A downsized version of the American Idol Live 37 city tour kicks off tonight in Clearwater, Florida. Traditionally, the summer tour included the Top 10 finalists. But in the wake of low attendance on the last couple of tours, the show has cut it down to the Top 5 finalists: Winner Nick Fradiani, runner-up, Clark Beckham, Jax, Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones. Joey Cook will be opening for the tour in the first 6 cities. More Top 24 contestants will do the honors throughout the run of the tour.
At least this year they get a band! Much to fan’s dismay, last year the Top 10 performed to backing tracks!\
Are you going to be at the show tonight? If so, send me an email, or give me a holler on twitter @mjsbigblog. I’m looking for folks to tweet song spoilers to me, or maybe mail me a set list afterward. Also, I’m up for a full recap of the show, if any fan would be interested in that undertaking!
Fred Bronson is reporting from Clearwater for Billboard Magazine. Nick dished on his set:
“I had one rehearsal on my own. The others had a head-start. The songs I’m playing, I know. I’m doing my single, an original song from my band and a cover that wouldn’t clear on Idol, something I always wanted to do, an R&B song I turned in to my own style. The night before [opening night], I’ll do one run-through and we’ll be fine.” Fradiani will have an intense experience being on the road, as he will spend a lot of his time writing songs for his debut album. “I’m totally excited,” he says. “I’ll be doing radio promotion in every city too. It’ll be a test of my stamina.”
The downsizing of the tour is a little depressing. I saw the American Idol season 6 tour open in Tampa back in 2007 at the 20,000 seat Amalie Arena (Then the St. Pete Times Forum). The 2,500 Ruth Eckerd Hall is a major downgrade for the once mighty tour.
But on the other hand, the intimate production, the inclusion of original songs, the return of the live band–this could be a really great show! The Top 5 are all undeniably talented, and without the pressure and manipulation of the TV show, the singers will be able to perform at their best. I’m looking forward to my tour stop in Providence in a few weeks.
“This is the victory lap for us,” Jax told Tampabay.com. “No nerves, no judges. I really hope I get to meet the fans who are coming out.”