Kris Allen/Pia Toscano – PBS Memorial Day Concert – Washington, D.C. – May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everybody! Later on this evening, Kris Allen and Pia Toscano will be among the performers taking part in a concert broadcast live from the lawn of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Kris will be singing “God Bless the USA”, Pia will be performing the National Anthem and “I’ll Stand by You”, and both will take part in the closing group number, “America the Beautiful”.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time and will be shown live on many PBS stations across the country. It will also be broadcast overseas for U.S. military personnel. Please check your local PBS listings to see what time your local station will be airing the concert.

There is also a live feed of the concert online:

myworldwebcams
Memorial Day Concert 2011 Live Feed, DC Capitol Hill West Lawn Web Cam Stream http://t.co/8kep3hK

From the PBS website: For over two decades, PBS’s National Memorial Day Concert has led the nation in honoring the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all the fallen who have given their lives for our country. The multi award-winning event will be co-hosted for the sixth year by Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise (CSI:New York) and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), two acclaimed actors who have dedicated themselves to veterans causes and supporting our troops in active service. Joining them will be an all-star lineup of dignitaries, actors and musical artists.

Gary Sinise
Joe Mantegna
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
Kris Allen
Dianne Wiest
B.B. King
Hayley Westenra
Forest Whitaker
Jason Ritter
Pia Toscano
A.J. Cook
Daniel Rodriguez
Yolanda Adams
Maestro Jack Everly
The National Symphony Orchestra
Military District of Washington
U.S. Army Herald Trumpets
The U.S. Army Chorus
The Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band
U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters
U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants

 

In past years, this concert has drawn huge crowds, upwards of 300,000.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Here is the link to the twitter list that is run by @krisallenlists. If anyone knows of a similar list run by Pia fans, post the link in the comments and I’ll add it to this OP later.

http://twitter.com/#!/list/KrisAllenLists/memorialdayweekenddc

VIDEOS AFTER THE JUMP

Pia Toscano sings the National Anthem

Kris Allen Sings “God Bless the USA”

Pia Toscano Sings “I’ll Stand By You”

Kris performing “God Bless the USA” at Saturday’s dress rehearsal

Kris Allen- \”God Bless the USA\” (dress rehearsal)

credit: transplant42

  • tripp_ncwy

    Thanks, girlygirl. There is a live feed of the concert.

    myworldwebcams
    Memorial Day Concert 2011 Live Feed, DC Capitol Hill West Lawn Web Cam Stream http://t.co/8kep3hK

  • Masieta

    It is such an honor for Kris and Pia to be a part of this event. The vid of Kris’ rehearsal was amazing. I love that Kris is getting some great publicity.

    http://www.hollywoodnews.com/2011/05/29/%E2%80%9Camerican-idol%E2%80%9D-kris-allen-will-have-family-on-his-mind/

    Also, Here is a tweet from Aaron Sherinian, the Exec. Director of Communications and Public Affairs of the UN Foundation –

    ASherinian Aaron Sherinian
    Thanks @krisallen for all you do for @unfoundation and the #UN and inspiring #socialgood in people – great seeing you tonite in DC!

    Another awesome day in the life of a Kris’ fan.

  • McCreerian

    Good to see Pia getting her name out there even more. I hope she has nothing but success. She deserves it.

  • linsmile

    Thanks for the thread MJ and GG! :)

    This is a cool event – a great way to experience Memorial Day. Picture of Kris and Pia is cute. Kris has been quoted as saying he wants the focus to be on the service people, to honor them – and he will do that so well. Of course that’s point of the entire event. What a great opportunity for both Kris and Pia.

  • tripp_ncwy

    PToscanoAI10
    On my way to The National Memorial Day Concert to sing in honor of our troops! Please tune in to PBS at 8pm.. Miss you Grandpa, my marine

  • Tera2

    I like that pic of Pia and Kris together. They are 2 of my favorite contestants. Its nice they got to do this memorial day concert. That song fits Kris and he did it justice

  • tripp_ncwy

    The crowd gathers; http://twitpic.com/54d7eu

  • girlygirl

    Kris with his sound guy, Brian

    http://yfrog.com/gyxjxtrj

  • halo9125

    That Kris is a cutie- too bad I’m old enough to be his mother, lol.

  • stwbcross

    Kris is such a good guy. :)

  • tripp_ncwy

    Showtime in DC !!!!! :D

  • iluvai

    tripp_ncwy says:
    05/29/2011 at 7:22 pm

    The crowd gathers; http://twitpic.com/54d7eu

    Great picture. Red, white and blue!!! This is great for Pia and Kris!

  • tripp_ncwy

    Krisallenband
    #AMERICA everyone better have PBS on… http://yfrog.com/h7914lcj

  • Masieta

    Is anyone else able to see the live webcam linked above? It says it isn’t available to the public. I’m wondering if it is because I’m out of the country??

  • girlygirl

    Can anyone get the live stream to work? The local PBS station here isn’t showing concert until 8 p.m. West Coast time. The web cam stream isn’t working for me… :(

  • tripp_ncwy

    girlygirl, I am not sure. It looks like you might have to register.

  • jdanton2

    Pia started with the National Anthem. great job.

  • Dakota01

    My PBS station isn’t airing it (don’t see it on the schedule at all), and I can’t get the stream to work. Has Pia already sung the NA? I hope there’s vid. I bet she’ll do a great job.

  • cookbunny

    …and MY PBS station isn’t airing it until 8:30 central! They’re airing a series of battlefield documentaries right now instead. I get it’s Memorial Day and it’s the entire reason we HAVE a holiday, but come on!

  • halo9125

    I just tried girly it doesn’t work. :(

  • girlygirl

    Mic_Nas89 Michael Nassar
    Gary sinase at the memorial day concert
    3 minutes ago

    On my! Talking about 9/11 and how osama is dead! And about the navy seal team 6
    2 minutes ago

    pearlsNfootball Rachel Demaree
    Standing ovation for Seal Team 6 might’ve been the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in person. #DCsummer
    1 minute ago

    goflyajib Amy Schultz
    Pia Toscano just rocked the National Anthem from the steps of the Capitol. Beautiful! I’m so proud of her. Major pipes.
    6 minutes ago

    Gary_OC Gary
    Another amazing performance by @PToscanoAI10 singing the National Anthem – awesome job Pia!
    6 minutes ago

  • tripp_ncwy

    Yep, the webcam is not available even registering.

