American Idols Live – mozart4898’s Toledo OH Recap

Read mozart4898’s detailed recap of last night’s Idols Live concert in Toledo OH

***

So, after several months of the season, and a couple months more of tour, I was lucky enough to get to attend the American Idols Live 2010 concert on August 29 in Toledo, Ohio.  (OK, so maybe there wasn’t much luck involved, I could have gotten tickets all the way up to the day of the show, but work with me here, lol.)  My favorite during the season, for any of you who might not have followed any of my posts in the past, was Crystal, and this was her hometown concert so it was sure to be a special one from the start.  I didn’t really have much of a 2nd favorite for quite a while, although during the course of the season I actually came to appreciate Tim and Casey as well (more on them later).

First of all, since almost everyone starts their review this way, I’ll begin with a little about me.  I’m a 30 year old single guy, and work as a chef (betcha didn’t know that about me from my past posts, lol).  I’ve been around, performed, and studied music from before I was born – my father was a high school band director, and I started piano at age 7, and trumpet at age 9.  I also began writing classical-style music at around age 9 as well.  I went to college for music performance and composition and got a bachelor’s degree and worked on a master’s while also working as a graduate assistant, teaching a class on sight singing and correctly hearing intervals – and then got burned out on it before I finished the degree.  Got married, got divorced, and realized how much I loved cooking and went back to culinary school.

Music, however, is one of the biggest loves of my life and always will be.  I love all styles of music…I really do.  I will listen to classical, jazz, country, classic rock, soul, modern rock, metal, world music – you get the idea.  I didn’t mention R&B and rap – I will listen to even some of them but it’s got to be the right sort, not everything really catches my ear.  Because I listen to so much, I really don’t have an “in-depth” knowledge of most of the styles, except classical, because there’s just so much out there.  I do however go through stages of listening to all of the above.  Concerts I’ve been to in the past have included a range from Hootie and the Blowfish to Creed, Reel Big Fish to Carrie Underwood, the Trans Siberian Orchestra to the Cleveland Orchestra, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, and quite a few others.  My personal CD collection includes artists even as embarrassing as the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees and several Nickelback albums.

I’m really not what you’d call a huge Idol fan.  This was the first time I’ve been to one of the tour concerts.  I have watched bits and pieces of past seasons – I watched most of season 1 and 2, then missed all of seasons 3 through 6, watched one or two episodes of season 7, most of season 8, and almost all episodes of season 9.  Favorites of mine (several that I discovered after they were on the show) from the past have included Clay, Carrie, Daughtry, Danny, and to a lesser extent Kelly and Adam.  Never voted before this season except for season 2, when I voted twice in the finale for Clay.  Voted thousands of times this season though, lol.

All of that and I’m just now getting to the concert!  Well, first of all, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the concert.  I’ve read reviews and followed most of the concert threads, but hadn’t listened to any recordings because I wanted the concert experience itself to be pretty fresh for me.  I went to the concert with my parents, who are 59 and 60.  (My mom has probably seen 2/3 to 3/4 of all of the episodes of Idol that have aired…she’s been a much bigger follower than me in the past, but never voted either.)  They were both big fans of Crystal as well and all 3 of us would stay up voting until the lines closed after each show.  My dad also was a fan of Big Mike (I was too to an extent, but was afraid during the first half the season that he’d end up beating Crystal out).

I also should mention, in addition to being a big fan of Crystal, my hometown is about 5 miles from hers – I actually knew where Elliston was before this season and she herself came along.  She had even played a couple gigs in my hometown but I’d never heard her before.  And the best connection I can claim – Crystal and I took from the same piano teacher.  No, I didn’t really “know her, ” but we played on at least one recital together.

So, anyways, to the show tonight.  Pretty hot day the day of the concert as most of the summer has been, but otherwise nice weather.  Parking areas around the venue (which is less than a year old) were very sparsely used – this did not seem to bode well for the crowd.  As we entered the arena, a limo had pulled up and who gets out but apparently Frankie May, Crystal’s bass player.  Quite a change for him too (word is he will be her bass player after this as well).  Once inside, we find our seats (lower bowl, about 2/3 of the way up – we didn’t want floor seats because of people standing but could have easily had them when we ordered tickets).  I get a sinking feeling because the crowd is…bad.  I mean, 10 minutes to showtime and the arena that holds about 7, 500 for a concert has MAYBE 5, 000 people in it.  Actually looked like much less than that.

