I guess I should start this off by introducing myself. My name is Brittney and I’m a 16-year-old senior in high school. I love writing and would love to pursue authorship and screenwriting as my career path after school – so I apologize if this is long-winded. Anyway, I’ve watched Idol religiously since the middle of the first season and this was the fourth American Idol tour that I’ve attended (Seasons 4, 6 & 7 previously). My favorites during this season consisted of, in this order, Adam, Kris, Matt and Allison. But I must say, this was the best Idol Tour I have ever attended. Some people that I did not enjoy one bit on the show really proved how talented they were in the allotted time frame they were allowed. It was truly an amazing experience.
I attended this concert with my friend Elizabeth, who drove us to The Palace. I made my way to her house around 11:00. We left driving the 45 minutes to the venue way early to try and get in to meet the Idols early. Unfortunately once we arrived the security guard informed us that we couldn’t even get in the lot, not until 4:00 that is, and we were super bummed. What on earth were we going to do for 4 hours? Nothing productive or entertaining was coming to mind, so we continued to drive around to figure out where we were going to go. Eventually it dawned on me that we still had to get to the box office to get tickets for the concert that night, and the box office was open from 9 AM – 6 PM. Hallelujah!
We made our way back to the first entrance and the security guard threatened to chase us out of the parking lot if we didn’t come out with tickets because he thought we were lying. Go figure, huh? Two teenage girls with home-made Kradam shirts don’t look remotely suspicious of sneaking into the venue to try and meet the Idols, aha. Well, we headed inside and we seriously did have to get tickets. Elizabeth and I walked up to the box office and the lady was extremely nice. Neither of us could afford really good seats, so we had to settle for the less-than-desirable $40.50 seats. We ended up getting the very last section on the left hand side on the upper bowl, first row – which I was surprisingly okay with. I just wanted to hear/see the Idols live. That’s all I wanted. We went back to the car and headed out, flashing our newly printed tickets to the security guard, just to show him that we weren’t a couple of lying teenagers.
By the time we finished that, it was only around 12:30. We still had 3 1/2 hours to kill. Liz got out at a gas station and asked what there was to do around there. Turns out that Great Lakes Crossing ‘â€ a really nice, beautiful mall ‘â€ was a mere 5 minutes away from where we were. Win! By the time we got onto I-75 again, it was pouring again (It had been raining pretty liberally all day, but had finally begun to let up). We could barely see 5 feet in front of us. I love the rain, but really. It was just another downer to our already bummer day. We had really been looking forward to meeting the Idols that morning/afternoon. But the mall was actually a good mood lifter. I’ve only been to G.L.C. maybe once or twice before and I was little. I mean, around 3-years-old. I normally dislike malls and shopping, but this was fun.
At 3:45 we decided that it was okay to head back and see if they would let us in the lot. They did! And when they did, to our surprise, we found a decent sized group of fans standing by this huge window about 1 floor up from the ground. We raced to a parking spot, grabbed our posters and went back to the line. Of course I had to forget something. I forgot the most important thing – my camera. I raced back to the car, only to hear huge screams from the crowd I just left. I thought, “Seriously? Why me? Why did I have to miss something?” Elizabeth called me and said some of the Idols went by the window and waved and stuff. “Okay, good, ” I thought – I was in the clear. Nothing too major happened. Thank God.
By the time I got back, it was nearly time for the sign-and-slide meet and greet and more Idols began walking by the window. Matt came by and blew kisses and took a picture of part of the group on his phone. I also saw Kris, Michael and Adam’s hair by the time they finished. After the M&G was done, Matt tweeted that he’d be coming outside to meet the fans soon! Some of the people in line, including myself, received this tweet and spread the message to the other fans. The mood changed quick and I mean really quick. Everyone was suddenly very anxious and nervous at the same time. I, for one, was excited. This was Matt’s home-state! We had to show him some love.
At around 5:15, they called us over to the buses, where the security guards put up barricades. By that time, I was pumped. I had made one side of my poster specifically for Matt because he’s from Michigan (and the fact that he’s one of my favorites). Within a few minutes, he came outside! There was a pretty big turn out for autographs and I was toward the end of the line on the opposite side where he started. He went through everyone and was extremely gracious, patient and most of all hilarious. Matt came to Elizabeth and I within 15-20 minutes. He came up to me and signed my poster, reading the quote that I had on it, which was one of his. He smiled and I told him that my friend Jordyn had drawn the tour bus that was on there for him (long story, aha) and she was on the phone. So I was wondering if he could say Hi to her. He obliged, and said, “Hey Jordyn, this is Matt Giraud. Thanks for the tour bus drawing. …” and something else that I can’t quite remember.
