I’ve posted Amaryllis’s photos at the end of the re-cap…
I apologize now for not knowing all the songs performed (at least I wasn’t like the couple walking out next to me afterward who referred to Matt Giraud as ‘The Justin Timberlake guy’ and called ‘Mad World’ the ‘Donnie Darko song.’ ) and for misspelling Megan’s name in my tweets last night.
This is the first Idol concert I’ve been to and I probably wouldn’t have gone this year if it hadn’t been for Adam. If you’re not an Adam fan but have other favs, I would suggest getting a ticket ‘ ALL the idols sound better than on the show, by far. That was the biggest surprise and I think it comes back to the comment Adam made in the Idolatry interview with Michael Slezak ‘ everything is better live, there’s just an energy and spontaneity you don’t get from a TV show or CD or DVD. There were some lighting, vocal, and sound problems throughout (it must be really hard to stage a show in a day or two at all these venues), but that’s the trade-off for attending a live event.
The countdown of the idols on screen really got the crowd going, the light show was pretty spectacular and the sound was amazing (more about sound later) and by the time Michael Sarver came out everyone was pretty excited. He bopped around the stage, that’s the only word I have for it, not dancing, just sort of rising up on the balls of his feet. I called him a ‘white teddy bear’ in a tweet and that’s pretty accurate; his jacket is really pretty but he might rethink the white color. Either the band was too loud or he was overmatched because it was very hard to hear him. I don’t know how the sound was in other parts of the arena but a lot of lyrics were really mushy in the premier level seating where I was ‘ music was fine ‘ he kept the crowd’s interest. It’s unclear what kind of career, if any, he will have.
Megan strutted out in her Barbie-pink mini and stilettos and managed to navigate the entire stage. Her first song was Corrine Bailey Rae’s ‘Put Your Records On.’ A quirky song to begin with as sung by Corinne herself, it really suits Megan’s style. Again the band was too loud for her second number and her performance was disjointed. I think she’s got an amazing style, she just has to pick the right songs (my Simon comment for the recap) and she belongs in a much smaller venue like a jazz club. She’s absolutely beautiful ‘ I know others have said that ‘ but she really is pretty.
Scott was up next in a fairly hip black bedazzled jacket. He had lots of energy and really demonstrated his piano and vocal skills. An Elton John vibe was evident to me, and if he can crank out the songs, writing, playing, and singing as well as John or Billy Joel, he should have a terrific career. I think it came down to song choice on idol (oops I said it again), here he seemed in his element and a viable entertainer. He needs better jokes however ‘ I guess his ‘high 5’ and Simon-impression will be funny to those not reading advance reviews.
Lil, hmmm. She was wearing all black with a sparkly belt and what looked like pants under a longish sleeveless dress and half-gloves that covered her fingers and only half of her palms. The entire outfit was bulky and unflattering. Her voice was amazing! If she’d sung this way on the show she might have been in the final 4 for sure. She and Scott are finally equal to the band ‘ vocalists, not singers. She has tremendous energy and seemed so comfortable on stage, like she’d been doing this for years. She shed part of the outfit for her last number to reveal a cat-suit type garment and finally looked the part of an R&B star. Criticism of her on Idol centered around her ‘sound-alike’ performances and unfortunately her spot-on rendition of Beyonce’s All The Single Ladies was like a karaoke performance; vocals were great, but the choreography was identical to the video and the lyrics were on the rear screen.
Anoop looked super cool casual in shirt, vest, and pulled down tie. He was greeted with a chorus of ‘Anooooop’ ‘ mainly from guys in the audience ‘ quite adorable! His first song was heartfelt and touching and he was simply mesmerizing. He showed his wristband from Idol and said now I’m up here on stage with clouds behind me. His set was really polished and prompted a 60-ish guy in my section to start dancing (channeling his inner Paula) with several young women ‘ they ended up rocking the aisle.
