Kris Allen Performs New Songs – Natick Center For the Arts – VIDEOS

krisallen-natick

I haven’t seen Kris Allen perform since he played a radio show in Worcester, MA in 2009 in the wake of his American Idol season 8 win. This time around he has two studio albums under his belt and a slew of new songs that will likely go on a third he’s currently working on with producer Charlie Peacock.

The new songs are impressive and show a definite progression in his maturity as a songwriter. Kris is as engaging as ever as a live performer, comfortable and funny on stage–he establishes a connection with the audience right away.

The Natick Center of the Arts in Massachusetts–about 15 miles outside of Boston–is a non-profit theater run in a converted building. The space is gorgeous with perfect acoustics and not a bad seat in the house. But it’s so genteel, that Kris had to work a little bit to get the audience to loosen up.

Once Kris worked some magic on the crowd, he was able to relax into a set of his songs. He performed only two from his post Idol debut, Kris Allen–the crowd-pleasing “Alright With Me” and his hit song, “Live Like We’re Dying.” The latter he actually got the crowd on their feet to sing along.

The rest of his set was split between new songs and tunes off his last studio album, the 2012 Thank You Camellia.

New song standouts for me were the gorgeous “In Time” and the moving “Beautiful and Wild” (which seemed to be a new perspective inspired by the recent birth of his son). The unlikely “Everybody Just Wants to Dance” (Yes, a dance song! Complete with dorky moves!) was mashed with the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”

Speaking of mashups, the Robin Thicke hit, “Blurred Lines” was inventively woven into “Rooftops” from Camellia.

The Voice 4 alum, Caroline Glaser, opened the show with a sweet mix of covers and originals. The singer joined Kris on stage later to duet on “Loves Me Not.”

It being Valentines Day, Kris was sporting a HOMEMADE SHIRT which was basically a T with a sharpie drawn heart and the word “love” in the middle. Kris seemed especially proud of his handiwork! Before the encore, Kris and his band tossed out Valentine treats to the crowd.

Speaking of the band, they accompanied the songs nicely, without overwhelming the songs. The encore tune, “End of the Show,” was written especially to wind things up and serve as a funny grace note and a thank you to the crowd, who all appeared to leave the venue happy… I know I did.

As I usually do, I recorded everything! So check it out. Apparently, the new song names may change once they are released as part of Kris’s next studio album, set to be released later this year.

Paul Simon (New-ish) – Kris has played this song on the road, but has just recorded it with Charlie Peacock for the new album.

Better With You

Don’t Set Me Free (New)

Loves Me Not (With Caroline Glaser)

Alright with Me

Leave You Alone

Everybody Just Wants to Dance/I Want You Back (New)

In Time (New)

It’s Always You (New)

Out Alive

Beautiful and Wild (New)

Monster

Rooftops/Blurred Lines

Live Like We’re Dying

Shut That Door

End of the Show

  • Face

    for those of us not in the US… it may be the closest we get to a KA concert… so thanks for posting MJ :)

  • MissMyEm

    Glad you enjoyed the show MJ. I had no idea you had not seen him perform in person since 2009!! He has matured so much as a performer and an artist since then. Thanks for the videos and the recap. Looking forward to seeing him when he comes West. It’s just like Kris to be throwing candy to the audience. What a fun, sweet gesture.

  • Banished

    Thank you MJ! Kris will always be my favorite AI winner. He still makes those funny faces when he sings! What makes him so endearing is his personality. He has always stayed so true to himself and he and his band seem like a bunch of goofy sweet guys..

  • Madilo

    Thanks for the vids, i wish Kris the best, i really hope he finds a lot of success and radio hits with this album.

  • Valarie

    Beautiful and Wild reminds me so much of a young Glenn Frye. Very Poco/Eagles-ish country rock. Beautiful and Wild is beautiful and moving.

  • Lori

    Thanks MJ… It’s like waking up to front row! Reminds me of the time I saw Kris perform live at SPACE in Evanston, IL.

    Anyway, question for MJ… Were you there for Caroline’s set? I’m wondering if her voice projected better during her own set, like maybe her mic volume was just turned down to low for her duet with Kris? She has such a sweet voice but it was hard to hear her at times.

  • Lori

    Just got to Beautiful and Wild and it’s my favorite new song so far!

  • Kirsten

    Thanks for the videos MJ. You always do such a great job!

    Kris’s tour isn’t coming anywhere near me, so it’s great to attend a virtual concert here.

  • Miz

    WOW, MJ! I was hoping you’d do a review and videos and I am happily surprised by how quickly you did and got them posted. Thank you.

    I’m glad you pointed out that ‘Beautiful and Wild’ seems inspired by Kris’s baby. I call it ‘Oliver’s Song’. I love it.

    ‘In Time’ is one of my early favorites. There is no doubt for me that this is a reflection on the car accident that left him shattered, and possibly other things he’s been through in the recent past. I love this song in so many ways. It’s heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time.

    Loved hearing the story of ‘Dance’ and Charlie Peacock’s reaction to it. We saw a little of that in a video Instagram while he was recording. Kris has said prior that he wrote it as a joke and when his manager heard it said ‘You have to record that’. This song is flat out fun and I’m glad that Kris included it. I hope it makes the cut.

    ‘Loves Me Not’ with Caroline Glaser was a happy surprise. I love when Kris has a female act for support on his tours or as a guest artist and they sing this song with him. There is something special about it.

    From videos I’ve seen of her other performances, Caroline does come off a bit wispy but beautiful. For this, it might have been better to leave the drums out since they overpowered her. I would have had Torres on the cajon. Still, it was quite enjoyable.

    I have more to say, but this post is already long. Later!

  • Miz

    ‘He has matured so much as a performer and an artist since then.’ Good observation!

    I’m often baffled by comments from people who haven’t seen him perform or heard his music (other than Live Like We’re Dying) since Idol. Even more so by those who may have, but are stuck in their mindset from 2009.

    Kris is an incredible songwriter, singer, musician, and performer who continues to evolve.

  • Eileen99

    Thank you for all these great videos! I’m anxious to hear what the studio versions of these are going to sound like. I agree Kris is improving his songwriting more & more all the time; love his melodies.

  • Sunny Mc

    Thanks so much for the A+ videos. Makes me feel like I’m at the concert!

  • nncw

    Thanks so much MJ for these videos – they are great! Kris is just amazing- love him. He is so talented but also so endearing. He does carry me away with his performances and always makes me smile too.

  • thirdtime

    Fantastic videos and Kris sounds great as usual!

  • Pippygirl

    I’ve been trying to hold out until Friday’s concert but these were just too tempting.

    I like all the songs but It’s Always You is the one that seems stuck in my head-it’s really gorgeous and shows off Kris’ ability to make you feel his emotions.
    I’m very curious where they go from here. Kris mentioned a single being released before the album, but in one interview awhile ago I think he said he and his management realized radio play would be hard to come by.
    So I’m curious how they plan on getting his music out there.

    Regardless of all of that- he’s making some great music.
    Thanks for the videos MJ!

  • tripp_ncwy

    Just in case you didn’t see this. Kris did an interview earlier in the week where he talked about a lot of topics. All Melinda Doolittle (13:20) has to do is call for anything. Cd will have a 2nd duet (14:22) and he will make a cameo performance in the Valley Inn movie. (20:18)

    http://www.mjsbigblog.com/idol-headlines-21414.htm

  • heartly

    Thanks for the great videos, MJ! I just listened to several of the new ones and now I’m really looking forward to his new album. This music and style is right up my alley.

  • Tinawina

    Kris is very talented. I have always felt like Kris, Brooke White and Crystal Bowersox fly under the radar a bit as to their potential to grow into great songwriters. They just get better.

  • calico

    Thanks MJ for the great recap and vids! I saw Kris last year on Valentine’s day and it was such a treat. Wish I could have done it again this year. The new songs are so good. It’s hard to pick a favorite – Don’t Set Me Free pulled me in on first listen with it’s funky hook-filled goodness, and I love the lyrical and free-flowing Beautiful and Wild. In Time – wow. Lots of depth and feeling in that song. It’s Always You is gorgeous. I’m very curious to see what Dance sounds like recorded.

  • calico

    Kris is way too hard on Brand New Shoes all things considered. His potential as a songwriter is obvious if nothing else.

  • tomr

    Felt that I was there. Thanks, mj! He’s in my top 3 of my favorite American Idols!

  • tripp_ncwy

    Melinda Doolittle @mdoolittle
    @NXTLevelRadio @KrisAllen I see I have you fooled, Kris! Lol. Whatever I want, huh? Duly noted. #FeelingIsMutual #BabyGotBackDuetComingSoon

  • MissMyEm

    I didn’t have time to listen to the videos when they were posted but I did now. I really like all the songs that are going on the CD. My favorite so far is Don’t Set Me Free. Like Paul Simon before it, that one caught me from the beginning when Kris first played it from Watseka. I realize there is a debate over whether or not he has a label and I realize that some feel he needs a label, but these songs are so good and my impression is that, for Kris, it’s the first time he’s had full control over what he wants to sing rather than what he’s told to sing. These songs also show how he’s grown as a songwriter and for me, that is nothing less than fabulous. While I felt he was great on Idol, he was somewhat stifled on the show, in my opinion. Right after his accident, when he was forced to play without the guitar, showed us just what an awesome and even better performer he was and now that he’s back with his guitar and (YAY) a full band, just seals the deal for me.

    So once again, thanks for the quick recap and all the videos MJ.

  • Miz

    I agree that Kris is too hard on Brand New Shoes. I love ‘Beautiful Moon’ and ‘Land of Smiles’ from that. He’s definitely matured in many ways, but the songs still stand well today.

  • Miz

    Pippygirl, I don’t know how people like you have held out for so long not watching/listening to any of the show videos. I’m one of those who wants to hear and see everything as soon as possible, and then watch it evolve.

    It will be interesting to see how Kris and his team go about promoting his album and single. I have a feeling he has a few tricks up his sleeve.

  • Jordana33

    Thanks for posting all these great videos MJ. I love that song “Beautiful and Wild”. The lyrics are simple, but lovely. It would make a great radio single. Having Caroline Glaser open must have also been a nice bonus.

  • Jordana33

    I agree about Caroline. She really does have a nice voice, but sometimes it doesn’t project well enough and she also has some issues with breath control. But even with those issues, she was still one of my favorite contestants on the Voice. I think the mike was also too low in this case, because someone posted a song from her set and you can hear her clearly (I’m including the link). She sounds really good:

    Caroline Glaser: Cover of “I will follow you into the dark” (by Death Cab for Cutie)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwb67jj-eW8

  • Katey Roemmele

    Thank you so much for posting this, MJ!! Really appreciate having my own Kris Allen concert in my living room. :-)

  • MissMyEm

    Yes!!!…..”evolve”. Much more apt and better way to describe him, rather than “he’s grown.” Thanks.

  • Porfivor Nixon

    I like Kris as a performer, but I find him to be a weak songwriter, he just seems to scratch the surface; For me, there is no real depth and he does not seem to make a good enough effort to create memorable hooks or melodies. “Beautiful and Wild” is a cut above the rest but seems cobbled together from about half a dozen old Simon and Garfunkel songs. I don’t see how this set of songs is going to get him any further than he already is. That being said, I wish him the best because I do like him.

  • Incipit

    Thanks for all the videos from Kris’s show, mj – I’l be back to listen to the new songs. Good that you got to go to one of his recent gigs!

    I’d say Voice 4 alum, Caroline Glaser is signed with Fleming Artists for her booking agents too, since she also opened for DC at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa last September. The Tulsa World Scene review of that show said “Glaser, a contestant on the last season of NBC’s “The Voice,” was sweet and bubbly but had a soft and mellow singing style.” They liked her voice and her original songs.

  • mel432

    Kris has come a long way as a singer and performer. He sounds great. I wonder if he is taking vocal lessons.

  • MargieIdol
  • vtu

    Thanks for the great vids, MJ. Almost like being there. This is the first time I’ve watched a vid of the End of the Show song–very funny (and very Kris). :)

  • elliegrll

    Kris has never been one to write strong earwormy or poppy hooks, but I don’t think that that’s a big problem. It’s something that could hurt his chances of getting radio play, but the chances of that happening aren’t good anyway. I also think that there are people who don’t mind listening to songs that don’t have strong hooks.

  • linsmile

    Thank you, MJ! Ahh, I haven’t been able to listen to them all yet, but I love what I’ve heard so far! I always love Kris. Thanks for sharing your videos and making me feel like I was there! I’m looking forward seeing Kris and band and the new music live – looking forward to him to return again to my town!

  • Ratna12

    Thanks MJ for the recap and the great videos. I’m glad that you enjoyed
    watching Kris performs. Love the new songs, and right now my favorite is Beautiful and Wild, something about that song :)
    Kris Allen and the band seemed to have so much fun and he loves coming to that part of area (Boston) according to his banter.
    Still waiting for tour dates in the West Coast and in the mean time, I will just
    watch wonderful tour videos.

  • Miz

    I couldn’t more strongly disagree with both of you. I’ll leave it at that because some of the things I’d like to say could adversely affect me here.

  • Miz

    For videos that include the banter and the Meet & Greet song (To Make You Feel My Love) from an unobstructed view, check out http://www.youtube.com/user/ameeliu15/feed?filter=2

    Sound is also a bit clearer.

  • elliegrll

    I would think that the best thing to say, and the best way to prove your point would be to give examples of some of the strong hooks and earworms that Kris has written. I’ll start, one of the few examples is the chorus of Shut That Door And Keep the Devil Out. One of the clues to how strong that chorus is is that even before Kris recorded it, several none fan related blogs picked up the low quality fan videos of the song, and wrote articles about the song. That’s not something that has happened a lot to Kris.

  • Corrine43180

    There are a lot of people stuck in 2009, I agree.

  • Pippygirl

    I don’t know about hooks but I do find myself humming the choruses of Kris’ songs after I hear them (found that to be annoying true of It’s Always You lol).
    As I’ve said I do not have any idea of where Kris and his management go from here. Kris has said they are not focusing on radio play, yet he seems to still be going to radio stations to promote his shows, which makes sense I guess.
    He supposedly has good management (I think they manage Daughtry) so hopefully they have a cohesive plan because with Kris’ low profile they have their work cut out for them.

  • Jonins

    Funny, I also have the chorus of It’s Always You in my mind. I don’t know but it just kept on playing in my head. I was thinking where did I hear that song? Then, I remember! Just by watching the videos and what makes it strange is that I listen to In Time and Beautiful and Wild more than that song? So? Isn’t that a strong enough hook?

  • Pippygirl

    I don’t have the musical knowledge of other posters here but I would tend to agree with you. Perhaps Kris’ songwriting strengths shine when he is writing ballads? I genuinely don’t know, I can only go from my own experiences.

  • nyc57

    Posting late,Just got back yesterday to lots of new snow.The concert was worth the trip and i wished I had met you MJ but couldn’t hang around after the concert.Thanks for these great videos.The sound is great..almost like being there.
    My husband drove me there but planned on having dinner and waiting in the car,He loves concerts but.he hates idol,even though he never actually watched it.I go to Kris’s concerts by myself.I told Kris at the M&G about him waiting outside and he talked to him on the phone.Told him they were going to steal me away if he didn’t come.lol.
    He relented and was shocked at how good Kris and his band were live.He also loved Kris’s fun personality.It took 5 years but he finally became a fan.
    I love Kris with a full band and his energy level was incredible.Love his new music and my favorite keeps changing the more I listen.
    I enjoyed Caroline Glasser.her voice sounded great and she has a very engaging personality.My only problem was that all her songs were sad,I wish she mixed it up a little.She even joked about it when a child that was there fell asleep.She said she likes sad songs and she made her bed and will sleep in it.

  • MissMyEm

    I think music is very subjective for which people sometimes disagree so while I agree with you about Shut The Door, I disagree that anyone should have to prove their point. It’s simply a matter of musical taste.

  • nyc57

    There was no problem hearing her during her set.She did seem to have some problem during duet.Not sure why.

  • calico

    Off the top of my head songs Kris has written with strong hooks (e.g. phrase that is memorable on first listen): Alright With Me, My Weakness, Better With You, Shut That Door, Paul Simon, Don’t Set Me Free, and Beautiful & Wild. I like the hooks, but also appreciate the more subtle beauty of songs like Out Alive, Leave You Alone, In Time and It’s Always You. His CDs have been a lovely balanced combination of up-tempo, mid-tempo and slower songs. He’s got great musical sensibility.

  • nyc57

    Me too.it’s an earworm for me too.

  • Corrine43180

    Isn’t it the same management company he had for album #2?

  • elliegrll

    No one has to prove anything. My point was that it’s not hard to keep the topic about the music, instead of taking an critique of the music personally and countering it with a personal attack.

  • elliegrll

    Kris was still with 19 when the second album was released, but that contract ended less than a month or two after the album came out. The new management was able to do some promo for the album, but it was pretty much too late to do any good.

  • lovetheusa1776

    Just got a chance to listen to the new songs – Beautiful and Wild right now is my fav – so catchy – love it. Thanks for all the great vids, mj, – happy you made it through the snow.

  • buffyloverlori43

    Yeah am not sure about hooks either, but songs of Kris’s that I keep singing over and over is AWM, BWY, STD, It’s Always You, MW, and LMN. Everyone has their own way of detemining what attracts them to a singer. I think Kris has grown alot since his Idol time. I am so excited that I’ll be able to hear him sing these new songs on Friday, it’s going to be a really fun time and my son is so excited about it. My girls our too. After watching MJ’S vid’s am even more excited for Friday to get here. I agree with you elliegirl on not having to make a personal attack to show why you feel the way that you do on different subjects such as music, or what ever case it maybe.

  • Miz

    Saying that I couldn’t disagree with you more is not a personal attack.

  • Miz

    How cool is it that Kris talked your husband into coming to the show. :) I’m glad he finally got to see and hear what you’ve known all along.

  • elliegrll

    I was referring to the last sentence of the post. I don’t understand how any sentiments about the actual music could end up getting you in trouble.

  • MissMyEm

    Can’t blame your hubby for doing a 180 degree. Same happened with my friend’s hubby. Tagged a long because he didn’t really want her to go and now goes to every show with her because he really likes Kris. And very cool on Kris’ part to make that call.

  • nyc57

    It was very out of character for me to ask Kris to do something,but I was so annoyed by my husband’s stubborness and Kris was in such a talkative mood,commenting on my son & his girlfriend coming to the NYC concert,that i felt comfortable asking him.He actually seemed to get a big kick out of doing it.

  • nyc57

    It took a lot for him to say he was wrong. My husband does love music and live concerts,so he really did enjoy hmiself.

  • http://MJO judes

    Thanks so much MJ for posting the recap & videos. Yes I agree with Face , for those of us not in the US its the only opportunity we have of seeing him singing. Your videos both in sound & filming are so crisp & clear.

  • DavidL

    I love how many Kris Fans are still active here. Love these videos! Can’t wait for album 3