Then a girl who was couple people down started playing Matt’s studio version of “Let’s Get It On” from her phone, and he began to sing along. I asked him for a picture, and he said yes. We were sitting with our arms around each other for a few moments before the woman next to me sweetly took our picture on my camera. During that time Matt was singing “Let’s Get It On” near my ear. And let me tell you – his voice is so magnificent. Very, very soulful/bluesy. Even though I only heard a small, kind of quiet snippet, I definitely liked what I heard, aha. We got the picture and he moved on. Elizabeth unfortunately didn’t get her poster up to get signed in time, so we ran to the end and got him to sign it before he was pulled inside. After the crowd yelled “Bye!” we went back to the car and put our posters away, grabbed our tickets and followed the people inside.
Once we were in, we heading directly to merchandise. I didn’t want to go at intermission – I absolutely hate going at intermission. So we waited about 5 minutes. I bought myself an Adam Lambert tee-shirt, an Adam head-shot and a Matt head-shot for Jordyn. Liz and I got to our seats, and they weren’t actually as bad as I had anticipated. Unfortunately what was bad was the constant loop of Carrie, Daughtry and Cook videos. By the time “All-American Girl” came on for the 4th time, I wanted to chuck something at an innocent by-standard to get my aggravation out. I have a feeling I won’t be listening to Carrie Underwood for quite some time. At 7:05, I texted Rickey to see if I should call him when the show started or wait because he had to run an errand (I was the cell caster for the night). He said to wait, so I waited for his text as the show began…
Michael came out guns blazing and ready to fire up that crowd. His voice was definitely a shock to me. I thought he was cute on the show, and had a decent voice but he surprised me live. As many have said before me, his voice is a lot stronger and better in concert. Both songs were quite enjoyable and the crowd received him well. He got a pretty good response.
My favorite song from set: “In Love With A Girl”
Megan was next, and let me tell you I was absolutely NOT a fan of her on the show. I was looking forward to trashing her after her set just to prove that I was right by not liking her. But I couldn’t do that. Not one bit. Her voice was so strong, quirky, unique and different that I finally realized what the judges had seen in her. The first song was definitely the better of the two, but I would not say that the Amy Winehouse song was bad, because it wasn’t. It was actually quite good. It just was so obscure that it kind of took me by surprise. One bit of advice, though – lose the pink. Megan’s pretty, but she’s not a barbie doll, seriously.
My favorite song from set: “Put Your Records On”
At this point, Rickey had texted me saying that I could call for the cell cast. I called, and since we were the last section before a black curtain was up, I could rest my phone on the stairs next to us – that was nice.
Scott came up on the piano and he also surprised me. It seems that this night was going to be full of surprises. When he was on the show, I felt that he only progressed as far as he did because of his vision impairment. But again, his voice was much stronger live. And even though I had heard his jokes on prior cell casts and videos, I still felt compelled to laugh really hard. He was too cute. He also received a warm response from the audience – Detroit was bringing it. (:
My favorite song from set: “Bend and Break”
Lil came out full blast and she was alright. Her set seemed too long to me, and I didn’t enjoy that. Of all the Idols, she was the one I connected with the least. Don’t get me wrong, the crowd was into it and her voice just totally blew the roof off of The Palace, but I definitely did not feel that strong emotional connection to the songs she was singing that I had felt with everyone else who sang previously. I also agree with everyone who said that the lyrics on the screen during “Single Ladies” distracts the audience – because it does. Her dancing was pretty good, though. So I’ll have to give her that.
My favorite song from set: “Be Without You” and “Just Fine” medley.
Anoop Dogg was in the house! He was yet another person who wasn’t a favorite of mine on the show, but his sultry, smooth R&B voice definitely made me reconsider that fact. I could really feel his emotion in the songs and I got the sense that he was truly having the time of his life up on that stage. He gave a shout out to Matt and finished up his set. One of his sustained notes actually made me stop moving, stop everything and just stare. It was fantastic, he was fantastic.
My favorite song from set: “My Prerogative”
It was finally Matt’s turn and let me tell you, Michigan loves our boy. The crowd was electrified, you could feel the anticipation for him to come out. He came out and pretty much poured everything he had into those three songs. A little more than half of the audience was standing through his set, dancing along, whooping, cheering and hollering for him the entire time he performed – I was one of them. Elizabeth and I stood through his entire set. I knew I liked him before the show, but by the time he finished his third song, I was craving more. He was so close to being my favorite that I couldn’t even fathom it. I had never imagined liking him that much, but I did after his set, and I do now. He was fantastic. I can’t believe he hasn’t been signed, like many others. If and when he comes back near the Detroit area, I’ll be one of the first to buy tickets. (Matt nearly got loudest screams from the crowd – pretty much tied with Kris, only beaten by Adam).
My favorite song from set: “Hard To Handle”
Group medley was next before intermission. I don’t particularly remember this well, but I know my favorite part was definitely Matt and Scott’s dueling piano bit. At intermission, Elizabeth went to go get a Matt head-shot and I began to rip my hair out at the sound of Carrie’s videos. Bring back the Poptarts – at least they were entertaining and not monotonous and annoying.
Everyone was right about Allison’s set starting really quick and without much notice. I called Rickey back and rocked out in my seat. She was good. Really good. Her voice is definitely authentic rock, there’s no mistaking it. The crowd was dancing and singing along. For only being 17, quite near my age, I have major respect for her as a performer. I could never get up on stage with that much confidence and pour every emotion into a song. That’s not a skill, that’s a gift and a rare one at that. I cannot wait for her album.
My favorite song from set: “Cry Baby”
Oh yay, my favorite person was next… Before the concert, I would’ve been the first person to stand up, raise my hand and express my disliking for Danny. He started off and I just could not get into it. My dislike for his voice just came forward and I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t dance, I couldn’t sing, I just felt kind of blah. The same thing happened during his second song, for me at least. I tried, I honestly did. But I just couldn’t get into it with those first two songs. And then. Then he moved on to the two country songs and I was sold. I was screaming, cheering and applauding. He was fabulous and I hated admitting it, but I actually liked what he was doing. I’m very glad he’s chosen the country route – I think he’ll be wonderful in that genre. His speech was not preachy in any way, shape or form and actually empowered me. He was great.
My favorite song from set: “What Hurts The Most”
Adam. Oh, Adam. The person I was waiting for all night. People who have been to concerts previous to this one were right. There is absolutely no way to describe Adam. He is electrifying, sexy, daring, bold, crazy, eccentric, a true performer. I stood through his entire set, and so did nearly everyone at the Palace. There was a whole different type of energy surging throughout the stadium. It was something I’ve never experienced before at a concert, and this was my 12th concert. Adam was in perfect voice and I actually felt weak when he was singing. I had to rest against these glass things that they had before our seats while I was standing. I felt my voice losing its strength every time I screamed. I didn’t know it was humanly possible for a person to look so gorgeous, have a voice like that and be the human slinky across that stage. He did many upon many pelvic thrusts and mic stand strokes throughout his set and he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. He had the loudest screams by a long-shot. I just, words still can’t describe the experience. It was a one-of-a-kind performance by a superstar performer. I would pay big money to go see him again. (PS | He sang ‘woman’ during WLL ;])
My favorite song from set: “Whole Lotta Love” and “Starlight”
Kris, Kris, Kris! Yes, the atmosphere did change when he came out, but definitely not in a negative way. His screams were insane as well, but I feel like the mood changed because of the performer. Kris’ set calls for a more subdued aura from the crowd, and that’s what he got. But that didn’t make his performance any less amazing. His singer-songwriter demeanor drew me in from the minute he came out and sang his first song. His voice also seems to have gotten quite a bit stronger to me since the show ended. It filled up the stadium and I felt every emotion he was putting into each song. Kris was wonderful and I would pay to go see him again anytime. I’m also really pumped for his single/album to come out!
My favorite song from set: “Bright Lights”
Don’t Stop Believing was great, as usual, and Adam actually sang the glory note! Aha. I was excited. The concert ended and we filed out with the crowd. Unfortunately, because we live 45 minutes away and the MI law is that if you’re under 17, you can’t drive past midnight unless you’re driving to/from work. So, Elizabeth and I couldn’t stay because we knew the Idols came out a bit later due to the After-Party. Nonetheless, it was an amazing experience and probably one of the best, if not the best, concert I’ve ever been to. (: