I have been hesitating for weeks, trying to decide whether to attend the tour concert. I love the television show with an unreasonable passion… but I’ve always been somewhat disappointed by the tour shows, found them to be less than inspiring. Needless to say, many of the contestants are good, excellent even, and maybe it’s the tour show format, but the tour performances have generally fallen flat for me. I have attended seasons 4, 6 and 7; before last night my favorite show had been season 6. I really enjoyed the duets and ensembles in season 6 and found that approach to be particularly entertaining.
In spite of my hesitation, I felt like I needed to see/hear Crystal and Lee perform live… so I went online Monday and was able to get an amazing 8th row center orchestra seat. I tell you I seriously could not have picked a better seat in the house. I felt like I was watching performances in my living room; I was that close. This was without a doubt the best seat I’ve ever had for a concert. In fact, I’m not sure, but I may have made eye contact with Lee during his set. ;-)
This entire week in New York has been brutally hot. I mean 100 degrees and humid. Unfortunately, the concert was moved from a nearby indoor arena to Jones Beach theatre. On a normal summer evening, situated right on the water, it can be quite lovely, with a slight breeze to cool things off. But last night, the air was heavy and hot, not pleasant at all. By the end of the concert I was sweating like … (fill in your own allusion) a very, very hot person!
The weather did not stop a huge crowd from attending. I’ve been reviewing other accounts of the tour and I’ve read/seen that there has been less than full attendance at other venues. Last night was pretty full. The top section seats were only partially full, but everywhere else the theatre was packed. Someone mentioned that the theatre holds 15, 000 seats… If that is the case, I’m guessing there were about 10, 000-11, 000 in attendance last night. I’ll be interested to learn the actual numbers…
After a lot of soul searching, I decided to only attend after the intermission. I do wish Didi, Andrew, Katie, Tim, Siobhan and Aaron well… but honestly, I was not terribly crazy about them on the show… so I thought I would save my energy and enthusiasm for Crystal and Lee. Based on the live tweet sessions, I had the timing pretty well figured out… and arrived after the break, found my seat and settled in for the show.
Sorry to say, I’m not technically inclined, like at all. I do have photo/video capabilities on my phone and I tried to capture at least one photo so I could show my family and friends how close I was to the stage, but I just could not figure it out (pathetic, I know)… anyway, I’ve seen some pretty good videos and some great photos, so I just let my technical incompetencies go and enjoyed the performances.
One last point: It was very weird to me that people did not stand up for the performers. Everyone was sitting down until Lee came on. I actually did want to stand, particularly for Crystal, but I didn’t want to be a b*tch and block the people behind me, so I stayed down, danced in my seat and stood up after each of her performances to clap like a crazy woman.
Mike is really a very good singer and Casey is a terrific guitar player. My favorite performance from each of them was their duet. They both seemed to come alive for “When You Love a Woman.” I do understand why Casey came out ahead of Mike; the levels of his performances were just of a higher quality.
Crystal and Lee were in a different class. Crystal sounded AWESOME, like really really awesome. I loved her! She came out and just killed it. Sweet that some fans rushed the stage and presented her with sunflowers in the middle of one of her songs.
When Lee was announced, the audience rose to their feet, screaming. We stayed standing for the rest of the concert. Lee was totally, totally AWESOME. He was a real rock star and sang his little heart out. Totally different persona than the one that I loved on the television show; much more connected musically and emotionally. I LOOOOOOOVED him! And, as I mentioned, he finally took off his leather jacket… and was in a white undershirt and black button down, rolled up at the sleeves… which was good (necessary) because I was seriously concerned the leather jacket might give him heat stroke!
At the final group number, Lee put his arm around Crystal and melted my heart.
I have to say, honestly, I’m still glowing from the concert last night. It was terrific. I’m soooooooo glad I went and even though (or maybe because) I only saw the second half; it was the best tour show I’ve seen. AND in spite of media criticism, Crystal and Lee were absolutely the best performers I’ve ever seen on an AI tour. Go, go, go if you have the chance!