News bulletins from the Manchester American Idol concert:
· More items were tossed on stage at the final concert in Manchester than all the previous concerts combined, beginning with a few during Allison’s set and so many during Adam’s that I lost count.
· About 4 or 5 minutes after DSB was over and they were starting to take the set down, Adam came up front on the stage and held court with his most loyal fans, chatting with them, and taking the chain and pendant around his neck off’ ¦.he then tossed it to the girl fans in the three or four rows up front nearest the stage. One of them caught it. Since most people were leaving the arena at this time, was this meeting prearranged?
· During his set, Adam said, ‘Thank you, Manchester, for helping to make my dream come true.’
· Kris, still recovering from illness, kept a glass of honey (or whiskey, or whatever it was) on top of his piano, and needed to take a big slug of it between the second and third songs in his set. Although he looked paler than usual and was a little raspy once when he talked, Kris nevertheless put on one of his best performances ever, and received some of the best applause he’s ever received.
· No one left the concert early to take up positions at the barricades, although there were easily 500 to 1, 000 concertgoers out there after the concert.
· The concert was a near sellout, with about 95% of the seats sold; the Verizon Wireless Arena had around 9, 000 seats for the AI concert
· Danny Gokey received a tremendous, enthusiastic reception in Manchester, nearly as great as Kris’s and Adam’s. He also seemed to imitate Adam with a mic stand move.
· Matt Giraud gave an impressive performance combining virtuoso piano playing and great vocals, and proved he is a professional ready for the big time. He also received enthusiastic applause.
· Allison Iraheta turned in a flawless performance with purposeful stage moves, lots of energy, and spontaneous humor. She received enormous applause. She also showed lots of cleavage.
· Adam appeared in Elvis hair and extra glitter, and someone threw him a hat that had ‘LAMBERT’ written on the hatband, and he put it on and wore it briefly before throwing it back into the audience.
· Adam said ‘Woman’ during WLL
· There weren’t many concertgoers wearing Idol-specific clothing. A teenage girl wore a T-shirt which read, ‘Suzanne © Kris’ . A gal in her 20’s wore a T-shirt which read, ‘Adam Lambert Rocks My World.’ And a boy and a girl, apparently twins about 8 or 9 years old, carried a banner in support of Adam; they were accompanied by their mother. There were also stick puppets of Adam and Danny in the audience.
· The audience was composed mainly of families with children ages 5-12. There were plenty of girl tweens and teens. Also mothers and college-age daughters. Some couples without children. And lots of Cougars. The ratio of females to males estimated at 60% to 40%. And there were plenty of people over 60.
· Ideal weather for the concert, sunny and 75 degrees during the day, about 70 at concert time and 60 degrees when the concert let out.
· The acoustics in the Verizon Arena were decent, there was little or no helium voice during Starlight and Mad World, and the band did not overpower the vocals
· Not everyone in the audience was from New Hampshire; there were numerous people from nearby Massachusetts, and some from Texas, Florida, and California. People came from as far away as England, Japan and South Africa. For some, this was their 7th American Idol concert this summer. There were lots of repeaters as well as first timers.
· All the Idols mentioned that this was the last concert, and thanked everyone for their support on the tour, and during the TV program.
· Price cuts on some items; programs were only $10 (instead of $25), but did not sell out at the concert.
Ranking the Idols in Manchester
Here’s how I would rank the Season 8 Idols, based on their performance at the Manchester concert:
Adam fans get together the day before
Actually, for me and a dozen other Adam fans, the festivities began the day before the concert, with dinner at a downtown Manchester restaurant that had been organized by an Adam fan from California. There were Adam fans from California, Texas and Florida, several from Massachusetts, and one who came all the way from South Africa. Several were from the Concord, NH area, and I’m from Florida too, but temporarily in New Hampshire for the summer.
. It was like an unofficial meeting of Adam Addicts Anonymous. I was the only guy present, and I distributed some Adam stick puppets I had made to the ladies, who seemed to like them. The dinner lasted for nearly three hours, and just about all the topics you would expect were covered.
One of the gals had skipped the early part of AI8, and only tuned in by accident, and caught Adam singing ‘Mad world’ , just like me. She said it only took her a few seconds to realize that here was our next superstar. I came to the same conclusion too, except it took me 15 seconds longer (I’m kind of slow).
There were anecdotes about Adam in the workplace, about walking in to someone’s office and spotting a picture of ‘him’ on someone’s desk, and realizing that here was another kindred spirit.. A woman who works at a large medical center said that fellow employees she barely knew, including people from foreign nations on different continents, were just as intense Adam fans as she was. She said her 30-year-old son was OK with her Adam obsession, but her 24-year-old son, not so much. He even said to her, ‘Mom, you’d rather be Adam’s mother than my mother, ‘ she said, which she found troubling.
For some of those at the dinner Monday night, Manchester was not their first AI Season 8 summer tour concert. I knew that at least one had attended the Providence concert on Sunday night. What I did not know was that several had attended a total of 7 concerts each.
There was some discussion of how ‘he’ had taken over their lives; some felt that this obsession had left them maybe neglecting matters they otherwise would have attended to; one had a routine: check the computer at 8am to get the latest developments. There was general consensus, I think, that Adam’s performances of ‘Whole lotta love’ was a crucial part of their Adamfandom. And I think that because Manchester was going to be the very last concert, a sense of some kind of dreaded finality was beginning to set in.
‘What are we going to do until the album comes out?’ one said. I suggested they watch videos of Allison’s performances on Telemundo’s QuinceaÃƒ ± era contest on the Internet; several said they would. (Just go to Google or Yahoo, and type in ‘Allison Iraheta Telemundo video’ and you should get a link direct to the videos. Her performance, in Spanish, of ‘Volverte a amar’ is well worth seeing, and her 6-minute version of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total eclipse of the heart’ (in English) is absolutely compelling’ ¦one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever seen. One of the men judges was so choked up afterwards he couldn’t speak, and instead wrote the numeral ten on a piece of paper, and held it over his head. She was so good on QuinceaÃƒ ± era, and she was two years younger. Several Allison fans have wondered why she didn’t sing ‘like that’ on American Idol. Also worth viewing is the video of her winning QuinceaÃƒ ± era (this might be listed as ‘ganadora’ or ‘Allison gana’ ¦’ ); it’s in Spanish, but it’s touching to watch, especially the part where she starts to cry, thanks the judges, and tells her mother she loves her.
And now the Gary J Special Awards for Season 8:
Best song revision:
Kris, for ‘Heartless’
Best lyric inflection:
Anoop, for ‘True Colors’
Most moving song:
Allison, for ‘I can’t make you love me’
Best urban myth:
Slash isn’t a singer, so why is he a mentor?
(Slash was lead singer on Guns ‘N Roses’ ‘Civil war’ )
Slash, for warning that if Danny lost the end of Aerosmith’s
‘Dream on’ , the whole performance would be ruined
Most misleading statistic:
Only 23 million viewers watched the finale (but 40
million watched the last ten minutes of it)
Best all-around musician:
Most obvious superstar:
The One to Watch:
Allison, as always
Best concert myth:
that Adam has a ‘helium voice’ or a ‘feminine’ voice
(the problem is concertgoers’ ears overreacting to the cheering after WLL)
Most improved (from zero to hero):
Biggest improvement on tour:
Best job with a clunker:
Adam, for ‘Play that funky music’
Worst song choice:
Anoop, for ‘Beat it’
Had the judges totally in his pocket:
Boldest song makeover:
Adam, for ‘Ring of fire’
Biggest heartthrob for Kara:
Most accurate guess:
that Adam might be gay
Best bluegrass duet:
Michael and Megan, with Steve Martin on banjo
Most likely to have an unexpected career:
Ryan, for hassling Adam about his makeup/ maybe being gay
Best friends after the season:
Adam and Kris
Most likely country star:
Most corny jokes on tour:
Best microphone stand handling:
Most heartfelt mentor
: Smokey Robinson
Most haunting performance:
Adam, for ‘Mad World’
Most unsung AI7 Idols:
Brooke White and Michael Johns, for persuading Allison to audition for AI8
Most technical knowledge:
Most attacked by the judges after first hyping:
Biggest connoisseur of Southern barbecue:
Received most false accusations of ‘diva’ :
Best ambassador for the tour:
Called ‘smoking hot’ most often by girls:
Called ‘adorable’ most often by girls:
Called ‘sweet guy’ most often by girls: