Karen’s Greenville Recap:
On Tuesday night I saw the American Idol tour concert in Greenville SC. Suffice it to say that if you get a chance to see this show, do it. Blake’s set alone was worth the $75 ticket price.
As you may know, Greenville is the home of Chris Sligh, one of my early favorites who was sent packing too soon in my opinion. So I knew the crowd would be very pro-Chris. As it turned out, he had had to have an emergency root canal that morning, so he wasn’t as peppy as he could have been, but the coincidence was that there was a little girl in front of me (with her parents and grandma in tow) who had been to the same dentist while he was there. She was so proud.
It’s really hard to give a blow-by-blow description because I think I read that there were 35 songs in the show. Each singer had one solo number (except Blake and Jordin), plus there were a variety of duets and group numbers, all in no particular order. Blake closed out the first half and Jordin finished the show.
There were two giant screens, one on each side of the stage, where they showed videos by past Idol greats like Carrie, Kellie, Chris, and Fantasia, (No Taylor or Katharine to be found anywhere.) during the hour that people were filing in. They also had taped the Idols asking trivia questions about the other Idols, such as Phil asking Which Idol attended the University of Michigan? Then LaKisha saying It was me. That was interesting. As hardcore as I consider myself, I didn’t know most of them. Then the bandmembers began coming onstage getting ready to go, with like 30 minutes before the show. A “janitor” was pushing a broom around also. I had read that this was Blake, and it indeed was. So the giant screen above the stage zoomed in for a closeup and you could see Blake taking off the wig, hat, and coveralls. It was cute. Then the whole group comes out and they sing “Let’s Get it Started” by the Blackeye Peas, complete with all the guys doing the rap lines. It was awesome. After that I can’t really remember any of the order, but here is what each of them picked for solos:
Chris Sligh – “Typical” by Mute Math (which he did in the top 24 week)
Gina – “Who Knew” by Pink
Haley – “When God-Fearing Women Get the Blues” or something like that … I couldn’t understand any of the words
Sanjaya – “The Way You Make Me Feel”, complete with moonwalking
Phil – “Blaze of Glory” from BonJovi week
Chris Rich – “This Love” which Blake did in the finals
LaKisha – “I Will Always Love You” which she wanted to do during the show but didn’t get the chance
Melinda – “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” which she dedicated to the audience. Dang, she should have won.
At the end of the first half, Blake came out and did three in a row. “Time of the Season”, into “She Will be Loved” where he played just the guitar and taped, with his foot, on some contraption, all his own background vocals and beatboxing licks. That kid is a genius, I tell you. Then he went into a fairly long beatboxing thing which morphed into “You Give Love a Bad Name”. It was just as good as it was the other two times we saw it on the show. As I said, this alone was worth the $75 for each ticket plus $10 to park.
I know this isn’t a complete list of the group numbers, but here are the ones I could remember:
Jordin/Chris Rich – both played guitars on a Rascal Flatts song
Jordin/Melinda – “This Will Be” by Natalie Cole
Blake/Chris Rich – “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai (Blake did during top 24
Melinda/Lakisha – Supremes medley that included “Baby Love”, “Stop in the Name of Love”, then went into “Heard it Through the Grapevine” and Chris Rich joined in.
Melinda/Sanjaya – “Proud Mary”
Phil/Gina – some country song, probably Faith Hill/Tim McGraw
Haley/Sanjaya/Chris Rich – “Life is a Highway”
LaKisha/Gina/Haley – “Lady Marmalade”
LaKisha/Gina/Haley/Melinda – “Ain’t No Other Man”
All 5 guys – Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” into “Hey Jude” while they each played an instrument: Phil keyboard, Blake guitar, Chris Sligh guitar, Sanjaya tambourine (Precious!), Chris Rich drums. Each of them took turns singing the lines. Incredible.
Phil with the girls on backup, dressed in his Navy uniform – “America the Beautiful” in the Ray Charles style. Spine-tingling.
Chris Sligh/Gina – can’t remember what it was, but it was great.
The only useless part of the show was Haley. I liked her in the beginning of the season, before she jammed her legs down our throats. She spent her whole time on stage doing that Victoria Secret Fashion Show pony prance or shaking her booty. Bleech.
Everyone else was amazing. I am now an official Phil Phan. And I love Chris Rich. The only song he was nasally on was the Rascal Flatts. He has a ton of stage presence. He and Phil were like the ambassadors, going “How’s it going Greenville” to get the crowd up. Chris Sligh is incredibly talented. I can’t tell you how beautiful he sang Hey Jude. And what a great guitar player. Gina is beautiful and moves very naturally on the stage. Sanjaya was so much better – he has really grown into a decent singer. Much more powerful voice than on the show. Didn’t detract at all with any antics like I expected. LaKisha is gorgeous in person, not nearly as big as she looked on TV, and when she did “I Will Always Love You” in this white gown with a black lace bodice. It was breathtaking. She really could be the next Whitney. Melinda is tiny, very gracious, just like she seems on TV, and just an unbelievable talent. Blake is tiny also, and wore a variety of weird outfits that really suited him, from the signature plaid grandpa pants to a cute tee that just simply said NERD on the front. That kid is going to be somebody. He is WAY not the best singer up there, which was obvious, but the creativity he has floating around in his brain is mind-boggling.
Jordin did her two duets in the first half, then disappeared until the end, where she put on her own mini-concert. Started with “I Who Have Nothing”, then “Heartbreaker”, then picked up a guitar and sat on a stool and did Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me” with no band. It was a thousand times better than Jewel’s version. Then did “Livin’ on a Prayer”, and it was good. Then the rest of the kids came out so sing a few of the choruses with her, and acted like that was the end of the show. So after a fairly long applause and encore begging, she came back out in a different dress to do “This is My Now”. Then for a curtain call, each of the Idols, dressed in white, did a snippet of what they did for their solo, then all launched into “This is My Now” together.
The show started at 7:30, 30 minutes late, had about a 20-minute intermission, and was over at 10:30. Maybe because I had lower expectations since this group was roundly considered to be less talented than last year’s crop, I couldn’t believe how great it was. There wasn’t a lot of wasted scripted dialogue, just a bunch of songs morphing into each other. The producer really did a great job.
Again, if you have a chance to see this show, do it.