  • halo9125

    @Dakota- she was literally the first thing you saw- wearing a red dress, make-up toned down a bit, hair pulled back from her face- she was fantastic!

  • Trina

    OMG Pia’s NA! Perfection!

  • tripp_ncwy

    Pia did do a very good job of the NA.

  • cookbunny

    Screw it then, I guess I’ll watch when THEY want me to watch. *grumble* They won’t be getting a pledge from me this year, that’s for sure.

    BTW, I’m betting PBS has something to do with the webcam being down…more eyes on their station.

  • girlygirl

    well I’m sure vids will pop up later. The local PBS station here is showing the concert at 8pm West Coast time (sigh)

    photo of part of the crowd

    http://twitpic.com/54d7eu

  • jersey

    Pia did a nice job. Colin Powell is on now giving a thank you speech to the troops.

  • jersey

    Introducing Kris now.

  • girlygirl

    Kris should be singing any minute now…

  • iluvai

    Thanks everyone! Just turned on PBS and Kris is on!!!

  • iluvai

    Crap. This song always make me bawl like a baby!!!

  • jersey

    Kris walking through the audience and shaking hands and giving hugs to the military attendees.

  • girlygirl

    Sassycatz Sandra McDermin
    Kris and band! Here he is on PBS!
    2 minutes ago

    Colin Powell introduced Kris, calling him an “exciting new singer” :)

  • jersey

    Kris did a beautiful job.

  • girlygirl

    He must have done a good job :)

    dy7764
    Standing O!!!
    43 seconds ago

  • iluvai

    Kris did a beautiful job.

    Yes!!!!! I wish I had seen Pia too. Darn, not sure I can watch the rest of this show though. I get too emotional.

  • iluvai

    Girlygirl, that’s a fantastic picture of Pia and Kris up top!

  • girlygirl

    PToscanoAI10 Pia Toscano
    Wow! That was the most amazing feeling :) what an honor! wish my mom and dad were here <3 miss you guys!
    1 minute ago

  • halo9125

    OK- I am officially bawling my eyes out- my sweet Pia just tweeted me:

    PToscanoAI10 Pia Toscano
    @mshalo18 love u ms. I

  • girlygirl
  • girlygirl

    Pia will be singing her song later…supposedly she’s the last performer before the group number that ends the concert

  • girlygirl

    another shot of the crowd

    http://instagr.am/p/E6eXw/

  • iluvai

    Pia will be singing her song later…supposedly she’s the last performer before the group number that ends the concert

    I thought someone said she already sang. I’ll keep the show on if she is still going to perform. Otherwise I can’t take it. Oh so sad stuff.

  • ross

    Kris did a beautiful job.

    Thanks, Kris. Wonderful, a very moving moment with all the servicemen and women.

  • jdanton2

    I thought someone said she already sang. I’ll keep the show on if she is still going to perform. Otherwise I can’t take it. Oh so sad stuff.

    Pia will be singing I’ll Stand By You as well.

  • mamacitabaja

    Pia and Kris both did an exceptional job on their performances. You could tell they both were greatly honored to be included in this very experience. I, being a huge Kris fan was thrilled to see him be able to perform in front of such a large audience. Singing and hugging soldiers, he never missed a beat. I’m so proud of him right now. The crowd really appeared to be enjoying his song too. Having two brothers and a husband who have served our country makes this very real to me. Happy Memorial Day to you all!

  • iluvai

    Pia will be singing I’ll Stand By You as well.

    Great. And thanks girlygirl. Just realized you were posting tonight!

  • mamacitabaja

    Pia and Kris both did an exceptional job on their performances. You could tell they both were greatly honored to be included in this experience. I, being a huge Kris fan was thrilled to see him be able to perform in front of such a large audience. Singing and hugging soldiers, he never missed a beat. I’m so proud of him right now. The crowd really appeared to be enjoying his song too. Having two brothers and a husband who have served our country makes this very real to me. Happy Memorial Day to you all!

  • mamacitabaja

    Sorry, I posted twice, my bad.

  • NOLA

    I have watched this for many, many years. They have had lots of Idols performing, including Clay Aiken, Kat McPhee, Jordin Sparks, etc.

    God Bless all of our fallen soldiers/sailors who have died during battle to keep us free.

  • girlygirl
  • fuzzywuzzy

    Pia did a great job on the NA. Very nice. :)

    Clay sang at the Capitol 4th concert in DC.

  • girlygirl

    video of Pia and Kris posted in OP :)

  • songsungblue

    Didn’t think much of that, actually, and I thought that was right in her wheelhouse. Pia really shouts when she gets to her top register. I hope she works with a vocal coach on it – it’s like she clips the end of the notes. On the plus side, she looks very pretty in red :)

  • iluvai

    Pia did a beautiful job on N.A. She looked stunning in her red dress!

  • Masieta

    I did not follow this season of AI so have never seen Pia perform. Just watched the video and have to say I was very impressed. She did a great job!

  • iluvai

    BB King, “Alright, I’m ready to go!” Awwww……. Thank goodness for something a little up beat.

  • sagi

    Both Pia and Kris were awesome! :)

  • Sassycatz

    See where BB King and his band is tonight. I was just behind the ropes behind where he is last night watching the dress rehearsal. BB King was not there last night, but everyone else was.

  • rkt

    Pia did great. Can’t wait for the longer version of I’ll stand by you!

  • CindyM

    Pia did a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Her hands looked so white against the tan arms though..lol

  • tripp_ncwy

    MP3 Kris Allen “God Bless The USA” live PBS Memorial Day Concert.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?uts6natd6kvtkkw

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Nice job on GBTUSA by Kris. :)

  • CindyM

    Very nice Kris!!

  • TXsunshine001

    Kris sound and looked great! Between him & Adam I am really missing season 8. So happy Kris was asked to participate his emotions just shine through. Beautiful video

  • heidijoy

    Pia sang a nice rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and looked beautiful in her red dress.

    I was very moved during Kris’ rendition of God Bless the USA as he sang and greeted so many military.

    I worked for the US Army for quite a few years and they played that song frequently. I was working on 9-11 and will remember not believing what I was hearing and not wanting to watch it on TV. Over the years I’ve seen the tremendous sacrifice the soldiers and their families make.

    This tribute is so important and meaningful.

  • readon

    Kudos to Kris for a truly touching performance. Way to go. Way to honor the troops. Vocally, inspiring.

  • http://www.groupon.com/r/uu4472596 tammyinohio

    Pia sounded amazing and looked gorgeous as ever!!

  • iluvai

    That actress whose died dad in Vietnam was very moving. I mean her story was moving. I remember being a little kid in 1974 (ish) and my class singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” because of the Vietnam war. All the moms had bracelets with the names of POW’s and MIA’s.

  • Kirkee

    I really enjoyed Kris singing God Bless the USA. The way he hugged those soldiers just really seemed moving to me. And genuine.

  • Kirsten

    Kris sounded great. How ever did he manage to give all those hugs and still keep singing? LOL.

    Pia looks absolutely gorgeous. I like her hair better this way than the way she wore it on Idol. She has a very rich tone.

    Man, that audience is HUGE!

  • iluvai

    Pias on t.v. again! She has that sweet grateful look on her face after performing that Adam used to have.

  • Masieta

    I just watched the video of Kris. What a wonderful welcoming of the troops he did for all of us. I am so proud. He was moving practically the whole time and didn’t miss a beat. And all those servicemen and women got the famous Kris Allen hug!! Love it!

  • sagi

    Pia sounded awesome on Stand By You! It seems the audience really appreciated it as well. I got to admit, that song is powerful when sung convincingly, and brings tears to my eyes. *reaches for tissues*

  • halo9125

    So aggravated that PBS cut God Bless America- they should be shot.

  • Pam

    I enjoyed both of Pia’s performances but my favorite of the night was Kris. Seeing each of those servicemen and women reach out for those hugs was very moving. Kris did an outstanding job. That was definitely a tissue moment for me.

  • Mtlfan

    Pia and Kris did very good!!! :)
    Kris’s performance was touching!

  • Elliegrll

    Pia’s AI performance of “I’ll Stand By You” was a lot better than what she did tonight, but it was the perfect song to close out the show. She did do an amazing job on the National Anthem.

  • easyrider707

    Not a big fan of Pia NA. Same as show for me. Musically, she jnust does not do anything for me. She is a very fine looking girl.

  • crisanne

    like kris performance and he really looking good :)

  • halo9125

    Pia’s AI performance of “I’ll Stand By You” was a lot better than what she did tonight

    The arrangement seemed a bit different- ever so slightly more uptempo, which I didn’t particularly care for- but to me she’ll always be the awesomest :)

  • Dlynne

    I loved Kris’ performance! I have to admit to tearing up a little during it. Very, very nice.

  • tomk

    Feel kinda weird critiquing a performance on a night that shouldn’t be about the performance – but I guess that is part of the reason why we are on the blog.

    I think the issue with “I’ll Stand By You” is that it is her signature song right now. Kinda like Haley with Bennie & The Jets. Obviously, neither has new material to work with so they are going to do the songs that made them “famous” (and “I’ll Stand By You” was appropriate for the occasion, of course).

    In any case, Pia always looks great. I don’t think there is anything that can be done to not make her look great; well, unless Gwen Stefani gets her hands on her of course.

  • iluvai

    tomk:

    I didn’t see your critique. But I agree, I’m not into critiquing anything tonight. That PBS show got me straight through the heart.

  • Buffynut

    That may be the best female singer Star Spangled Banner I have ever heard! Wow!

  • http://www.comcast.net KAT80

    Wow, this was really an emotional show. I thought that both Kris and Pia did an amazing job. I loved how Kris greeted so many of the military while singing GBTUSA; it was very touching and he didn’t miss a beat. Pia looked absolutely gorgeous and both of her songs were sung beautifully. I think it is great that AI performers get this type of platform to showcase their vocals because so many people will see them and hopefully remember who they are. I really enjoyed the show and their performances.

  • Neil

    Thanks for posting the videos. Great job by both Kris and Pia.

    There were some commentaries in Kris’ thread on TWoP that said he was headlining this whole gig and that Pia was merely just his opening act. There was also insistence that Kris somehow is this industry veteran who will be a great mentor to Pia. And claims were made that apparently the only media, industry buzz Pia is getting is her relationship with Mark Ballas???

  • iani

    Very moving show and Pia and Kris did good jobs! Have a great day everyone of remembering , honoring the service and sacrifice of the men and women in uniform!
    I remember myself what my grandma told me when I was a child, both my grand-grandpas died in the same day, same battle on WWI and everyone left 7 small kids orphaned(by death of father) and wives(grand-grandmas) never married again. Great to have a day to remember wherever we are!

  • JackedUp

    Kris’s performance was yo pitchy dawg! ouch. I liked Pia though she did a good job.

  • Pixie Baker

    Just LOVED Kris and his performance….talk about warmth….talk about genuine feeling….I have missed seeing him…and this is what he does best!

  • Lucy1234

    Pia sounded fantastic for sure and I love Kris performance also. They both did great.

  • ross

    I’m not sure what the injuries were of one or two of the vets who hugged Kris were, but seeing those hugs was really moving. Nice how Kris kept singing the whole time!

    Pia sang very well and I think this meant a lot to her. Both of them. Great moment for Idol.

  • erl

    What a beautiful and inspiring program for Kris to be a part of. He gave an amazing performance while showing appreciation for the service men and women – wonderful job of singing while hugging.

  • girlygirl

    Both did great. I do find Pia’s arm movements when she sings a little distracting, but she sounded really good.

    Too bad PBS cut the concert off instead of showing the last group number

  • gabriel oak

    Kris’s performance was yo pitchy dawg! ouch. I liked Pia though she did a good job

    .

