Read Babyse’s re-cap of an impromptu performance by Season 7 Idol, Michael Johns, Friday night in Atlanta. Then, check out the photos after the JUMP…
As a preface to this write-up, I’ll give a little background on me. I’m a newbie to the American Idol fandom. I live in Atlanta, and I’m a single mom with three kids between 9 and 13. I watched the show for the first time last season with my kids, but was a casual viewer. I liked most of the top 10, especially Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, and Jason Castro, but didn’t vote. My 13 year old daughter was crazy about David Archuletta, and voted for him every week. This season, I started out liking Kris, Adam, Allison, and Danny, while my daughter was nuts for Adam from the get-go. Adam got me with ‘Tracks of my Tears’, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I found MJ’s blog about half
way through the season, and have been here ever since.
Michael Johns set up a last-minute appearance at Tin Roof Cantina in Atlanta, a restaurant where he had regularly performed prior to his Idol career. I found out about it via twitter on Wednesday. He flew into town last night, and was on Q100 radio this morning. There was not a lot of publicity on the event, so the audience was small but
enthusiastic. He did a 6 song set, and then did a meet and greet with fans, where he signed autographs and took pictures.
I went with my two daughters, 9 and 13. We got to Tin Roof about 5:45, and sat outside on the patio to eat dinner. There were other fans there eating and waiting for the concert to start as well. One table was two moms and their 3 girls. All five of the girls got to know each other, and hung out on the stage patio together.
The concert ‘
The event was called for 7:00, but Michael didn’t arrive on-site until about 7:15. He didn’t come with an entourage. It was just him and his guitar and a few friends. By the time he got unloaded and they set up the equipment, he didn’t get on the stage until 7:30. Then he did a short sound-check and we were ready to go.
He started out playing his guitar, and said that he was going to play the song that started it all. ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long’ by Otis Redding. It was his Idol audition song, and he sang the heck out of it! It was very soulful and bluesy.
He said that he was going to play one of his favorite songs, To Love Somebody, which is on the new album. It was written by Barry Gibb for Otis Redding, but Otis died before he could record it. It was then recorded by the Bee Gees. He said recently that he was able to play the album version for Barry Gibb, and Barry liked it. The whole
audience was swaying along with this song, and singing softly along with Michael.
Then he played his new single, ‘Heart On My Sleeve’ , which was very smooth. The audience loved it.
He told us a story about his next song, which I didn’t recognize. He said that he wanted to do the song for 80’s week, but that Nigel and Simon wouldn’t let him because not enough people knew the song. Michael said that his season was the first that the producers gave out lists for the first three theme weeks ‘ that before then, the
contestants could do pretty much whatever they wanted. He sounded incredulous that people could not have heard of this song, because it was Australian and very popular. I guess Nigel and Simon were right, because I grew up in the 80’s and I had no idea what the song was! The lyrics included ‘Two worlds collided’ and ‘they couldn’t tear us
apart’, so google is telling me it’s an INXS song called ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ . Learn something new every day!
He did another song off the new album ‘ Fools Gold. He said that he was working with his producer in the studio, and the song just came out of him. He composed the whole 1st verse and the chorus verbatim, all at once, and that they were lucky that they recorded it, because he could never replicate it if he tried.
Then someone yelled out, ‘Sing Oh Donna!’ So he did ‘ several verses acappela. It was lovely!
He ended his set with ‘Carry That Weight / Golden Slumbers’ by the Beatles, which I also had to go to google to figure out. It was very good, and the audience loved it.
The Meet and Greet ‘
Michael spent about an hour signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone. He was very warm and friendly, and made everyone feel very special. He remembered lots of the people that he had met at other appearances. He was really good with the kids and signed everything that they asked him to, several times! We brought American
Idol themed TV Guides from last season with Michael’s pictures in them, which he happily signed. He laughed at the pics ‘ especially the one where Amanda Overmyer was poking him in the face.
Overall Impressions ‘
Michael is a true professional and a very nice guy. The nice guy persona that came through on the show was exactly what you saw in person. He is great with the fans. Throughout the show, he was talking to the people in the audience, some of whom he knew from performing there before, and some of whom he knew from other appearances. He chatted about Atlanta weather ‘ it was really hot and humid tonight! ‘ about how his schedule has been so crazy that he hadn’t been back to Atlanta for months, and about his upcoming tour with Brooke White. He spoke to the 5 girls right in front of the stage, some of whom were taking pictures with their phones, and posting them on facebook. Michael thought that was pretty cool. He told the girls ‘And yes, I do know David Archuletta. He’s on my speed dial’ , which set them off in a fit of giggles.
His voice sounds even better than it did on the show ‘ very rich and bluesy. He’s also even better looking in person! And much taller than I expected. I took pictures with him and came up to his shoulder! My daughters and I had a great evening, and will definitely see him again when he comes back to Atlanta in October.