t want to make this type of music.

    I’m sure James is observing Pia’s experience with Interscope & the public’s reaction to her new song, and is probably thankful that he hesitated to put his career in Interscope’s hands by agreeing to their musical direction. I certainly am. After hearing ILYTB and This Time, I cringe at what kind of crappy song Interscope would’ve wanted him to debut.

    I don’t know what is going to happen but he is still positive and hopeful and still has lots going on that he can’t talk about. So I don’t think there’s reason to panic. Signing with Interscope through Idol’s blueprint isn’t the only way one can make it in the music biz.

    I thought Durbin’s schtick was a little cheesy, but it worked for a show like this and I don’t think there was anyone who is relishing his time on tour more than him.

    It must be remembered that AI is a family show and loads of children are attending the tour shows. The “schtick” may be cheesy for many adults but kids love that kinda stuff, he’s performing for them too. Rock concerts usually feature antics that are not child friendly, of course James can’t incorporate those for these shows.

  • Ringo

    Finally, an almost perfect video of Tightrope. Is Haley really that sultry or is it just because she is singing next to Pia, the tin [wo]man?
    ETA
    Moanin too.
    A better House of the Rising Sun.
    A funky Benny y los Jetts.

  • tomk

    Finally, an almost perfect video of Tightrope. Is Haley really that sultry or is it just because she is singing next to Pia, the tin [wo]man?

    Well, I believe Haley did say that the direction she wanted was “sultry, bluesy rock” with a little jazz mixed in (I am going from memory here). Just watching her videos from the tour shows me that she knows how to command and work a stage and tell a story. Her and Casey on “Moanin” is pretty remarkable – it is just very playful and it looks so spontaneous.

  • Mike M

    All I know is, when I saw her walk up the steps on video after singing “Faithfully”, I really wanted to follow her even though just walking up the steps would wear me out.

  • smeggingnuts

    Haley just keeps sounding better and better

  • jsrj98

    *I would have liked to see Naima or Paul get a second song over Pia — they worked the crowd and brought so much energy to the stage.
    *Stefano was a lot better live than on TV.
    *Lauren has a lovely voice, but I did think that boot took some of the mojo out of her performances. Still enjoyed her performances and felt bad that she had to perform like that.
    *I thought Durbin’s schtick was a little cheesy, but it worked for a show like this and I don’t think there was anyone who is relishing his time on tour more than him.
    *Haley was awesome.
    *I still can’t believe how young Scotty is. He was very natural and sounded great.

    I also attended last night and agree with most of this. As an unabashed Haley fan, I won’t bore people with (too many) more accolades for her, but I have to say it was pure joy to hear her sing in person. @ringo and @tomk, Haley IS sultry, and is the best dancer other than Naima. Like @2dogs, I really wanted to hear Naima and Paul sing another song, but I would also say that about Thia, who I really liked. Of course, I think Haley should get to do another song, and I very much enjoyed James– who is getting the shaft by only getting two solos. Consequently, while I did enjoy some of the group numbers, overall I’d say they should have gone to a more straight-up set list, with mostly solos and just a few duets and group numbers. The crowd’s reaction (and our enjoyment of the show) would have been the same, and the format “fairer”, if you know what I mean. I thought the band was a bit overpowering (especially in the first half), and consequently some of the singers voices got lost a bit. I thought Pia, James, Haley and Scotty powered thru the band nicely. There was certainly more older people my age than I expected. All in all, a great experience and well worth the price.

  • LexieN

    The local review of the Oakland
    show…http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_18467711?source=rss

    Also, there was a followup to the Portland review, in which the reviewer addresses the country music controversy going on over at the Tennessean (and highlights Scotty in an interesting way)…

    http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2011/07/peter_cooper_on_the_problem_wi.html

  • jsrj98

    All I know is, when I saw her walk up the steps on video after singing “Faithfully”, I really wanted to follow her even though just walking up the steps would wear me out.

    Hearing Haley sing the little bit of “Faithfully” live and in person is AMAZING. Much, much better in person than on the videos.

  • Buffynut

    Is Haley really that sultry or is it just because she is singing next to Pia, the tin [wo]man?

    Ha, ha! I’m a woman and I think she’s that sultry! It’s because she feels the music whereas Pia, by her own admission, is stuck on the technicality of the vocal. Haley seems to be able to do both… great vocal and great moves.

  • tomk

    Ha, ha! I’m a woman and I think she’s that sultry! It’s because she feels the music whereas Pia, by her own admission, is stuck on the technicality of the vocal. Haley seems to be able to do both… great vocal and great moves.

    My impression for a while now has been that Haley has a lot more experience PERFORMING than Pia does – not necessarily singing, but performing.

  • Ringo

    My impression for a while now has been that Haley has a lot more experience PERFORMING than Pia does – not necessarily singing, but performing.

    Haley is also not hampered by those huge silicon implants like Pia. Watching Tightrope is like watching three normal girls and Pamela Anderson perform.

  • Buffynut

    Ringo says:

    07/13/2011 at 4:40 pm

    Watching Tightrope is like watching three normal girls and Pamela Anderson perform

    I have a legitimate question about this performance. When the other 3 ladies are turning slightly sideways and doing synchronized moves together, but Pia is facing forward, is it supposed to be like that? It looks like Pia is being featured at that moment (twice) but then it also looks likes she’s out of sync with them.

  • Pam
  • http://MJO judes

    I have a legitimate question about this performance. When the other 3 ladies are turning slightly sideways and doing synchronized moves together, but Pia is facing forward, is it supposed to be like that? It looks like Pia is being featured at that moment (twice) but then it also looks likes she’s out of sync with them.

    I also thought this was odd. The other 3 girls were in sync totally & it was as if Pia was in her own world unaware they were there. Oh & has Pia had implants since the show or was she as top heavy then & I didn’t notice? I agree with the comment that there were 3 normal girls & Pia looked artificial- maybe this doesn’t help her performances.

  • Karalyn

    Well reading some of the comments about Pia, I think I might have some insight as to why I could just never seem to warm up her. She’s beautiful and has a magnificent voice, but I feel like she’s always trying to look and be too perfect. She’s just not real enough for me to totally warm up to her. Lauren will fall down the stairs and make jokes about herself, Scotty seems like the kid next door – totally down to earth, James puts his foot in his mouth sometimes or cries in front of the whole nation and doesn’t care, and Haley sometimes has a bit of an attitude (which I like) – I think I get it now. I like the top 4 so much this year because they are themselves and they don’t constantly have a front up! I like them not only as performers but as people too. Pia just seems like she’s artificial or something. I think for people to completely warm up to her she will have to let her guard down a little and show some emotions and stop trying to look and sound perfect every second.

  • Ringo

    She’s beautiful and has a magnificent voice, but I feel like she’s always trying to look and be too perfect. She’s just not real enough for me to totally warm up to her

    I think that basically, Pia is shy and not stuck up. She strikes me as a bit restrained in her performance and, at the same time, a bit of a perfectionist. It may be harder for her to let go like others. I do extrapolate from her background in make-up (right? she was a make up artist), that she values looking perfect and I pretty sure she had a boob job (saw some article with pics on the web) and suspect she did botox on the forehead. I don’t think she is necessarily shallow because of that, I just think beauty and perfection (at least her view of those things) are pretty important to her. All of this likely is complete B.S., but that has not stopped me before so why now!?

  • http://iwokeuplaughing.wordpress.com ajsrichantra

    Hey everyone! I’ve been lurking around this site for a while but never decided to register and post anything until now.

    I attended this concert last night and really enjoyed it. I will admit that I have a soft spot for Celine so I am totally on the Pia train as well as Haley (I wanted her to win), but mostly everyone impressed me.

    As for what people have been saying about Pia, I have to say I agree with some things ie. stage presence, command, the arm thingy, and the robotics, but I really do like her as a person. I actually thought Pia gave a little more on “This Time” than what I saw from some videos (but it could have just been the difference between a live setting and audio) and I saw some people bobbing their heads with the rhythm from where I was sitting, but I wouldn’t really be able to tell you what that means.

    My mom and I waited for the Idols after the concert and I just really wanted to get a picture with Haley and Pia (sadly Haley was the only one who didn’t come out and sign autographs) to make my night. Once Pia got to me, my mom took a few shots and I went to check them out to see if they came out alright. Sadly, they were blurry and I guess Pia heard me and came back to me to take a better one. She was totally sweet and really spent time in the cold to sign and take pictures with her fans. It was really nice to see her wearing sandals or flats and wearing what I would consider casual compared to what I’ve seen her wear before. She also took the time to listen to what people wanted to tell her and she was very polite. Now, this was just my experience with her and I felt she was being very genuine and it made me like her even more. There was also a fan that I saw her hug for a really long time. I don’t know what it was about, but I like how she took her time with people instead of rushing like some of the other Idols. So for some of the other quiet Pia fans, I hope this brought some happiness to your daily Pia fix instead of reading things about why people don’t like her.

    And if anyone cares, I was thinking about writing my own review on my blog (www.iwokeuplaughing.wordpress.com) of the concert with some of the pictures I took with the Idols, but it won’t be up until later tonight / tomorrow morning.

  • halo9125

    @aj- this thread may be dead by now- but thanks for the great post. I know Pia since she’s a little girl- and what you saw at the concert is the real her. Very sweet, very genuine- that’s who she is- so it’s nice to see somebody who recognized the “real” her.

  • Bazzle

    By the way thanks to these video uploaders, you guys have taken the best quality videos so far and its really cool for those of us unable to go.
    There is some truth about all this being said about Pia otherwise there wouldn’t be so many similar opinions about it.

    IMO there seems to be heaps of controversy about seeing things on Idol as not being an accurate representation of singers live, so since this is my favourite top 11, i was really hoping that people would have a more positive opinion of each of them, doesn’t matter to what degree but at least a better rather than worse opinion.

    But out of all of them, mostly Pia, Thia and maybe even Stefano cos there was alot of talk when they were on the show about their performance abilities and personality rather than their singing abilities. Not gonna lie, Thia & Haley are my favourites. But even i admit Thia didn’t show or get to show enough sides to her performance abilities to go further in the show. But i always knew thats not all she had. I had the same gut feeling about Haley when the competition started and eventually i was ecstatic that Haley showed everything and thats how she made it so far after being so underated at the start.

    Watching all the videos i have better opinions about all of them and particularly happy about Thia and Stefano connecting with the audience and definitely making up that aspect that they lacked on tv. I have to say a don’t think Pia did that honestly, although i wish the best for her career.

  • http://MJO judes

    @aj- this thread may be dead by now- but thanks for the great post. I know Pia since she’s a little girl- and what you saw at the concert is the real her. Very sweet, very genuine- that’s who she is- so it’s nice to see somebody who recognized the “real” her.

    That’s great halo that you know the real Pia & maybe in time the audience will see a more genuine Pia but at the moment unfortunately that is not happening for the wider audience. Thanks AJ for your positive fan view of Pia -its good to see she is connecting with some . I think the tour will be good for her as it will give her more confidence in performing & because she is a perfectionist she may then loosen up as the tour goes on. I hope this happens for her sake , I just hope she doesn’t become too much of a puppet for Jimmy & co manufacturing being their pretty so called “hot” idol – [although I think Haley has that title won naturally] . To me Pia doesn’t seem comfortable being a “sexual” queen – maybe in time she will learn to say how she feels without being intimidated.