Matt’s set was simply fantastic. He had energy to burn and seemingly improvised on the spot both vocally and on the keyboard like an accomplished showman. I was thinking he could never have been a hotel-lobby pianist and then he bantered a little while tinkling the keys and I felt like I was down the road at the Hyatt. His performance of Georgia was stunning and felt a little loungey or sleazy – but like a high-class sleazy lounge! He was wearing a black armband (for Michael Jackson?) over long-sleeved shirt, vest, and proper tie, and looked stylish no matter how manic he became. He went all out to close his set and got a little splashy and sloppy on piano, but it was intense ‘ why can’t they play this way on the show?!
Allison’s set was terrific, she’s definitely got the vocal chops, attitude, and talent, but at the same time she’s very one-note. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I hope someone is working with her to find ‘ for lack of a better description ‘ a beginning, middle, and end to her songs, because as performed last night she starts out at full volume and has nowhere to go. The guitar is simply a prop and adds nothing to her performance, the wind machine was blowing her hair at gale force velocity (I described it as an F2 hurricane in a tweet ‘ that should have been a category 2!), and she stalks around the stage like she’s been told to stalk around the stage. ‘Cry Baby’ was the highlight for me, spoken vocals were really muddy, but then, so were Janis Joplin’s.
Danny opened with ‘Pretty Young Thing’ , he seemed to sporting a Simon Cowell haircut, not really flattering, but it didn’t matter, he got the crowd up and dancing (including the He-Paula in my section, now with 8 women). As a rule everyone seemed to sit for slow songs and stand for fast ones as the concert progressed, but those in floor seats stood pretty much a lot of the time, primarily so they could see and take photos. Danny took off his jacket and did Santana’s ‘Maria Maria’ , salsa-ing around the stage like a veteran. I’m very impressed with him live, he’s got terrific vocal control, lots of riffs and improvs, he’s a little pitchy on ‘What Hurts The Most.’ Then comes the speech about his wife and him telling us not to be defined by tragedy; I’d heard that he was ‘preaching’ and I thought it just meant lecturing ‘ but he was like a fire and brimstone revivalist preacher ‘ thank goodness that was over in about 60 seconds. He could definitely be a successful country artist (he claims no twang but it’s there) or a Christian country rock hybrid.
Adam. Wow. He’s simply amazing. The first words of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ seemed to come from another universe. This is a voice. This is a star. This is an entertainer. One note – if you’re sitting in certain places in the arena where the stage lights are behind the performers, you can’t see what’s happening. I couldn’t see Adam for much of WLL and had to watch the big screens ‘ cute new (to me) mic stand shenanigans and he sang ‘woman’ in WLL. ‘Starlight’ by Muse is stunning. The entire arena lit up with sparkles from the mirrored disco ball and Adam was in his otherworldly element. I would recommend going to the concert just to hear and see this performance, it’s captivating. ‘Mad World’ was marred by some odd acoustic problems, at least to me. It sounded like the backup singers were a measure ahead or behind and Adam’s vocals sounded mushy but it cleared up quickly. The Bowie medley was equally amazing ‘ Adam sounds like Bowie ‘ he’s a sexy showman and clearly in love with what he’s doing. Another odd vocal sound here like his voice went all raspy ‘ I was really concerned ‘ but it was only momentary.
Kris won me over. I wasn’t intending on buying his CD when it comes out but I will. Every song was wonderful from ‘Heartless’ to The Killers ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ to ‘Hey Jude’ . I didn’t hear him do the scream in ‘Hey Jude’ others have said he’s done ‘ he’s a real talent vocally, and instrumentally ‘ his piano and guitar playing were excellent. I don’t think they really need to ‘lower the curtain’ and make a smaller venue feel for his set, he’s quite capable of playing this size venue. What was odd and very noticeable however, is that the applause and cheering, although instantaneous and generous is that it stopped almost on cue after 5 seconds for every number. I think Matt’s set might have been better received.