As others have said, commercials, commercials, product placement, more commercials…then lights go down and American Idol music comes up, and a moment later, here’s Didi.  Definitely kinda abrupt, but what can you really do, I guess?  So then…the review by performer, here we go:

Didi – I was prepared for this to be bad.  I mean, ick, learn to find the pitch, girl, bad.  But the surprises started right away.  Didi actually sounded pretty darned good.  She also seems like a really sweet girl on stage too.  My mom wasn’t that impressed, but I suspect it’s because of her style of music.  Didi must have been a victim of theme weeks in the top 12, because I never remembered her being as good as she was.  Definitely a lighter, lilting style, and probably one that hearkens back to the ’90s and singers like Jewel or Natalie Imbruglia (or was that early 2000s?), but pleasant to listen to.  I start thinking at this point, “Hmm…this could be an interesting night.”

Andrew – During Andrew’s time on the show, I only really ever heard, when he was discussed, mentions of “Straight Up.”  Oddly enough, that was one of the shows I did miss this season.  I never went back and YouTubed it, because I thought I’d save this as a surprise for myself.  I see now why it made him an early favorite.  I loved the jazzy acoustic take on the song, and it fit his voice perfectly.  His second song was just as solid to me (I know other reviewers have mostly panned him).  The Toledo crowd, which gave Didi a reasonably warm reception (although almost all still seated) actually responded to Andrew pretty well.  Most of the floor was on their feet for him at the end.  I actually came away from the night with a totally new opinion of Andrew, to where I felt he really did belong in the top 10 after all.

About this point too, I realize that the place, while not full, is actually looking respectable.  If capacity is 7, 500, then between 6, 500 and 7, 000 in the seats.  Quite good overall.  And we continue…

Katie – I kinda had an idea what to expect from past reviews, but damn – girl went out and found an attitude!  On the show I felt Katie just held back too much, like she was afraid to go after it.  Her sing out to me showed the potential that was there all along – when she lets go she’s got a powerful pop voice.  Now, her music really isn’t my favorite style, but she pulls it off well enough that if I happened to be tuning through stations on the radio (which I don’t usually, it’s almost always stuck on one, lol), I might stop and listen to the song.  She has the voice to pull off pop or pop/rock live without the studio tricks, and the attitude to match.

Tim – I’ll get this part out of the way at the beginning.  I think Tim got a really raw deal from the judges/TPTB’s script practically every performance.  While not a blow you away with vocal power or style sort of singer, what Tim DOES do is sing with an incredibly pure, pleasant tone that I don’t understand how anyone could hate.  Plus he’s got the personality to match.  Many people have said that Tim could/should go the route of acting and maybe some singing on the side (High School Musical or Glee sort of thing).  I could see that, but I could also see another route for him – contemporary Christian/Christian rock music.  He projects the wholesome image for that himself, and to top it off sings wonderfully in tune and with a perfect sort of tone for the style.  I could see him as the wild card success story of this season that few people are talking about.

Siobhan – Again, I had an idea what to expect with Siobhan, but still.  Tim Burton-esque opening, the lighting, the costume, the theatrics, it all worked.  I felt by halfway through Siobhan’s first song that half the crowd was kinda uneasily shifting weight from foot to foot, so to speak, but this girl has something, definitely.  “The Scream, ” eh, I can take it or leave it.  It fit in “Paint it Black” better than it did in the songs she did later in her run on the show, but it also wasn’t really “needed, ” IMO – one of the few cases of vocal gymnastics during the night that didn’t seem that necessary.  Siobhan herself said she couldn’t really label herself as to what sort of music she wanted to do.  I’ll give you some advice, girl – look up the Canadian bands The Tea Party and Porcupine Tree.  Or perhaps Flyleaf if you’re looking more mainstream.  “Stockholm Syndrome” convinced me of your calling – it’s in the punk/metal world.  Although for all those who haven’t liked her take on “Spiderwebs, ” you must not have liked the original either, cause she sounded dead on to me.  Or maybe this was just a really good night for her?

Aaron – Yeesh…what a change, huh?  From Siobhan to Aaron.  It was odd, Aaron has been the one that most people seem to have been picking out as the biggest shock of the first half of the concert.  He was solid – and to me sounds ready for a contract himself.  That said, he didn’t blow me away – maybe I was expecting more from what I heard in other’s reviews.  He definitely seems at ease on the stage and has a perfect sound for country, and a maturity that goes beyond 17 years old.  Maybe song choice?  It was, as I recall, one of his biggest weaknesses on the show, and perhaps he could have done even better picking for the tour as well.  Still though, very solid performer, but honestly he didn’t stick with me after the concert – I have trouble really remembering him as I write this other than remembering he was “good.”

Weak tour?  Nah, I think not, I was thinking at about this point.  I expected the first group song to be pretty scary considering some reviews I’ve read too, but again, it wasn’t bad at all.  I thought the “bottom 6” actually blended pretty well – Siobhan can stick out a bit at times but all in all they handled “The Climb” nicely.  Also for the record, I have *NO* issue with them playing guitar while performing – I’m not at all one of those who thinks they should do away with instruments.  Everyone seemed to do just fine with one to me, and several of them play pretty decently – not just Casey, who obviously will make a good bit of his money with his axe.

I’ll also mention at this point another thing I frequently notice in concerts – sound engineering.  I did a tiny bit of work in grad school in this area (moreso in actual electronic music, creating the sounds by computer and mixing them).  For the most part, mixing and audio during the concert was very good…for the most part.  Seemed to me no one checked Katie’s mic cause the “s’s” were really hot, enough it was kinda annoying (but not as bad as some concerts I’ve heard).  Also…yes, the sound level DOES keep creeping up through the night.  You couldn’t feel the bass in your chest that much during the first half, by the end of the concert it was like I had a 2nd heart, and my original one didn’t entirely appreciate the presence of a partner.

And then, after the intermission…

Big Mike – Dude is HUGE!  Ok, I got that out of the way, lol.  Seriously though, why all the hate from so many for Mike?  I know soul isn’t the most popular style any more, but don’t more people at least kinda dig music like he sings?  I couldn’t help but imagine his 2nd song playing on a movie soundtrack accompanying a lovemaking scene in some movie, or cuddling up next to someone you love with a fire and a glass of wine (yes, guys get thoughts like those at times too).  I’d said before I didn’t know if I’d buy an album of anyone other than Crystal…well, if Big Mike makes one, I might just buy it to have on hand for a possible fireside wine tasting session with someone.  (Ok, I might just listen to it in my car and sing along…hey, you don’t know if I can hit that falsetto like him, do you?)  All joking aside, Mike might overdo the falsetto at times, and the rapping was, well, maybe not quite his strong suit, but overall I loved his performance.

Casey – I knew nothing of the rumor that Casey might not perform.  I would have been really crushed had he not, because I was looking forward to hearing him.  And damn, I’m glad he did perform – wow.  On the show he seemed like a decent guitar player but it was hard to tell how good he really was cause he never played that much (obviously, it’s a singing competition…right?)  And when portrayed mostly just in terms of his vocals, at times he seemed out of his element.  But the intro to “I Got Mine” was all it took.  Bluesy, gritty Southern style rock…I loved it.  And so did the rest of the Toledo crowd – I’m pretty sure only Crystal’s cheers hit higher readings on the decibel meter than Casey’s.  His album IS now on my list to buy, as long as it’s in this vein.  I wasn’t so impressed with “Don’t” as I was his other 3 songs (…seriously people, why can’t you just embrace the cheese of “Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman?”  He and Mike killed that song on the show, minus 1 note, and it sounded great in concert too) but he’s awesome in his own style.  Slide guitar, rock guitar, country acoustic and electric, even the Spanish/flamenco sort of sound – and he can sing pretty well too.  I like.  Came onto my radar when the videos of him at the Keys Lounge surfaced and it really all clicked what he was about.  Definitely more than just your average bar band guitar player and singer, like he seemed for most of the show.  Hendrix level chops on the guitar is more like it.

Crystal – What can I really say?  Lol well, I will say a few things.  First of all, I felt no one else in the concert came close to putting as much passion into their singing.  The nuances of her voice depending on the song, the phrase, even the word.  Of course the crowd went nuts for her.  She wasn’t without fault to me though – if anything, she oversang at times.  I don’t know if she’s had that tendency on the tour or if it was mostly because of the emotion of the hometown crowd, but there were moments I felt she should have reined it in a bit.  “Holy Toledo” was epic, if imperfect.  It was awesome to hear the first live performance of it in a full band form, and instrumentally it takes more of a country turn (she said they rehearsed 3 times earlier in the day to learn it).  She really twisted a few of the melody lines from her original though and I actually prefer the song when she’s more sensitive.  “Come to My Window” and “Piece of My Heart” were probably the best of the set, and actually the former was my least favorite she did on the show.  I actually sound pretty critical of her – she was amazing but I really think the emotion got to her too.  Plus, as others have alluded…I’m not positive that something isn’t bugging her health wise.  She didn’t act too strong, sounded out of breath at times, and as someone had mentioned before, had someone escort her off the stage at the end of her set.  I hope there’s no big issues going on.

Which brings us to…

Lee – Ok, if you made it this far, first of all, congrats.  I’m long winded, sorry.  And I also know that some of you probably have a feeling what’s coming, considering my past thoughts on Lee.  Well, he wasn’t awful.  He didn’t have problems with pitch like he did on the show, so that’s at least a plus for him.  I thought he totally butchered “Beautiful Day” though, the song had no resemblance to the original.  If you’re going to “arrange” to the point it’s a new song, why base it off an old one?  The original was better, by far.  “Rocket Man” started out ok, went ehh as it went along…and the Pink Floyd mashup was jarring to say the least.  It really felt like a cute trick of some kind that didn’t really work right.  As Lee’s set went on too, it seemed that he really did just shout through songs more and more.  I don’t know the original of “Use Somebody” and I’m not sure if I do or don’t want to hear it after hearing him do it – if he’s pretty close then I’ll pass.  Does he have energy?  Yeah, I guess.  I don’t feel it translates well though – he seems to keep digging deeper for more strength to shout some more and there’s no nuance to what he does (I also think the sound mix obviously creeping louder and louder doesn’t help him in that regard).  Members of the “Lee DeWyze Army” were across the front row at the concert and even they only seemed to get into it when he came to their side of the stage (maybe they were afraid the rest of the crowd would do something, I dunno…the crowd was actually pretty receptive to him although as I said earlier I don’t think they were as warm to him as Casey).  I just don’t see him staying fresh and relevant to people for that long – he seemed stale after 4 songs, and he had a 5th yet to go.  I felt in terms of the total package, he was overshadowed by at least the other members of the top 4, and even one or two others possibly.  But what do I know, I guess?  He’s the one America picked…

And then the final group songs…ehh, can we have a redo?  “It’s My Life” doesn’t work as a group sing of any sort it seems, and “My Life Would Suck Without You” sounded like it was just kinda thrown together – you could barely understand anything they were singing and 10 different styles definitely don’t play well on that song.  All in all the bottom 6 group song was much better than the closing ones.

So, there it is, my epically long review.  All in all, I felt it was actually a very good concert with many highlights and only a few lowlights – none of which were as bad as I thought they could be.  The 3 of us all agreed on that.  I gained appreciation for a few of them that I didn’t expect to from the concert, and even those that didn’t blow me away were at least decent.

About mj santilli 33694 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

34 Comments

  1. Well, I got through the whole thing. I enjoyed hearing your perspectives and how you fleshed that all out. I am curious as to your parent’s reaction. Who were they surprised by, and who did they enjoy the most?

  2. Man, were you in a rush? Some details would have been nice :) Seriously, your review had a nice flow, filled with plenty of interesting detail I enjoyed thoroughly. Thanks a lot for a great review.
    Interesting to know you have all that musical back round, which makes some of the things you´ve said in the past more credible, not that I´ve disagreed much with it. The way I read the Crystal part of your review, gives me the impression that you are most demanding and critical about your favorite, which was refreshing. Sometimes when people write about their favorites, you get the feeling that no matter how he/she would do, they could do no wrong, and the exact same would be written, that is, all great and amazing. Just the single act of witnessing Crystal singing Holy Toledo in her home town, must have been more than worth the time alone. Add to that, as what seems to have been one of the most, if not, the best and most audience involved concert of them all (judging from the tweets) to boot, makes one hell of an experience. I envy you……

  3. I just don’t see him staying fresh and relevant to people for that long – he seemed stale after 4 songs, and he had a 5th yet to go. I felt in terms of the total package, he was overshadowed by at least the other members of the top 4, and even one or two

    I agree with your above comments. I fear the greatest call to fame for Lee may be that he had 41,000 show up at his homecoming. I truly do wish the best for him (and the others as well) but he always just looked too strained and forced to me and the singing out of tune just didn’t cut it. I hope he is doing better with that but it doesn’t sound like it.

    Thanks for the review. I am a detailed person so I enjoyed every minute of it! I surely hope Crystal’s health is ok. Didn’t Lee at some point go to hospital too during the tour? Glad touring is ending and these kids can REST.

    And I am glad Toledo gave such a warm reception to CASEY. I believe Texas welcomed her equally as well! :)

  4. Seriously though, why all the hate from so many for Mike…I couldn’t help but imagine his 2nd song playing on a movie soundtrack accompanying a lovemaking scene in some movie, or cuddling up next to someone you love with a fire and a glass of wine (yes, guys get thoughts like those at times too).

    Where’s that puking emoticon when you need it?

    Seriously, I immediately thought Fluisa when I saw Big Mike Love God trying to steam things up at the Sunrise show in Florida.

    Regarding Crystal: I know we sometimes are hardest on those we love the most, and I guess that was the case here with your tough review of her performance.

  5. Seriously though, why all the hate from so many for Mike…I couldn’t help but imagine his 2nd song playing on a movie soundtrack accompanying a lovemaking scene in some movie, or cuddling up next to someone you love with a fire and a glass of wine (yes, guys get thoughts like those at times too).

    Where’s that puking emoticon when you need it?

    Seriously, I immediately thought Fluisa when I saw Big Mike Love God trying to steam things up at the Sunrise show in Florida.

    Regarding Crystal: I know we sometimes are hardest on those we love the most, and I guess that was the case here with your tough review of her performance in Toledo.

  6. realized how much I loved cooking and went back to culinary school.

    It is nice when reviewers post personal details about themselves and yours are particularly interesting. With all the cooking show competitions on tv, I’m glad you still have time to watch Idol and post here at mj’s. LOL Actually, I am a little curious as to whether an actual cook enjoys the cooking competitions…..I enjoy them and I can hardly boil water. But then again, I enjoy Idol and I can’t sing a note.

    I very much enjoyed your review. Not too long at all. Never too many details for us who can’t attend a show.

  7. I fear the greatest call to fame for Lee may be that he had 41,000 show up at his homecoming. I truly do wish the best for him (and the others as well) but he always just looked too strained and forced to me and the singing out of tune just didn’t cut it.

    Voters don’t always make the best choices. Just look at some of the Presidents who have been elected. ;)

  8. Mozart ~ I could have written this review except I am far more smitten with Casey’s voice than you. But otherwise, it echos my critique thoughts almost verbatim on each and every performer! Amazing review! And I love that you actually have the credentials to do so. Thanks for the wordy but spot on recap!

  9. @mozart4898: Wow, what a recap. Thank you very much… I also don’t quite understand why people are not into his music and his attitude. Even though I am not realy like their music, I like Crystal’s and Casey’s voices… Good to hear that you had a good time after all…

  10. Fun review, mozart4898, and actually if you go back and read mine from nearly two months ago, I had similar reactions to most of the Idols. I’ve always liked Big Mike and never got all the hate.

    In fact, I think you and Mike should hook up for a “singing chef” show on YouTube. He can be do the “sandwich segment”! :-) I loved his India.Arie performance on the tour, FWIW. I always thought that acoustic soul style was more what he was going for on the show before they started forcing him into the more tradional “R&B” role. It was his last song on the tour that lost me. Didn’t care for that.

    Crystal and Casey both seem to have ongoing chronic health issues to deal with. I’m not surprised they’re both talking about spring releases at this point. Casey may think he can live without sleep, but he’s dead wrong. I hope his momma convinces him to pace himself and get regular rest.

    Casey and Crystal were my favorites on the show and they still are. Can’t wait to see what they come out with. In fact, I’d love to see him “guest” on one of her self-penned songs. He did a beautiful job singing harmonies and playing guitar on his momma’s album. Crystal has a very similar raw, honest vibe to her songwriting, and I think Casey totally gets her. I think they have the potential for producing something transcendently beautiful.

  11. Referring to Lee –

    I truly do wish the best for him (and the others as well) but he always just looked too strained and forced to me and the singing out of tune just didn’t cut it.

    I have to be fair to the guy – like I said in my review, he was in tune through his set. I figured he’d at least go off in a place or two but he was as in tune as everyone else – it was hard to find more than a moment or two where anyone was out of tune.

    @ movin2thabeet – My parents were kinda hard to read honestly. I do know my mom didn’t really care for Didi, and both of my parents actually really liked Tim (as in, I’m pretty sure my mom would buy an album if he came out with one). My parents also obviously both grew up with the likes of Janis Joplin and when Crystal tore into “Piece of My Heart” there was some sort of audible reaction from my mom – contained, but it was there, I heard it. My dad actually thought Lee sounded pretty good, which surprises me – if for no other reason than the fact that his set got as loud as it did and my dad really doesn’t care for concerts getting to the deafening stage. He’s also very much of the philosophy though that regardless what any of us think about someone’s music (or what he thinks about it), if they get a contract, they’re gonna do fine for themselves so what we think doesn’t matter – we’ll either like it or not, but it won’t matter to them because there’s many others to buy their music.

    I was pretty hard on Crystal honestly – I do have to be honest, the energy in the room when she came on was more than enough by itself, and there were spots voice wise where I got those full body shivers. I wouldn’t be surprised though if vocally she’s been better at other shows – I think she was just overwhelmed with emotion. I mean, the girl’s still taking pictures from the stage! (I caught myself thinking…you know, at some point, you’re going to get used to this, aren’t you? Or maybe she won’t, maybe that’s one of the great things about her, that she’ll NEVER get used to it and it’ll stay that special for her forever.)

    Given some time to separate myself from the concert more, Casey really was impressive. He’s going to go far. I’m so glad he was able to go on – I could really see Crystal and Casey touring with each other actually, considering the fact that Crystal has said she kinda leans towards a country sound at times but isn’t totally country, and Casey isn’t traditional country either. I think their individual fans tend to really appreciate the other’s music. And Siobhan – the last notes of “Stockholm Syndrome” left me with chills as well. She’s captivating, if you like that sort of music.

  12. With all the cooking show competitions on tv, I’m glad you still have time to watch Idol and post here at mj’s. LOL Actually, I am a little curious as to whether an actual cook enjoys the cooking competitions…..I enjoy them and I can hardly boil water. But then again, I enjoy Idol and I can’t sing a note.

    I actually watch a ton of cooking competitions. Most of the time I love them; sometimes I wonder where they find some of the people (especially on Hell’s Kitchen). In fact, Iron Chef probably had a lot to do with me first considering going a creative route in cooking and not just working at a place like an Applebee’s – it opened my eyes to the sorts of foods that, as a midwesterner from a middle-class family, I had maybe only heard of.

  13. Thanks for the great review. We’re very much on the “same page.”

  14. First, thank you for your review, I was looking forward to it knowing you were going to be at Toledo and even thinking at one point you considered not going? And, lol, I’m pretty good at remembering irrelevant details, so somehow I recalled you have a music background (didn’t someone ask about your name once?) and that you were now a chef. Of course during the season I read almost every post and comment re: Crystal. Last night must have been amazing. I do hope her health in fine.

    I just don’t see him staying fresh and relevant to people for that long – he seemed stale after 4 songs, and he had a 5th yet to go.

    Anyway, regarding the above comment, my husband called him one speed Lee and I think this falls in line with not staying fresh and relevant. However, OTOH, if one likes that speed and style, they’re in for a treat. I guess it can go either way.

  15. Thanks for the recap! Crystal sounded stellar in Houston, but that was a month ago. I hope she’s doing okay health-wise, nothing serious. A good rest will be helpful to all of the idols once the tour wraps up.

    I thought he totally butchered “Beautiful Day” though, the song had no resemblance to the original. If you’re going to “arrange” to the point it’s a new song, why base it off an old one? The original was better, by far.

    I’ve actually been thinking about this lately. I like his tour version of the song (in spite of the shouty parts) but I keep encountering people (even Lee fans) that don’t like it. My question is what could Lee have done differently? I don’t mean that in an aggressive way at all, I’m just genuinely curious. It seems like he tried to make the song fit his style. Maybe he should have just tried not sucking at the original version?

  16. I truly do wish the best for him (and the others as well) but he always just looked too strained and forced to me and the singing out of tune just didn’t cut it.

    I have to be fair to the guy – like I said in my review, he was in tune through his set. I figured he’d at least go off in a place or two but he was as in tune as everyone else – it was hard to find more than a moment or two where anyone was out of tune.

    I knew you said in your review he was in tune through his set. I was actually referring to the AI stage when he was often out of tune.

    Given some time to separate myself from the concert more, Casey really was impressive. He’s going to go far. I’m so glad he was able to go on – I could really see Crystal and Casey touring with each other actually, considering the fact that Crystal has said she kinda leans towards a country sound at times but isn’t totally country, and Casey isn’t traditional country either. I think their individual fans tend to really appreciate the other’s music.

    You may be on to something here. I recall seeing Crystal in an interview saying that of all the idols, the one she would like to duet with on an album is CASEY. Crystal does have a purity to her voice.

  17. I’ve actually been thinking about this lately. I like his tour version of the song (in spite of the shouty parts) but I keep encountering people (even Lee fans) that don’t like it. My question is what could Lee have done differently? I don’t mean that in an aggressive way at all, I’m just genuinely curious. It seems like he tried to make the song fit his style. Maybe he should have just tried not sucking at the original version?

    Well, as one who’s definitely not a Lee fan, I will say this much at least – there was an acoustic guitar + piano version he did right after the show was over (I don’t remember exactly where, it was a recorded thing that was posted online). While I wasn’t crazy about it, I at least felt it was tolerable. His tour version sounds like he’s tried so much to rewrite the melody that the new melody line just doesn’t work. His straight cover of the original on the finale was just plain bad – he just couldn’t sustain the longer notes in the range they were in and stay anywhere close to the pitch. The style was all wrong for him too – I feel by nature he’s not a “power voice” sort of singer and that’s what they’re trying to make him be, hence the shoutiness. At least that acoustic one he did right after the show suited his voice better. It’s like they told him to quit doing it that way and find a way to rework the original that left it still as an arena rock style instead of intimate acoustic. It just doesn’t work for him this way – you can tell it sits right in a bad part of his voice so he’s changing the melody line to put it into a range that works.

    Simply put, I think Lee would sound better if someone would get it out of their head that he has to be loud (and I have no clue who that someone is). I still don’t think I’d be too excited by him but at least it would showcase the part of his vocals that are more interesting. One of my comments after the concert last night was “I wish he actually would have done something where he slowed it down and was quieter.” I don’t know how well it would have worked live, but I was willing to at least give it a try. No such luck though – you get loud Lee, and louder Lee.

  18. All anyone needs to do is listen to Lees recordings to see what amazing range and clearness he has. He has a great commercial voice that I think will go far. He has several recordings that are soft and on the show I only recall twice when they said he was out of tune. Yes, he did have 41,00 come out for his homecoming and Crystal had 5,000 and Casey had 4,000…all of this doesn’t matter now but it does show how many fans Lee has and how many people love his voice. I like Crystal too, but do like the screechness in her high notes and do like the style of songs she sings..wish she would add some different styles too then I would buy. Casey’s voice is weak but his guitar playing skills are awesome, could see him playing for a band.
    Mozart, liked your review even though I did not agree with all of it.
    Big Mike is awesome too, but I am afraid he just won’t find a label that will sign him.

  19. Wow you were a little rough on your favorite! It was probably the emotion of the night coming thru in Crystal’s performances. Glad you found something good to say about Lee.

  20. Crystal had 5,000 and Casey had 4,000…

    I can’t speak for sure on Crystals numbers but that is wrong for CASEY. 4,000 or so were at the stadium in Cool, Tex which is a tiny town. I will not even bother to post the numbers at The Festival as they have already been posted, but one takes what one wants it seems. I hope that Lee’s biggest call to fame is not that 41000 showed up for his homecoming. That is what I seem to be hearing the most now! :)

  21. arc:
    08/30/2010 at 1:14 pm

    I fear the greatest call to fame for Lee may be that he had 41,000 show up at his homecoming. I truly do wish the best for him (and the others as well) but he always just looked too strained and forced to me and the singing out of tune just didn’t cut it.

    Voters don’t always make the best choices. Just look at some of the Presidents who have been elected. ;)

    You have a solid point there!

  22. It is interesting to see how people appreciate the idols so differently. I wonder where our musical tastes come from? I enjoyed every part of Lee’s tour set- twice. Did I wish that he had sung something quietly at a piano as well?-(like he did with Use Somebody)- Yes! Did I wish that he had sung Beautiful Day acoustically by himself- (like he did on at least one t.v. show.) Yes! But I know that from his past performances on You Tube that he has done this with the songs he sang on tour and with his own compositions- so I am just having fun waiting for his own tour and album. I actually found his interpretations on tour to be full of nuance. I enjoy listening to Lee the most- but will also be curious to see what Crystal and Casey produce.

  23. Great review dude! I really enjoyed your insights and attention to detail. I agree with a lot of your observations.

  24. Lee would sound better if someone would get it out of their head that he has to be loud

    Agreed! (My least favorite song from his set is THLAL.) The same could be said for all the idols as well. They have microphones and a sound system. They don’t need to project their voices. At least they don’t have to sing these songs after tomorrow. They can finally move on.

    I actually found his interpretations on tour to be full of nuance.

    I love his interpretation of Rocket Man. I actually have an mp3 from Arizona show and when you take away the visual, you can focus on the way he stretches his voice here and there. It showcases much more of his range than the other songs do.

  25. Yes, he did have 41,00 come out for his homecoming and Crystal had 5,000 and Casey had 4,000

    None of this really matters much at this point, but Crystal had something like 8,000-10,000 at the one venue and probably 10,000-12,000 at the 2nd. Plus, Chicago is a city of 3 million, Toledo is a city of 300,000. And her hometown is all of about 200 people – the 2nd venue was the county fairgrounds near her town. The whole county might have 41,000 people, I don’t think it’s even that much (it’s a rural county east of Toledo). 41,000 – what Lee got at his homecoming – would have been more than 1/8 of the population of the city of Toledo, and as much as most of the entire counties around here outside of Toledo/Lucas County. Kinda hard to compare those numbers. Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the country, Toledo is barely the 4th biggest in Ohio.

  26. The style was all wrong for him too – I feel by nature he’s not a “power voice” sort of singer and that’s what they’re trying to make him be, hence the shoutiness. At least that acoustic one he did right after the show suited his voice better. It’s like they told him to quit doing it that way and find a way to rework the original that left it still as an arena rock style instead of intimate acoustic.

    I agree. Though Lee can pull off these big,strong,arena songs they aren’t really ‘him’. He has hinted around in interviews that there is quite a story that he can’t talk about regarding “Beautiful Day”. He says his new album will be folk/rock/pop/even soul but it will be ‘him’. I hope that means more like his last album Slumberland and less like the AI tour songs. Listen to this to see what I mean: http://www.amazon.com/Princess/dp/B003DZI8Y4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1283223493&sr=1-1 – it’s a free download

  27. I only read a few people (Sorry about that! I’m mostly interested in Aaron at this point).

    Although for all those who haven’t liked her take on “Spiderwebs,” you must not have liked the original either, cause she sounded dead on to me. Or maybe this was just a really good night for her?

    I don’t think it was dead on, but I don’t think it was as bad as people said. I saw a video of it on YouTube and I was really underwhelmed. Live, it was much better. A bit sleepy compared to the original, but good.

    Glad you thought Aaron was solid, even if he didn’t blow you away :).

    Good point about Katie. She really got sass this concert, and I loved it!

    Tim was pleasant too :D.

    This review was a lot more positive than I thought it would be :P.

  28. The Huntington Center in Toledo holds 8,000 and it was not totally full but a great crowd for Crystal and the other idols too…there was lots of love for all of them, especially the top 3.
    The Riverbend Center in Cinn. holds 20,500 and looks like is was only about half full tonight, hope the crowd was still good to them!
    People come from all over the area on each of these concerts not just the idols home towns so it great to see so much support for all of the idols for these and their hometown visits…let’s hope the support keeps coming for them as they start out on their careers.
    I like Lee in his recording voice better too, however he is putting on a show on tour and making it fun so I see nothing bad about bringing it and rocking out just as any singer would on such a huge stage. Casey is the same, loud and rocking it…hope he gets well soon, he has lots to do on that new album.

  29. Music, however, is one of the biggest loves of my life and always will be. I love all styles of music

    Thanks for your great recap mozart4898. You are similar to me only I am 20 years older – musical upbringing- started piano at 4 & learnt singing as a teenager!! I have always appreciated your posts as I know where you are coming from.
    Thanks for your honest appraisal of the idols. I’d love to see Casey & Crystal in concert but unfortunately I don’t see them coming to Australia any time soon. That’s why I so appreciate all these recaps & those that take videos so that I can get a taste of what the concerts are like!!

  30. I think Big Mike gets the criticism because he’s doing songs where the melodies aren’t as obvious and the songs aren’t as well known. I think a more famous song from Al Green or Marvin Gaye would have gone over better…

  31. None of this really matters much at this point, but Crystal had something like 8,000-10,000 at the one venue and probably 10,000-12,000 at the 2nd. Plus, Chicago is a city of 3 million, Toledo is a city of 300,000. And her hometown is all of about 200 people – the 2nd venue was the county fairgrounds near her town. The whole county might have 41,000 people, I don’t think it’s even that much (it’s a rural county east of Toledo). 41,000 – what Lee got at his homecoming – would have been more than 1/8 of the population of the city of Toledo, and as much as most of the entire counties around here outside of Toledo/Lucas County. Kinda hard to compare those numbers. Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the country, Toledo is barely the 4th biggest in Ohio.

    Exactly and this is what I meant about comparing apples and oranges. Chicago is huge compared to Toledo and is larger than Ft. Worth as well! It was stated that Casey drew 4K. :) That figure is correct for the tiny town of Cool, Texas. But what was left out was the attendance at the WWF in the evening. Concert began at 9:30 and an estimated crowd (I get my information from local folks in Texas who were in attendance) was 35,000.) It doesn’t matter at this point but correct information should be put out if going to be put out at all IMO. CASEY rocks!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.