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Catherine attended the Idols Live show in Dallas last weekend. Read her detailed recap and make sure to click on her links to photos and videos.
My sister and I have attended 5 previous Idol concerts: Seasons 2, 4, 7, 8, and 9. We’ve been creepin’ on MJ’s for as long as I can remember and love American Idol. From past experience, I prefer the countdown mini-concert method for these tours. Group numbers can be hit or miss, and I don’t think it’s fair to allow 1 or 2 (Colton/Phillip) to have mini-concerts, while the others have to settle for a bunch of group numbers/duets.
We got to the venue at 12:00pm in hopes of meeting them before the show. By around 2:00pm, there were at least 50 people waiting at the barricades in 105+ degree heat, but no idols. Around 3:00pm, someone noticed the Idols coming out of the front of the venue to film a short promo for AT&T (don’t text and drive). Everyone ran over there and stood in a cluster, because the security guards wouldn’t let us get any closer. I was wearing a Joshua.Flipping.Ledet shirt and my sister was wearing a Hollipop shirt so Josh/Hollie noticed us right off the bat and waved. Josh yelled at me saying he wish he could come give me a hug, but he couldn’t. Oh wellz. My sister and I made Josh/Hollie “Team Jollie” tank tops and held them up for them to see. As they were being ushered back inside, Hollie demanded that the security guard allow us to give the tanks to them, so we handed the tanks to the security guard who then handed them to Hollie. She gave one to Josh and they put them on immediately and stood at the window so we could take a pic of them through the window. Josh tweeted and instagrammed a better picture, so check for it there. Erika also tweeted a pic.
We all went back to the barricades hoping that after their AT&T promo they would come outside to meet fans. That didn’t happen. We went pre-show for seasons 7, 8, and 9 and met almost all of the Idols for those seasons, so this was a bit strange. We fully expected at least a few to come out! So around 5:00pm, my sister and I grabbed some food, regained our energy, and headed back to the concert.
The American Airlines Center is massive – it’s where Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavs play. To my surprise, it was pretty dang full (pretty dang full = probably more than 80%). All ages in attendance, without any age range sticking out more than another. Our seats were close – lower level side, which is always our personal preference unless we can get first few rows. Concert started at about 7:15pm, and I’ll recap the concert in elimination order:
EVP: Erika has tremendous energy and seemed to really enjoy being there. She looked and sounded great and always had a smile on her face. It’s really too bad she didn’t make it farther in the competition. As previous people have mentioned, Glitter in the Air was amazing, and I think she really shocked some people (in a good way) with that performance. Also, post-concert, she was really personable at the barricades and took time with everyone.
Heejun: Exactly what you would expect. He was off vocally…that’s putting it nicely. I noticed that he didn’t attempt any of the high notes on Green Light – the back track took over completely on those parts. He “rapped” if that’s what you want to call it – it wasn’t believable, but funny. However, Heejun brings great energy to the stage and knows how to work a crowd. I don’t think he has a career in singing, but rather in a TV show host type position or comedy. I don’t know anything about Korean Pop, but maybe they like his singing voice? Party Rock was hilarious more than anything and brought a smile to people’s faces. It was genuinely entertaining. I loved Heejun from the beginning and really loved him after the Cowboy episode. Even though his vocal ability doesn’t compare to the rest of the Top 10, he is entertaining and will hopefully find his place somewhere in showbiz. I also think he does great work with the foundation he used to work for in New York – that is inspiring and commendable. Which is why I was so surprised at his attitude at the barricades post-show. He was kind of a d-bag, and not friendly at all. I watched the Heetalk England video MJ posted and asked him to speak “England” when he approached us at the barricade (Small talk is awkward and I figured that would break the ice). Our exchange:
Me: Hey Heejun, can you speak England for us?!?
Heejun: Oh, I thought I put that video on private.
Me: (thinking that was a joke) No you didn’t…come on say pear-ple.
Heejun: (gazing to the next person down the line) (muttered)…I put that video on private.
He didn’t laugh/smile/nothing and just kept moving along. I don’t know if he was being sarcastic when he said he meant to put it on private, but it didn’t seem like it. IDK…dude gave off an agitated vibe at the barricades. I even heard other people around me comment on how rude he was. Just don’t come out if you’re going to be a sourpuss!!!
Deandre: Similar to Erika, Deandre brought great energy and seemed to really enjoy being there. He sounded so much better live than I thought he would. Master Blaster got people on their feet and he played it up! He also took time with fans after the show and didn’t rush through the barricades. He had a smile on his face and appreciates that this is his time to gain new fans.
Colton: The “Meant to Live” vibe is right up his alley, however, he sounded very nasally on that song. “Never Gone” sounded 10x better. I don’t know if he just hit his stride by the second song or if he feels more comfortable with his own song, but it was like night and day. I was never a big Colton fan, but that song is hella catchy. I don’t know if it will be this big huge hit everyone is predicting, but I can definitely hear it on mix stations. Just based on his stage presence, banter with the audience, and general vibe, you can tell he has his head on straight and really wants to make a career out of this. Post-show, he was very personable at the barricades. He had a ton of fans outside for him, and he genuinely tried his hardest to get to everyone before security made him go back inside.
Elise: This girl exceeded my expectations. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Rumour Has It. It was one of my most favorite performances from the night. Maybe it’s because I’ve only heard the Adele version a few times, but I thought she owned that song, and I wish it could be her first single! She did well with “Whole Lotta Love,” but I’ve just never been a fan of her version, so I don’t have much to say about that. Elise really helps Phillip along with the Gotye song and she nailed it. Post-show, she was wonderful at the barricades and spent time with everyone even though it was her b-day. I told her that I loved Rumour Has It and she stopped and said “Thank you, nobody ever says that” and gave me a high five. First – I can’t believe nobody ever says that b/c it was awesome; second – I appreciated her niceness. That’s how you gain new fans!
Skylar: She will be a country star, but you probably already figured that. I loved her on Undo It and Gunpowder and Lead. Stay with Me was more of the same, and I wished they had switched up the tempo a bit and given her a slower country song to nail. She has great stage presence. It’s so natural and believable and is something she was definitely blessed with. After the show, she only stayed out at the barricades for about 5 minutes – I think she was sick.
Hollie: Her vocals were amazing! She seems to have lightened up a bit since starting the tour and appeared more relaxed. The hometown crowd loved her, but surprisingly, she did not receive the most cheers. I felt like she should have talked to the crowd more, it being her hometown and all, but she just stuck to the script. Just a “hey Dallas! It’s great to be home!” would have been nice. Rollin’ in the Deep was spot on as was the Demi Lovato song. She’s a bit rigid on stage, probably due to the fact she wears 7-inch heels. Personally, I think she should opt for a smaller sized heel and move around more so as to not appear so stiff. I love high heels as much as the next girl, but if I was tasked with dominating a stage in a big arena, I would put on a heel that allows me to move and dance comfortably. I love Hollie’s voice more than Jessica’s (blasphemy, I know), and I really hope she gets a record deal. However, I think she is going to have to put in a lot of hard work and continue to build her “holliepop” brand before someone takes a risk on her. I wish she had won American Idol because I think she exemplifies “American Idol” with an all around package – charisma, youthfulness, beauty, vocal ability, great back story (tried out, didn’t make, fought back and won), etc. After the show, Hollie was at the barricades and took time for pics, even though I’m sure she had family waiting. My sister and I got a pic with her and she remembered us because we were the ones who gave her and Josh the “Team Jollie” tank tops. It will be interesting to follow her career.
Joshua: What can I say? You HAVE to see him live. WOW! The first thing I noticed is that he’s taken some dance lessons since AI because dude can dance! Every time he opened his mouth was magic. His first line in “Sing” at the beginning gave me goosies. Yes, that’s how much I love Joshua Ledet, I just used the word “goosies” and I hate that word. He laughed and smiled through the What Makes You Beautiful medley as well as Everybody Talks. He seemed to really enjoy being there and radiates the word “blessed.” There is something about him that makes me think he does not take this for granted and feels genuinely blessed to be on that stage. Runaway Baby was a great song choice for tour and everyone loved it. As usual, he brought the crowd to their feet at the end of Man’s World. That falsetto towards the end when he is on his knees is the MONEY SHOT. After the show, he was the last one to come outside and started at the opposite end from where I was standing. He was wearing his Team Jollie tank that I gave him and I REALLY wanted to meet him! About halfway down the line, the security guard stopped him and ushered him back inside…boo. So I did not get to meet Joshua. Oh wellz.
In terms of a career in the music biz, in the words of JLO – Jimmy, don’t screw this up!! I feel that in order for Joshua Ledet to “make it” he has to have the right songs. I think his best bet will be going full on R&B and forget about trying to make Top 40. As a huge fan, I want him on Top 40 stations, but IDK if that’s possible, at least not now. I met fans before and after the concert and told them how much I loved Joshua and they just shrugged it off like he’s no big deal. Serrriously?? Granted – I mostly talked to Colton/Phillip fans, but that’s who was out there supporting and those 2 got the loudest cheers by far. I think Bruno Mars is the route he will need to take to make Top 40. He needs something along the lines of Runaway Baby to have a big radio hit. Also, I hate to say this, but he needs more appeal. I’m a 24-year-old female and he appeals to me (!), and so I don’t understand why there isn’t more high-pitched screaming for him! Until that happens though, I fear that he will struggle to sell. However, if the right song comes along, that may be enough to create the appeal. I’m no music industry expert so I could be completely off base, but those are my thoughts. I will be following Joshua’s career and will be first in line to buy his first album. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.
Jessica: Yes, she has a great voice, but she needs to connect more with the audience. Her talent is unbelievable, but she has work to do. I felt it was a poor choice to start the second half with “Best I Never Had.” Kinda boring. But maybe that’s a good thing because it gives people time to get back to their seats before Proud Mary. That was awesome – one of my favorite performances from the concert. Joshua and Deandre were essential to its awesomeness. I hated it when Jessica sang it on AI, but with Joshua and Deandre as back-up singers, it allowed her to shine. The Prince song showed off her mad vocal talent, but I was so focused on Joshua’s dips and dance moves that I wasn’t really paying too much attention to Jessica. Oops. She came out post-show and posed for pics. She was pretty shy but extremely nice. She certainly hasn’t let the hype go to her head.
Phillip: My Dad was curious as to why Phillip didn’t come out until his set at the end of the show. Honestly, I don’t know why (illness reasons? Because he would look extremely goofy on What Makes You Beautiful?) Phillip exceeded my expectations. He had a great energy about him and it’s obvious that he loves what he is doing. He’s undeniably sexy, and I can see how he won. The comparison to Dave Matthews is real, but I think Phillip will forge his own path. He captivated the audience and has such an engaging stage presence. Nice and Slow was my fave from Phillip, but I’m a sucker for rap songs turned slowed down WGWG songs. Phillip came out post-show and surprisingly made it through the entire barricade line. He posed for pics and talked with people, and I thought that was great. He seemed very down to earth. I hope he’s not Lee Dewyze 2.0.
My Top 5 Favorite Performances in Order:
Rumour Has It
Nice and Slow
Loudest Cheers in Order
Joshua – Hollie
Skylar – Jessica
Most Likely to Sell Millions of Records
??? Really unsure about whether the next Carrie/Kelly is in this bunch…
Most Likely to Win a Grammy
My Sister’s Top 10 Favorite Performances in Order
Rumour Has It
Moves Like Jagger
Stay With Me
Glitter in the Air
Somebody That I Used to Know
My concert videos are posted here: http://joshua-ledet.net/tourandmusic/exclusive-catherines-idol-tour-dallas-concert-photos-videos/
My concert photos are posted here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/83895590@N07/sets/72157630833399214
Thank you, MJ, for maintaining a great Idol blog! Until next year!
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