Dukesterathlete’s American Idols Live Atlanta Recap

A “lady who was sitting next to” dukesterathelete sent him a link to her photos. Check them out HERE.


First, let me begin by saying I am no professional writer and i have read some great recaps on here, so don’t expect too much from me lol.

This was my 4th American Idols Live concert experience (i went to Seasons 2, 3, & 4 previously) and it was undoubtedly, my favorite. I had a full blown Idol excursion to Atlanta that was topped off with front row miracle seats. I am actually inspired to write quite a bit about my day, but for those of you who have better things to do than read about how everything leading up to the concert went, well, ignore the sections with the [ ] around them (kind of like the long scripture readings at church.. and you hope you get the one priest that always skips them…joking joking). Anyways…

I am a HUGE Lambert fan. But don’t worry, I won’t talk about him too much (maybe…). For me, it’s always been about vocals first and foremost and then everything else, and I was enthralled with Adam’s technique since the first time I clicked his performance of “Crazy” from MJs spoilers thread before the season even began. I was so excited for this guy to be on the show that I showed everyone i knew who was even mildly interested in Idol that this guy was the one to watch this season. I didn’t care if people were receptive to his style or whatnot, I just knew he was going to add so much to the show with his eccentric personality and insane vocal skills. And by the end of the season, he easily became my favorite contestant of all time (and most likely forever). So I knew i had to go to the tour this year.

[ The week leading up to the Idol concert was crazy for me, and I would have gotten tickets far in advance but since they weren’t coming to my hometown, I wanted to make sure I was able to go before I forked out the cash (I’m a college kid here). My buddy who is also an Idol fanatic really wanted to go so I started looking for tickets online- none at the arena or ticket-master (they explained they sold out within days of the ticket release date..which made me happy for the Idols, but sad for me all at the same time) and all i found online were horse shit nose bleeds for 70 bucks. Finally, craigslist offered some hope, but after my failed negotiation attempts with half a dozen scalpers (my negotiations consisted of offering them half the asking price then getting laughed at), I went on the MJ boards to see how to score some good seats for cheap. Well, a couple people mentioned trying ticket-master everyday leading up to the show (and especially the day of the show) because they always release more as the event gets closer. Well, i tried that all week and still nothing. I was thinking I’d end up driving all the way there to get some shitty scalped seats for 2x the price. But it was better than nothing. ]

[ So a few days before the event, my buddy called and said he couldn’t make it. That was heartbreaking because I knew we would have a blast, even in the upper deck nose bleed seats. Luckily, a friend of mine was able to come as a replacement. She had NEVER seen the show and had no idea what to expect. Well, we opted to go to six flags during the day and then head over to the idol concert at night. So, I woke up at 2am the morning of the show and decided to check craigslist one last time in hopes that something good might pop up. Well, some guy posted about having 2 great tickets right on the side for 85 bucks, and i sent him a message to call me tomorrow if he still had them. and we headed out on the 6 hour journey to Atlanta. The ride there consisted of me educating her about this season of Idol so she would at least know what to expect. So I played her every single one of Adam’s show performances and studio recordings and even let her watch Crawl Thru Fire from the Zodiac show on my ipod. Then we listened to some Allison, Megan, and Kris. This, along with 4 hours of her sleeping while i drove, ended us up in Atlanta at about 10am to enjoy an adventurous day at Six Flags. ]

[ The park was awesome, but i’ll spare you the details. I was calling ticketmaster every 30min to see if new tickets were released- again, no luck. Well, it so happened that the guy from craigslist called me to tell me he still had the tickets and that he would even bring the tickets TO ME!!!. Well, after crapping on myself out of joy, I talked to him a couple more times throughout the day before he told me he would give me a 30 minute warning before he got there. Well, 5pm rolled around and no call back. I wanted to hunt this guy down and..ya… So, we left the park and I decided to give the arena one last call to see if they had any tickets left. Well, they did release more tickets but she was not allowed to sell them to me over the phone, and ticket-master was closed so i was pretty much fucked. She told me to try and find a publix because i could buy them there. This is when God made it apparent to me why i brought my friend (Christine) with me. Her hawk eyes spotted a publix on the way to the arena to which i pulled a james bond car maneuver to make the exit. As i spoke to the lady at the customer services, she explained that she had two sets of 2 seats together on the floor- one being in the back in F6 and one being “towards” the front in F2, row P, each costing 70 bucks. So, i thought i had scored some pretty decent tickets at the last minute. I did a quick change into my Adam Lambert style clothes in support of my favorite idol, and we were back off to the arena. ]

As we were nearing the exit for the Arena, I noticed that it was backed up probably close to 2 miles and barely moving. Well, it was 6:30 and there was no MFing way I was waiting in that line. So, I became one of those people who I hate and rode along side the exit lanes trying to find an “opening”. But as you all know, Idol fans are ruthless, and these cars were like a line of elephants holding each others tails with their trunks. I knew my only hope was to find appropriately dressed Adam fans to let me in..and what do ya know…I came across a young chick with black hair and a pink streak in it and I thought to myself: Money. So i rolled down the window, and asked, “Hey, is this the exit for the American Idol concert?” (yes, i knew it was the exit) to which she responded, “Ya.” And i said, ” Hey, are you an adam fan?!?!?!” (yes, i already knew the answer to that too- i gots me some Idol Instincts) to which she said with a big huge smile, “Hell YAAA!!!” Fortunately, I had I Can’t Get No Satisfaction playing, so as soon as she said that i turned it up full BLAST and we head banged together for a quick second (or maybe I just did?) and she snapped a quick pic of me and let me get in front of her (if your reading this lady, I love you). All the while, my friend was in the passengers seat getting her first impression of how crazy people get into this awesome fucking show. From that moment, i knew it was going to be an awesome night.

Ok, so as we entered the arena, it was about 7:15, and I heard a big applause in the Arena, and i knew at worst I had just missed Michael Sarver…which really didn’t bother me. I opened the doors to the venue to see Megan on the stage, and for me, her vocals sounded awesome. So we made our way down to the floor and a very nice female usher helped us find out seats. Now, I knew my seats were fairly close (Row P), but when this chick started talking us closer and closer to the stage, I started getting goosebumps. I mean, I was like doing the alphabet in my head and was thinking, “either my kindergarden teacher was on crack and taught me the Mayan alphabet or this usher is lost.” Well, you can imagine my astonishment when she took us to the front row and sat us right by the corner of the stage. I mean, i could have stuck my hand over the railing and touched it (which i wanted to do but that might cause some trouble). I was like, WHOEVER DESIGNED THIS SEATING CHART IS A FREAKING GENIUS!!! Ok, so after peeing myself for about 5 minutes to the idea that Adam Lambert was going to be performing just feet from me, I sunk back into reality and tried to take everything in. I DESPERATELY wanted to get good footage for you guys of the show, so i brought my good video camera; but it was impossible to get video footage that close. As soon as i touched my camera it was like a silent alarm, the security guards came up to me saying No Go (ya, that happened 4 times…i thought he was gunna break it the 4th time). I even tried to make a barrier of ppl behind me so i could discretely tape (because i knew this footage would be awesome), but again- not humanly possible. Then i tried leaving it on the seat facing up towards the stage- Nope, he saw it. They wouldn’t even let me take stills with it, even when i explained they were just pictures. Oh well, I figured i’d just enjoy the show. Luckily, i had a disposable camera left with e nough shots to take of each contest (except Kris unfortunately, as i blew my camera load all on adam’s set out of sheer excitement…but we will get to that). Ok, so time to review everybody (except Michael, cuz i missed him…sorry Michael) and i know ppl have their favorites so I figured Id label it to make it easy for people to read.

Ok- Before you read my recap, I must say that during the show, I was not judging these contestant at all. I was just letting go and enjoying the moment. I still noticed certain things that could have been done better, but there was not one second of that show that I wasn’t eternally grateful for. In the scheme of life, all these contestants have great talent. They can all sing. However, my recap is a bit pickier. AI has turned me into an analyzer, so thats probably why I sound really picky on most of it. But i will say that if you watched the show and even mildly enjoyed the show, you MUST go to the concert as it was an AMAZING experience…

Whoops. Sorry Michael, missed you set. Nothing personal, just traffic.

I know I said vocals are first and foremost with me, but there’s something about Megan that I really enjoy and I loved every second of her on stage. First, she looks like a million bucks and her marketability and quirky voice could land her a more successful career than other contests who have substantially better vocals. It was very loud where I was sitting, and although there were a couple of pitchy moments (moreso in the Amy Winehouse song) I thought her vocals and sage presence were good enough to give her respect for making it to the top 10. She was my favorite contestant that night from the 6th to 10th place finishers. Her set kinda happened so fast, there really wasn’t much else to say. But i love it. And her little quirky moves.

Scott’s a simple guy. I appreciate his piano playing as i play the keys myself, and I can also appreciate his simple ‘billy joelish’ nature of just singing a song. Scott’s range is very limited, and i hate when he tries to go out of his range because its not very pleasant sounding to me. But his Thousand Miles was wonderful and simple and he’s a pro at the paino. He had a great speech prepared that consisted of his “High Five” moment with Ryan Seacrest at his audition. What else did he sing? oops, forgot. Nice work, Scott!

Lil’s got a nice, big, full voice. But the chick just does not get the name of the game (still!). All 3 of her songs were just karaoke. She sounded fine, but I’m always left with that empty feeling of ‘who cares?’. There’s just no originality. I did enjoy her Be Without You the most. She’s got very good instincts/phrasing on that song. But her No One and Single Ladies were just…ok. IMHO, no one should sing Alicia Keys. I have never heard someone sing one of her songs and been like, “ok, they did that justice.” I just don’t think its possible. It was a tiny bit pitchy. Then came Single Ladies. I understand picking the song because everyone knows it and its a crowd pleaser and everyone can do the little hand movement’s with you- but give it a bit of something different. She just sang thru the song, just like Beyonce. And the lady next to me and I were commenting on how voluptuous Lil’ buttocks was looking that night. However, Lil was enjoyable and I had a lot of fun watching her.

Anoop never did much for me on the show. I thought and still think he has a very good voice tho, but I was just never able to connect with the guy on any level. He sang a couple ballads, and hit some nice glory notes. He was enjoyable to watch and his stage presence has improved vastly. My biggest bone to pick with Anoop is that the guy is just an image crisis. Its not really the way he looks, it’s moreso what he wears. I mean, he looked good in the clothes, but it was kinda…um…awkward. However, his Always on My Mind was technically perfect and you can tell he loves that song. Lots of passions in his face on the number. His My Prerogative offered some “warm up thrusts” for when Adam took the stage later, to let us know that “THIS AIN’T TV-G ANYMORE BABY!!!” He was the first contestant to have the first real audible “pre-teen-screams” of the night too. I wish I had got to hear him do another song he didn’t do in the competition. He sang some current R&B song that I can’t remember for the life of me for his and song. Kinda karaoke. Oh well.

Ok. So Matt was one of my initial favorites early on in the show, but by the time he left idol, I felt he hadn’t lived up to my expectations. However, I do have to say, I was 100% satisfied with every choice Matt made on that stage during the concert. The piano playing, the song choice, the look, the voice= A+. Never would have guessed that he would chose Hard to Handle, but it was a great starter to get the crowd goin’, and when he played the piano at the end, I felt like the big boys had come out to play tonight. Georgia was amazing, and i must also say that Matt’s falsetto, which I normally found to be very shaky on the show, was in perfect form tonight. The ending Fray song was the bomb, and I think he does the Fray covers brilliantly (when he’s not so nervous). Anyways, Matt was fantastic and I am true fan of his and can definitely say that I will buy his album and go see him in concert when that happens. Bravo Matt G.

Duets/Group songs:
Megan and LiL- um. could have done without that. Who ever thought of the idea, “Oh, I bet LiL and Megan’s voices will mesh perfectly together, ” is a tard and should be replaced. The look on Megan’s face when she was going for a note that she knew was in her Danger Zone was priceless; kinda like, “Oooohhh fuuuuuck here goes nothing.” Still love her voice tho.
Matt/Scott- Love me some dueling pianos. I went to the Elton John/Billy Joel concert this year and loved when those 2 guys had their pianos facing each other and sang their tunes together. And this reminded me very much of that. I think Matt owns the piano and Scott is right there with him.
All 6- I loved the aesthetics when the 6 contestants were at the front of the stage. Totally cool. I did however notice that everyone was doing the same hand gestures except Megan at times. Maybe she was in lala land tonight, who knows. But ya, nicely done!

BATHROOM BREAK!!! On my way up to the restrooms a women stopped me and said her friend almost “bopped” me because she thought I was Adam. Haha. I laughed. But I did give her my email and she said she would send me all the pics she took from the side of the stage where her seats where ( ETA: i just got her email and her pics are awesome. to view go HERE ). I also high-fived about 5 different Adam fans on the way up the stairs- highlight of the night. Anyways, back to the show:

This chick, i mean little girl, came out in full force. She was all over that stage. Her presence was only surpassed by Adam’s that night, and it was even better than when she was on the show. Allison was by far my second favorite of season 8. Thought the girl was extraordinary. I think she needs a bit of work on the guitar skillz to make it easier for her to play while she sings, but i thought So What was a great crowd pleaser. Cry Baby gave me the first goosebumps of the night. Damn i love this girl. She practically stood right in front of me on stage for half of one of her songs. It was sooooo flippin’ cool. The only thing that bugged me about her was the strain she was putting on her voice. It seemed as though she was using her voice really roughly, and at 16, that’s not a good habit to get into. But none the less, she sounded great. Baracuda was the bomb, she rocked it. Who the fuck decided she only gets to do 3 songs? Um, replace them too, thanks. Great job Allison.

I love Danny’s voice. I think it’s 2nd best after Adam. But for some reason, NOTHING else about Danny has ever appealed to me. But i really enjoyed listening to him live. He sounds absolutely amazing live. I don’t understand exactly what kind of music he “does” because he sang P.Y.T., then Maria Maria (kinda latin’ish/salsa’ish) then 2 Rascall Flats songs. Identity crisis much? I think that during last 2 songs, i just listened to him while i sent out a mass text message telling everybody i was about to watch adam lambert live in the front row. Danny then talked about something inspirational before My Wish, which honestly, I completely tuned out because I was imagining what part of the stage Adam was going to enter from. But in all seriousness, I’m sure Danny is a super nice guy with a great voice. And i really enjoyed listening to him sang. He does have made skillz.

I took a bathroom break during Adam so…SYKE!!! No really, I honestly can’t remember anything that happened during his set because I was undergoing what Paula described as that hypnotic feeling she got while watching this dude perform (hers was probably more drug induced but I can assure you mine was not). Anyways, after Danny exited, the arena went pitch black and this deafening roar came from all over the venue. It was awesome. Lights, smoke, BAM!!! Adam got the works- and rightfully so. I was waiting all week for him to do Whole Lotta Love and I gotta say it was a sight to behold. Especially when he crotch-grabbed every time he sang “whole lotta love”, every time that happened high pitch screams flooded the venue (and simultaneously, mother’s put their hands over their 12 yr old daughter’s eyes). The highlight of the song is when he sings the accapella’ part and sticks the mike stand right between his legs. Aren’t we at an American Idol concert? Um, not anymore. This guy has huuuge gonads (figuratively speaking). When he sang “you need…” he gently caressed the mike stand up and down as if showing his affection towards it. Other’s might have gotten a different meaning from it, but that’s what I took it as :-) . No really, he violated the hell out of that stand. After that he sang Starlight which I thought was remarkable. I LOVE to hear my favorite artists do something I have never heard them sing before. If I had to compare it to one of his AI performances I would definitely compare it to Ring of FIre but more theatrical. His vocals on that song were so right now. His transitions were so fluid. Man this guy can sing. He can’t sing bad notes. After the song, Adam thanked all the people that voted for him and any one who voted period (which i thought was awesome) and said that he was doing this for us! Hellz ya! Next came Mad World. I mean, it was everything you would expect added with the fact that I was sitting 20 feet away fro m him while he was singing it. Oh by the way, I know you all know this, but his jacket was out of this world. I would love to see the price tag on that baby. I’d say 3-4K. I think by this point in his set, there was already a turquoise braw (a BIG turquoise braw!) thrown on stage right by his feet which he looked at, opened his eyes really big, then smiled/chuckled. Can’t remember when that happened because time does not exist when Adam Lambert is on stage. Next came his duet with Allison which was killer. Oh look! Another bra! Oo, a purple braw! Allison picked it up and like looked at it while they were performing together and i think she tossed it at him?! Then someone threw a bright purple feathery boa on stage, and Adam took this and put it around Allison while she was singing, which lasted about 5 seconds on her before she chuckled and took it off. I can tell Allison has learned so much from watching Adam perform and I’m sure he has been coaching her. They nailed that song. Brilliant. Now for the Bowie Medley. This was amazing. The highlight of the show. For anyone who watched Adam on the show and wanted to see more of the ‘camp’ and ‘over the top theatrics’, well you got it here. HERE is a great quality video that i found online which shows what i am talking about. *Bookmark* There was some kind of whip that i believe was placed on the stage prior to him coming out that he used to “spank” himself. I can’t really see someone throwing that on the stage, can you? And the medley was full of wails and some serious hip action and thrusting that made you proud to say, “I voted for that!” He only had a vest on at this point and really got campy with the second two numbers from the medley. He violated everyone in that room (yes, even the non-lambert fans) with his eyes. I would have watched him sing all night. The guys voice and stage presence is just godly. Oh, and right after he was done, Adam came down to the front row right behind the barricades and went up to this man who had leprosy. He touched him quickly as to not make it obvious, and instantly the man was healed. But you would only have seen this if you were in the first row, so take my word for it. Amazing. My female friend who had never seen this guy before expressed how she wanted to hook up with him asap. I quickly explained to her that that wasn’t very likely for several different reasons…

Well, I like Kris. He’s nice. But after Adam it was kind of like watching an acoustic show in a coffee shop. I mean, it was good. Better than most of the other contestants. But i wanted MORE DANCING!!!! No but really. Kris sounded really good. What he did was simple and I can appreciate that. I wish there was at least one song he would have stepped out from behind his instrument and done. Oh well. I was more excited talking to my friend about planning on getting from row seats to Adam’s solo tour when it starts. Oh ya, back to Kris. His Hey Jude was probably the highlight for his set. Everyone loved it. It was nice.

Group Song:

I really wanted to wait for autographs but I had a 6 hour car ride ahead of me and i knew it was going to be a 24hr+ day and i knew it wasn’t an option. My overall assessment of the tour is that it was fantastic. I love this show. And i loved the concert even more. It was the bomb. If you liked the show at all, go to the concert. It’s worth every penny (especially when ur in the front row). My only regret is that I didn’t bring one of my really good camera’s to take pics with. Had i known I’d be in the front row I would have. I’ll remember that for next time. Hope you guys enjoyed reading.

About mj santilli 34832 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!