    I didn’t find him off-pitch at all. What’s amazing about Kris is that he can bring sincerity and freshness to anything, even this patriotic song which has been played so many times over the radio. I thought he did a fine job and he looked classy, too, though he must have been sweltering in that suit. Plus he didn’t miss a beat hugging all the military members in the audience.

  • iluvai

    Kris’s performance was yo pitchy dawg! ouch. I liked Pia though she did a good job

    .

    I didn’t find him off-pitch at all. What’s amazing about Kris is that he can bring sincerity to anything, even this unsubtle patriotic song. I thought he did a fine job and he looked classy, too, though he must have been sweltering in that suit. Plus he didn’t miss a beat hugging all the military members in the audience.

    After hearing over and over that someone (insert any name) is pitchy, I am at a loss as to what that means anymore. I thought Kris sounded great.

  • NOLA

    Buffynut says:
    05/29/2011 at 9:56 pm
    That may be the best female singer Star Spangled Banner I have ever heard! Wow!

    IMO, that would be Whitney Houston’s performance during the Super Bowl in Houston, after 9/11.

  • halo9125

    After hearing over and over that someone (insert name) is pitchy, I am at a loss as to what that means anymore. I thought Kris sounded great.

    Agreed-I have nothing but the utmost respect for Kris Allen after his performance tonight- I think he did great as well.

  • ross

    What’s amazing about Kris is that he can bring sincerity and freshness to anything, even this patriotic song which has been played so many times over the radio.

    I like Kris for that, too. I never even liked this song, but when he sang it, I did.

  • weareallinnocent

    I’m no Kris Allen fan, but I don’t see how you criticize his performance tonight. Unless, of course, you’re heartless. (pun intended :-) )

    Seriously, that was heartwrenchingly good. Way to go Kris.

    Pia’s NA was good, but the final song fell short for me. Cutting off the finale was a huge fail, too!

    Overall, very moving tribute, as always.

  • gabriel oak

    I like Kris for that, too. I never even liked this song, but when he sang it, I did.

    I agree, he made the song “his own.” I hope this helps bring him more fans. It’s obvious Kris could be a big success being a country singer but he’s taken a different path (which I’m personally happy about).

  • sleepinin

    I thought they both did a really good job, and Kris just moved me by singing to and hugging the veterans in the crowd. I loved seeing them reach out to hug him too. Beautiful job.

  • TwigLA

    I still have a little over a half hour till it comes on out here, but I was able to listen to it live online. The whole show was very moving and most of the performances were outstanding.

    I have to tell you I was almost surprised how fantastic Kris sounded. I know he’s good and I love his voice and how he interprets songs, but I’m usually watching him sing online. It was a totally different experience. His voice is so rich and full of emotion. Just beautiful.

    I had my twitter on a search page of ‘Kris Allen’ and the only negative I saw was from someone complaining about him hugging the troops and invading their personal space. Looking at the videos posted, he went and shook their hands first and they reached out to hug him. He of course, returned the hugs. Odd how some people will find fault in any little thing.

    Anyway, it all was very moving.

    Pia sounded good and that was a good choice of songs for her to sing on this occasion.

    ETA: One person tweeted ‘why have I never heard of Kris Allen before? I’m a late to arrive fan now.

  • FaithfulFan

    Kudos to Kris for making his performance all about the military men/women. They sure seemed eager to hug him! That was very moving to watch and I’m sure it was emotional for Kris as well. I thought he did a great job and Gen Colin Powell gave him a very nice introduction. This show was a real tear jerker! How can you not appreciate the men and women serving in the military after watching that.

  • 1234mlb

    I was in the concert, first time seeing and listening to Kris, He is so handsome I had no idea, his performance was very good for me the best of all, Pia’s voice is nothing special in my opinion.

  • nekola

    Just got back from the concert. The entire evening was very moving and poignant. I thought Kris did an excellent job. Loved that he hugged the service men and women. I don’t particularly care for that song, but he certainly did an admirable job performing it. Pia was very good too with the NA. I left a little early so I didn’t see her second performance. In all the years of living in the DC area, that was the first time I’ve been to the Memorial Day concert. Looking to forward to going again next year.

  • tibitibis

    I just saw Kris in TV and he did a very beautiful job with that song, that was a sweet and moving moment!! :)

    I agree he looked handsome and Pia beautiful!!

  • hoosiermama

    Family activities prevented me from seeing the entire concert, but what I saw was very well done and so moving.

    Pia sang her heart out and I’m sure made some new fans tonight. And she looked gorgeous!

    But Kris—I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of him! I love that song and I loved how he sang it. His voice was beautiful and his interaction with the veterans was heartwarming to watch. I was happy to see it twice as my station broadcast the concert back to back (I was much more relaxed the second time since I already knew he had done well).

    Colin Powell’s intro was awesome, too. I’m glad he mentioned that Kris had worked with the USO before.

    I was sorry the final song was cut—will it be on the pbs website?

    ETA: Thanks GG for the thread!

  • merkureye

    TOMK:

    I don’t think there is anything that can be done to not make [Pia] look great; well, unless Gwen Stefani gets her hands on her of course.

    Amen. That is hilarious! Pia did a great job on the NA. Good for her.

  • tibitibis

    I don’t think there is anything that can be done to not make [Pia] look great; well, unless Gwen Stefani gets her hands on her of course.

    LOL , but true ha, ha.

  • mamacitabaja

    I was happy to see it twice as my station broadcast the concert back to back (I was much more relaxed the second time since I already knew he had done well).

    Hi, hoosiermama! Me too. I watched it back to back also. My husband asked me if my “boy” had sung yet, and I told him it was being rerun when the first airing was over. He asked me to let him know when it was on so he could watch it too. He was really impressed, much like he was when we saw Kris in concert. I’ve watched the video again already. So good!

  • Boffo the Wonder Sheep

    I think the show ran long due to BB King’s guitar not working – his adlibbing seemed to go on forever. Hopefully the PBS website will include the final group number, like hoosiermama speculated.

    Fantastic and moving job, Kris! It was nice to see the crowd singing along, too (and glad to see Kris got to meet the subject of his childhood essay). Thanks GG, MJ and Happy Memorial Day to all!

  • Ratna12

    I deliberately did not see video online because I don’t want to get spoiled.

    Kris just finished singing on my big TV.
    Standing ovation from me. So great !
    I LOVE the cry in his voice, love it.
    I think he was pretty emotional too a couple times.

    And how great to see the band there ( except for Ryland).

  • lifeisgood

    Kris looked and sounded beautiful!

  • Fe

    Kris blew me away with his version of God Bless the USA — was not really a fan of his, but I am now. He sounded and looked so good. Pia’s rendition of NA was stunning, loved it.

  • FaithfulFan

    I think he was pretty emotional too a couple times.

    ratna I thought the same thing when he was hugging the soldier in the camo suit and beret.

    I re-watched the video and this time was looking at the people instead of Kris and they were smiling and really seemed to enjoy that he came off the stage to them. I’m really glad he did that. It made me smile to see them looking so happy.

  • jammasta

    Don’t care much for SSB, but I had to watch God Bless the U.S.A. and I’ll Stand By You. Very moving from both, awesome job Pia and Kris. Kris reminded me of why he’s my favorite winner (probably tied with Scotty).

  • jammasta

    That actress whose died dad in Vietnam was very moving. I mean her story was moving.

    No kidding. I teared up a little, which hasn’t happened much lately.

  • Parkbench

    But Kris—I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of him! I love that song and I loved how he sang it. His voice was beautiful and his interaction with the veterans was heartwarming to watch.

    I agree! The interaction with the veterans were so nice. The veterans looked so happy to see Kris interact with them! He sounded amazing, too.

    Pia sounded so good too. It was great seeing these two performing again especially for an event like this because they got to honor the veterans!

  • Eileen99

    Kris did a great job tonight, these kinds of emotional performances are really his strong suit. Very nicely done, although I’m not sure how he did all the hand-shaking & hugging while still focusing on the song, either. Good job by KAB, too; I thought the arrangement was great.

  • Desdemona

    Loved Kris tonight! Pia’s high notes are so screechy – both songs. I was not impressed! It’s a little like Kat McPhee, who has a beautiful voice, except when she hits the high notes and then she’s screechy. Pia screams hers more than Kat does, but neither are pleasant. Kat’s also more animated, as well as way prettier.

    Didn’t Taylor do this Memorial Day Concert a couple of years ago – three maybe? I remember he did it, but not the year.

  • Ratna12

    Boo, they cut off America The Beautiful.
    I thought usually PBS can go long (over the half hour mark).

  • tomk

    Finally got around to watching Kris’ performance of God Bless the USA. Very good rendition. The one thing I have said about Kris is that he truly comes off as believable and genuine when he performs.

  • tomk

    Desdemona –

    I think Pia’s voice is better than Kat’s overall; but I can at least see where you are going with the critique. She has to be careful not to oversing her notes; just because you can reach so high doesn’t mean you always should.
    But I am still a fan – I think one thing I see with Pia is potential. She is belting out the big notes because right now that is kind of her calling card – I think eventually, we’ll see her dialing it back when needed. I am most anxious to see what a few of the Idols do with original material…though I realize that it will be a while before we hear them do so.

  • Q3

    tomk says:
    05/30/2011 at 12:43 am

    Finally got around to watching Kris’ performance of God Bless the USA. Very good rendition. The one thing I have said about Kris is that he truly comes off as believable and genuine when he performs.

    I agree. Very nice performance but Kris adds something real to these performances. I like it.

    I am a Pia fan but I was a bit disappointed in her.

  • songsungblue

    Weirdly off performance of Stand By You by Pia. Shallow breathing to begin, and then extremely screechy final notes, plus her white dress made her look sort of heavy. [She needs to lose that pageant arm]. I don’t know, maybe she was nervous?

    Kris was pretty good though. I don’t know, I don’t find him very memorable for some reason, although I like when he performs.

  • Ever_wonder_why

    Kris did a phenomenal job with God Bless The USA. It is one of those songs that the emotion and phrasing is so important to get the message across… and boy did Mr. Allen deliver. :)

    I don’t think Kris had a choice in getting all those hugs and chest bumps! The mutual respect was very obvious.

    I thought Pia did a great job. To me she seemed a little overwhelmed maybe..like she still could not believe where she was! I don’t blame her, this was a big deal she got to be part of!

  • Triskel4

    Really just fabulous on the part of everyone involved. Generally I’m not the overly emotional type or even the overly patriotic type, but that had me a little verklempt

  • fanaround

    Kris did a great job. That is my least favorite patriotic song, but I really enjoyed his delivery, and the way he shook hands with the service members. I also loved the way he said a special welcome home to those who have just come back. It was a great (and typically under the radar) way to acknowledge his brother-in-law’s recent return without naming, and thereby making the song about Kris’ family rather than about the people there. Well done. And four stars for the suit and hair cut. I also though Pia’s performance of the NA was fantastic and she looked amazing.

  • pfan

    I attended the concert, and Pia was great on both songs tonight. You could see people shaking their heads in appreciation when she hit and held the high notes. Pitch perfect as usual. Afterwards she hung around the stage to greet some people and take pictures. She was very gracious and was the last performer tonight to leave the stage. And she looked great as well. Good luck on her career.

  • ray1

    Was not into all about Pia during AI BUT having said that-seriously, it just goes to show how silly our AI has become!…Pia has singing ability way beyond any of the top 5 and she was voted out at the near beginning?(we talk about her being to still, not moving, her dresses, etc???)….If we all are reaL-IT has become a popularity contest with massive repeat power votes,pimping,fodder for expressing OUR opinions, etc-NOT a real singing contest!!!!….I am becoming tired of what was once a great show.

  • Ratna12

    fanaround: It was a great (and typically under the radar) way to acknowledge his brother-in-law’s recent return without naming, and thereby making the song about Kris’ family rather than about the people there.

    I did not know that. Thanks for the info.

    Pia was great too, she hit her high notes.
    I think the more she sings, hopefully the more she will just let go and don’t think too much about hitting the big notes.
    I saw one of the red carpet interview before the big idol finale , and she said that she always has to concentrate on hitting the big high notes on all her songs.

    I think that she has the goods to do it, just don’t stress about it too much, so that she can let the emotion comes through more on her songs.

  • springboard

    Both Kris and Pia did a great job, and I am not a fan of either!

  • karrahbrooke

    That performance from Kris was so heartwarming to watch. That man is such a gem.

  • Junior

    Very moving performances. I shed a few tears watching these.

  • Triskel4

    nvm

  • Ratna12

    Kris got the grandma vote.

    emilygassman: my 82 year old grandma just called me to tell me @KrisAllen was on PBS and he was so handsome and made her proud to be an american! yesss!

  • girlygirl

    some pics from @xoxemjayxox

    B.B. King

    http://twitpic.com/54hrob

    Kris

    http://twitpic.com/54hslp

    Kris in the crowd

    http://twitpic.com/54htda

  • x57x

    Both Pia and Kris did an excellent job. I loved both of their performances.

  • Suzanne

    I always think this show every year is a little corny. And it’s becoming an Idol tradition. Isn’t someone from Ai on it every year?

    It’s been a short-lived admiration , but I’m kind of over Pia. She stands still with her big ol’ voice and sings it straight and that’s it. Yawn.

    I love kris, but there was no finish to the song at all. He should have quit shaking hands to re-engage with us at the end.

  • Grammie Kari

    Both Pia and Kris did a wonderful job, and I felt proud for them. Pia experienced more exposure on this program than anything Idol could come up with. Smart move on whomever made the decision to0 have her sing. What a good voice she has. Isn’t Kris just a sweetheart?

  • tripp_ncwy
  • tripp_ncwy

    Mark Ballas, Leeann Tweeden, Pia Toscano & Joe Mantegna
    http://lockerz.com/s/106098344

    ETA:
    MarkBallas
    And back to LA for a minute :)
    Mon 30 May 7:30

  • poster

    Kris’ performance…beautiful. (wiping tears) So touching. I love Kris. He’s always so passionate when he sings. He did a great job.

  • TwigLA

    That actress whose died dad in Vietnam was very moving. I mean her story was moving.

    It wasn’t the actress’ dad. The actors were doing dramatic readings of survivors’ stories. The woman she hugged in the audience was the actual daughter. Gary Sinese hugged the soldier who was her father’s comrade.

    They all were very moving, but that one hit me the hardest.

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  • nk1219

    Loved all the video’s! Thanks MJ for getting this for us!
    Kris Allen is a class act! Loved his rendition of God Bless the USA.

    Pia Toscano also a class act! She sounded beautiful and looked it as well. So glad she is doing so well after her run on AI.

    I find it so enjoyable to see these AI contestants after the show is over and doing well in their craft.

  • tripp_ncwy

    FoxNews has been showing clips this morning from Kris’ performance last night —calling it the performance inspirational!

  • luly

    Kris did a wonderful job.

  • lucysfave

    Pia Toscano also a class act! She sounded beautiful and looked it as well. So glad she is doing so well after her run on AI.

    Wow! She sounded and looked amazing. I have no doubt the Idol machine will be behind her and giving her other great opportunities like this one.

    I also enjoyed Kris, but the difference in the staging and camera work for the two artists was quite striking. Pia is headed for the big stage.

  • Pixie Baker

    For me, Pia has a good voice but she lacks performance. She doesn’t seem genuine or something….like she is forcing the emotion. What Kris lacks in his voice (IMO), he makes up in his genuine performance. He became one of my fav in season 8 b/c of who is seemed to be…not so much of a singer….his personality definitely made be like him!

  • http://www.dancin.ca dancin

    wow kris is just so wonderful and his performance had so much more emotion and “real” in it

    pia great singing… but emotionally vacant for me

  • tja928

    We get it, some of you don’t like Pia. You think you’d get tired of complaining about the same thing over and over and over again.

    They were singing at a Memorial Day concert to honor our vets, take a break

  • desiree_chick

    We get it, some of you don’t like Pia. You think you’d get tired of complaining about the same thing over and over and over again.

    They were singing at a Memorial Day concert to honor our vets, take a break

    I know! There really hasn’t been a voice like Pia’s in awhile on Idol, and to know that the industry has been devoid of natural talented voices, where most artists has to be autotuned, and we are excusing so much performers for their horrible offkey performances live, you would think the chick would get some respect. Yes, she needs lots of work, but don’t they all? Anyway, bless Pia, I believe she is trying, and hopefully she can figure out her nerves and learn to better command the stage in time.

    I loved what Kris did last night, the performance was great. Bless him too, I hope the best for his next album.

  • car3278sweet

    We get it, some of you don’t like Pia. You think you’d get tired of complaining about the same thing over and over and over again.

    They were singing at a Memorial Day concert to honor our vets, take a break

    Ah. Yeah. Pia’s got a powerful instrument. She does need some work on performance stuff, but that’s teachable. You cannot teach a voice like that. You either have it or not.

    And gee. I must be all kinds of odd, but “I’ll Stand By You” made me tear up. Even listening to this supposedly unemotional robot singing it. Beats me how that happened.

  • Barbiedoll

    I love Pia’s voice, but it will remain to be seen what kind of music she will record. It she goes the “Mariah Carey” route of contemporary R&B, I will love that. But, if she goes the “Celine Dion” route of diva, pop music, I will hate that.

    I love Kris Allen! He is an awesome singer and perfomer!

  • halo9125

    She does need some work on performance stuff, but that’s teachable. You cannot teach a voice like that. You either have it or not.

    I read somewhere (it may have been the interview she gave to People magazine) that they are working with her on stage command, dance, etc. I think it will take awhile for it to become second nature to her, and at first she’ll probably revert to old habits, but she’ll be fine.

  • windmills

    Thanks MJ for the videos!

    Kris’s performance was really endearing. Also on a technical note he sounds like a stronger singer, more in control of his voice. I heard the note bobbles too but it was clear that was just because of his hugging spree. Which by the way was awesome. It could’ve been cheesy or pandering but you could tell he was really warm and sincere about it.

    I wish Pia had sped up her national anthem a little bit and slowed down ISBY. But props to her for keeping up with ISBY because that was really hard and a lesser singer would’ve lost her breath and the notes. She sang really well. You could tell how nervous she was but she fought her way through that. I hope she keeps working because I see the potential for her to grow into someone who could make her mark in music.

    Great job by both Pia and Kris honoring our veterans and representing Idol.

  • ross

    Kris did a great job. That is my least favorite patriotic song, but I really enjoyed his delivery, and the way he shook hands with the service members. I also loved the way he said a special welcome home to those who have just come back. It was a great (and typically under the radar) way to acknowledge his brother-in-law’s recent return without naming, and thereby making the song about Kris’ family rather than about the people there. Well done.

    The welcome home message was for everyone, he didn’t make the song about his own family. I don’t think that was the intention. But I agree with the rest of what you wrote!

  • tati83

    Kris what a charmer. He did great and Pia was just flawless. Wow her voice always gets me. She is so talented :)

  • fanaround

    Just listened to Pia ISBY. It was great! I hadn’t been able to get the video to work before. She must have been nervous before that huge crowd. And I meant that Kris didn’t make it about his family – he was honoring everyone. I only knew about his brother-in-law from one of the interviews at the finale.

  • Tess

    and to know that the industry has been devoid of natural talented voices, where most artists has to be autotuned,

    I think this is rather a grand sweeping statement with very little validity in fact. For the most part the vast majority of current singers do have great voices and are very talented from GaGa, Adele, Pink, Buble, Carrie, Kelly most of the country greats, Lambert, even idol alums like Allen and Bowersox. Sure, many hip hop artists aren’t the best Singers and there are always “celebrities” who think they can sing (Paris) or darn good song-writers who can’t (Taylor). But I don’t think Pia is in anyway an anomaly or something out of the ordinary. In fact her problem may be that she is just ordinary…a singer with a great voice and very little else to add to the equation.

  • halo9125

    Granted, this thread is older, and not only about Pia- BUT- 162 comments? Only 15 comments on the Scotty at Disney World post (I do believe he won Idol, lol). I didn’t count, but I would guess that more than half of the comments here are about Pia- so clearly there is something about her that gets people talking, whether it be positive or negative.

  • ross

    And I meant that Kris didn’t make it about his family – he was honoring everyone. I only knew about his brother-in-law from one of the interviews at the finale.

    That’s what I figured. Hope it didnt sound like I was being picky – I was just hoping to clarify it a little. :)

    I didn’t hear that, about his brother in law, so the info was much appreciated. Thanks, fanaround.

  • Tess

    Oh..if only success could be guaranteed by response to a blog….how easy a career would be.

  • ross

    Anyone know if the finale performance footage turned up anywhere? I saw a picture of the rehearsal, where the whole cast was back onstage to sing at the end, with Yolanda Adams.

  • Boffo the Wonder Sheep

    Ross, the closest thing is a youTube partial video of the finale rehearsal from Saturday night:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47XD0iKjXtE

  • ross

    That’s good – thanks a lot, Boffo.

    What surprised me was that PBS cut the show off at @9:27 and then ran a commercial for PBS for about 2 minutes. I think they could have skipped that! But I don’t know how live TV works; I suppose affiliates needed the commercial there, for timing purposes? Anyhow, I wish they had let the show run until 9:30, or longer if necessary.

  • colette

    Kris sounded great! Anyone else notice how strong his voice is, how clear and true in his upper register? And to sing like that and walk around hugging people? hey, that’s not easy, folks…..

  • Ratna12

    FoxNews has been showing clips this morning from Kris’ performance last night —calling it the performance inspirational!

    Fox and Friends at 3:00am- 6:00am. 

    “An Ameican Idol put on a patriotic performance at the National Memorial Day Concert”
    -Footage of Kris singing while hugging the servicemen and women.
    “Idol winner, Kris Allen was among the entertainers to honor our heroes, while retired Gen. Colin Powell thank all who served” 
    -Footage of Colin Powell talking.

    About 1.5 hours later, before going to the commercial, “…but first American Idol, Kris Allen with a patriotic performance last night outside the Capitol”

    -Footage of Kris singing and hugging and then there is a service woman saying hi to her family from Asia while Kris still singing in the background, and footage of Kris still singing until the commercial. 

  • Falfor

    Proud to be a fan of Kris. He really is building quite a career and reputation. Slow and steady.

  • ross

    Kris sounded great! Anyone else notice how strong his voice is, how clear and true in his upper register? And to sing like that and walk around hugging people? hey, that’s not easy, folks…..

    Oh, yeah, I noticed. :) Not that it might mean much coming from a fan, I suppose. But his sound reminded me of when I’ve seen him live. He’s just got a really sweet instrument, there.

    And yeah – to walk off the stage, shake hands and hug people while holding a mike and singing? Can’t be easy. Reminds me of when he does Come Together, in the audience. Usually never misses a beat or note. I often wonder how he does that. But here it was an emotional song and situation, w/ several hundred thousand people watching, on live TV. Good work.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Being such a fan of the tv show Criminal Minds, this must have been one of the many thrills for Kris.

    Kris & AJ Cook (She will be returning to the show next season)
    http://yfrog.com/h8byexxj

  • TwigLA

    Kris and Cale heading home this morning http://twitpic.com/54pz9r

  • tripp_ncwy

    Lots of behind the scenes photos;
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150198958764500.325685.579334499

    The missing finale number;
    Photo1
    Photo2

  • MayMirabella

    I had tears in my ears when Kris was greeting and hugging the men and women in uniform.

    Wow Pia has the pipes to sing the National Anthem…amazingly good.

  • hoosiermama

    I love kris, but there was no finish to the song at all. He should have quit shaking hands to re-engage with us at the end.

    I disagree. I’m glad that he continued to shake every last hand of the servicemen/woman who were there, even if it meant he didn’t have time to get back on stage to end the song. And I’m sure all the military personnel there appreciated his personal touch–I know I did.

    Hi mamacitabaja!

  • RockiDreams

    Pia is awesome and so is Kris. I enjoyed both. Oh and Pia, thank you for not screaming, growling, yodeling, twitching your hips, rapping, or doing a jig.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Kris with Yolanda Adams http://flic.kr/p/9NBREs

    Continue to forward for additional pics of Pia.

  • Falfor

    Just rewatched and realized Kris got a standing O. Then they moved the cameras to the big stage. Go Kris.

  • jasmine

    I’m glad that he continued to shake every last hand of the servicemen/woman who were there, even if it meant he didn’t have time to get back on stage to end the song. And I’m sure all the military personnel there appreciated his personal touch–I know I did.

    Me too, hoosiermama! (By the way, hello to you, hoosiermama!)

  • x57x

    I’m glad that he continued to shake every last hand of the servicemen/woman who were there, even if it meant he didn’t have time to get back on stage to end the song. And I’m sure all the military personnel there appreciated his personal touch–I know I did.

    That was pure class. I noticed that too. Any service man or woman who got up, even in the middle of the seating, Kris would stop, shake their hand and hug them.

    PURE CLASS.

  • abl890
  • dusty

    What a treat to have the vids of both Kris and Pia’s performances! Thank you, MJ! One of my PBS stations replayed the show tonight and I was able to see it on tv and rewatch it a few times.

    Kris embodied GBT USA when he went out to shake hands and hug the service members. There is no artifice with him. And you could just see the respect he was getting from the service men and women. People from rows back were reaching out to him! I am so proud of his choice to step off the stage and actually stand up next to the service men and women. I felt he was doing it for all of us and I was a puddle by the end of the song. He was a great choice to sing that song because of the way he delivered it in all aspects. Many singers could stand behind the mic and just sing it. I also think the crowd had respect for his USO, etc. work.

    Kris leaves me wanting more!

    I was proud of Pia, too, for forging ahead after the announcer screwed up her name and singing the SSB like a champ. What a coup for her to get to be on that program so soon after AI.

  • Grammie Kari

    Indeed, it was a coup for Pia in that millions of people who don’t watch Idol actually now know who Pia is. Both songs were terrific. Kris is so likeable and also did a nice job!

    It was rude of PBS to interrupt and end the show in the middle of Yolanda Adams’ number, plus we did get to see the Finale. Not cool…

  • J9BT

    colette says:

    05/30/2011 at 1:09 pm

    Kris sounded great! Anyone else notice how strong his voice is, how clear and true in his upper register? And to sing like that and walk around hugging people? hey, that’s not easy, folks…..

    Kris is such a natural performer, always able to stay true to himself while capturing the true essence of the moment. I honestly don’t know how he was able to maintain his tone and pitch while walking around, shaking hands and being firmly hugged by service men and women, but he did.

    He moved me with this performance, and it was quite obvious he moved everyone there considering he had people reaching out for him, and received a standing O.

  • druzilla

    Kris’ voice seemed a stronger.

    Pia’s SSB was slow and lifeless. She needs to figure out what to do with her arms too. She’s a dime-a-dozen ‘diva.’

  • Jae

    Excellent Pia! Accapella and perfect.

  • dy77

    I went to the rehearsal with a few other Kris fans and I’ll admit I stifled a giggle during the anthem when Pia did her arm thing. It’s just too stagey, sorry. That said, she sounded fine on both songs. They did not botch her name in rehearsal.

    Neither Admiral Mullins nor BB King rehearsed, and that probably threw off the timing and caused the actual show to run long. Which is a shame, because the actual finale was the group performance of America the Beautiful and in rehearsal, it was really great.

    And do I even need to say how proud I am to be a fan of Kris? He did a great job both in rehearsal and in the live show.

  • dy77

    Here’s a video from an audience member for Kris – great perspective on the audience hugs and the Andrew and Torres fans should appreciate it as well:
    http://youtu.be/Qw1sq9L49XM

    *Editing to add the same person also went to rehearsal and got a great video of that performance as well – check their channel.

  • mrsdarcy

    Call it brotherly, friendly, loving, patriotic hug, Kris’ gesture equals to love in engaging with People!

    He could have just stood there and waved, but, he didn’t!!

    Beautiful rendition of a song. Almost just like the first time I watched him sing, only more confident.

    Great going Kris!
    and so with Pia, she did a good job.

    There’s only one MJ! thanks ever for the vids.

  • Seeker

    That was a lovely and genuine performance by Kris.

  • hoosiermama

    (By the way, hello to you, hoosiermama!)

    Right back at ya, jasmine!

    And thanks, dy77 for your recap and video.

    I guess Kris fans have a break now until the Alive concert at the end of June. Hopefully some tweets will pop up before then from the Nashville folks Kris will be writing with (and hopefully they write some great songs!). It’s hard to go back into Kris withdrawal!

  • Ratna12

    And thanks, dy77 for your recap and video.

    Same here, thank you.

    I finally saw the rehearsal video and there were only a couple people to hug. Somehow on the actual performance, Kris hugged everybody who stood up and had perfect timing to end the song.
    And how great is that, that Kris ended the song facing to the crowd on the other side (behind the band).

    So, Kris worked the crowd on all sides. Awesome.

    I’ve been playing the mp3 in my car on repeats. That voice .

  • dy77

    hoosiermama and Ratna, you’re welcome! It was a fun day. I’m not a great photographer and really KAB came out of nowhere so no time to set up settings, but if you’d like to see my photos from the day, they are posted here.

    I was just saying to someone on twitter that just seeing Kris sing one song in a rehearsal gave me an energy boost; can’t imagine a whole show! Hope we will get some one-offs besides the Alive festival and definitely hoping for good info out of his time in Nashville (and maybe, just maybe, a secret Sirk show?)

  • washyourhands

    I think Kris did an amazing job. That performance was really touching. If that doesn’t make you tear up, i don’t know what will. LOVE being a Kris fan.

  • hoosiermama

    I’ve been playing the mp3 in my car on repeats.

    Ratna12–whoa, I missed that! Please share! *waves* :-)

  • Ratna12

    tripp_ncwy says:

    MP3 Kris Allen “God Bless The USA” live PBS Memorial Day Concert.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?uts6natd6kvtkkw

    Here you go hoosiermama.
    If you just listen to his voice, you still can tell it is sung by Kris Allen. Amazing that he can just make any song his own.