You read his tweets, now read his recap. Our very own Jammasta reviews last night’s American Idols Live concert in Sacramento!
First of all, a message for all English teachers out there: DRILL STUDENTS HARD WITH INTRO PARAGRAPHS. I’m having a hard time thinking of an introduction to this! Wah!
Alright, time to stop venting and get to the good stuff. I’m the token 21-year-old dude who transforms into a cougar or a teenage girl when it comes to Idol. You run into those…. Like, NEVER. Maybe Jim Cantiello, but I don’t think he’s 21. Apparently some people are still taken aback when they find out I’m really a straight guy. Maybe I should start ogling women more often and drinking beer. Problem is that I’m insane enough sober, and I never drink. OH WELL. Anyway, enough about me, this is an Idol concert recap, and it is more detailed than my Twitter recap (name is jammasta1289 because someone stole my name already!)
In short, it was a fun day full of entertainment, a little bit of laughter, a little bit of pain, sprinkled with a few BITCH PLEASE moments. In length, well…. Here goes nothing.
I almost didn’t want to go to the concert anymore after hearing of the Season 6 format that was pretty much repeated for this show. Then I heard the entire first half was all Pia singing, but Stefano also lifted his shirt during one performance. Connecting the dots, my logic said “Wait, it’s the Pia Toscano show, so everyone is Pia. Stefano lifts his shirt, but he’s Pia, so Pia lifts her shirt!” At which point I decided I should go to the concert (No, this wasn’t my real reason for going, it was a joke >_>).
I took the day off of work yesterday (I only work 4 day weeks and I schedule myself, so it wasn’t too big a deal except now I work Friday) to try to get to the venue early like some people do. I heard Scotty’s tour color was Trojan blue, so I grabbed a random old blue polo, which was somewhat oversized for my liking, and some khaki shorts to make it feel summery. Unfortunately parking didn’t open until 4:00, and my lazy ass did not want to work hard enough to get VIP tickets or meet and greet passes or anything special, so I was out of luck. We did eventually get in.
Power Balance Pavilion (formerly known as Arco Arena, which was a more awesome and roll-off-the-tongue name, STILL MAD ABOUT THE NAME CHANGE) is still not all that familiar with me, as I’ve only gone there a handful of times. We went to the buses to see if there was any action going on, went to the radio stations to see if we could get ticket upgrades or something similar, which was a bust. But HOORAY for overpriced souvenirs and food. My mom bought the $25 program, and I bought a shirt and pictures of 4 of my favorite Idol contestants this season (namely Scotty, James, Naima, and Casey) for about… $55. Yeah, not the best investment ever, but so worth it. I should’ve been more masculine and bought one of Pia to hang on my ceiling so I can say I wake up to a sexy woman every morning. Bought another overpriced but delicious item, a chili cheese dog. My heart will hate me and so will my amount of belly fat, but I’m at a normal weight, so life goes on.
Before the concert, they had the typical “show every Idol and play Idol music” on the big screen. They played That’s All Right by Scotty (at which point I yelled SCOTTY really loud in the venue), If I Had You by Adam Lambert (I yelled ADAM this time), and Live Like We’re Dying (KRIS!!!!!!!!!), and I sang Before He Cheats a bit. I have a really murderous version of Carrie Underwood’s song that I’m working on. It involves cannibalism and hell, so I hope I can finish it and have it as my coronation single when I audition for season 12 and win (which will never happen since I don’t sing often). That’s a side story.
Now for the applause observations when they appeared on the screens: I’d say Scotty got the most. James, Lauren, Haley, Pia, and Casey got a lot. Stefano, and Paul got decent applause. Jacob, Thia and Naima were left out to dry.
Before long, it was finally time for the show to open. Before the show, there were some uncertainties of what would happen. First of all, was I gonna like the show? The concert had adopted a format much like Season 6’s tour, which had a format I hated, PLUS a 9th placer getting so much more time than anyone else made me feel uncomfortable. Second of all, was Lauren Alaina going to perform? As most everyone knows, she fell down backstage in Portland, got a third degree ankle sprain (which is the most severe type of ligament tearing) and was shown with a bedazzled boot. Well, in short, both answers were yes.
The show opened with Born This Way by the girls. I was kinda busy posting my show updated on my Twitter to really notice what was going on. What I did notice was that Pia was helping Lauren down the stairs and that the girls were having fun. I somewhat liked the intro of the concert. It was a little odd that the guys didn’t join in for a group performance, hence the somewhat. Naima singing on the “rap” part was pretty good. After the performance, Naima walks Lauren to the crowd to introduce the concert.
The next performance was Pia with “Empire State of Mind”. At this point I remembered that the acoustics at the venue are really loud and annoying. BITCH PLEASE #2, fix the sound. It might be my bias for the song, but I really liked this performance other than the deafening acoustics. She sang it well, she moved a LOT for Pia (she walked down the stairs and took a right to walk on the right side of the stage! That’s a LOT for her!), and she was current. Good start to make up for her old-fashioned performances during her Idol run.
Pia then stayed on for “California King Bed”, which was one of my favorite performances of the night. Clearly the person behind me didn’t really like it because she said “Again?” when Pia came back. When Stefano came out, things really kicked in. It was a good duet with harmonies and emotion. Piaishotooohyeah…..wait what?
Paul took the stage for Maggie May next. I have to say, Paul is a very natural entertainer and a genuine dude, always wanting to please others while staying true to himself. Yet he also dances on stage like a drunk uncle. Things that make you go hmm. Anyway, the audience got up and I saw a bunch of middle-aged women dancing. He certainly engaged the audience so much better than any other performer so far.
Thia came to sing Who Says by Selena Gomez. I kinda zoned out because of Twitter, so I’ll have to catch up on that one. From what I remember, she had more fun with it than she did with any other performance on the show and she’s a good singer, but I think she could’ve done something better. When she did Out Here On My Own on the show, I froze and got a crazy amount of goosebumps. Something to compromise the two would’ve been better.
The girls minus Lauren join Thia for Tightrope by Janelle Monae. Personally, I was most excited about seeing Naima and Haley on a song. Pia looked uncomfortable moving, but Naima made up for that. It was good to see the girls let loose somewhat.
In comes Stefano with a really eerie intro. He stands at the keyboard and sings “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. For the record, before the concert, I said “If I ever have to hear another Bruno Mars song in my life I am punching a dog.” The radio plays him ALL THE TIME, so naturally I’d have something against this song. Stefano just took whatever I had against that song and incinerated it. He did put his foot in his mouth a few weeks ago with some hints of cockiness that made me lose my idea of him, but he fought all that and poured his heart into a really good performance. By the way, why did I laugh when his secret according to the program was that he was in love once and had his heart broken? I thought about that after this performance.
The girls join him for DJ Got Us Falling In Love. He has fun with this one…. Probably a bit much as he decides to lift up his shirt. I got embarrassed for some reason and covered my eyes (As if I never see another guy shirtless >_>). I also yelled “PIA’S TURN” soon after he lifted his shirt. I got a weird look from the girl in front of me. BITCH PLEASE watch the concert and don’t look at me. Stefano, BITCH PLEASE I’m sexier than you are (to a degree…. The picture I posted wasn’t at all my best and I was wearing two shirts which hid my (lack of) sexiness) and if you do that again I will staple your shirt to your pants and inject you with estrogen.
The girls transform into guys as they sing Animal by Neon Trees with the exception of Scotty. Casey, James, and Jacob get a load of applause. Jacob’s applause was interesting. This was clearly one of the fun numbers, as Jacob and Casey were notably getting really into the performances with dancing and other shenanigans.
J. Lo takes over the big screen to announce that her song On The Floor is being performed by Naima. My initial gripes with the song choice were that Naima could’ve done a more fitting song, and that song doesn’t have much of a singer’s melody. Naima really brought the house down with it, however. The entire section next to me was on their feet in the middle of Naima’s performance. Her African dance moves wowed everyone, and, in one of the most epic parts of the night, she cartwheels, does another move into the splits, at which point she starts singing the chorus. I’m pretty sure that if I were alone I would’ve probably ran around the house in excitement. She gets everyone standing up by the end.
Everyone gets excited as Pia introduces her new single, This Time. I heard it and wasn’t in love with it, but saw it as catchy. She (or the sound system) mumbled the first few words, which distracted me for the rest of the night. The one thing I did notice was that she fixed her grammar on the “My bags is packed” part. It got pretty quiet until she hit a glory note and the ending, after which there was major applause. For the most part, it was very…. Dull. I felt horrible, Pia was so excited to introduce her new single but the performance was probably the worst of the night. I feel bad. Anyway, the reception was very odd. It seemed like the audience was zoned out, then she hit glory note and suddenly BAM.
Lauren, complete with bedazzled boot and cane, takes the stage to sing Firework! Bleh, this one is terrible. Thia doesn’t do too bad, but I think Pia and Lauren were really worn out. Lauren’s a trooper for performing in her state. But it’s the calm before the storm that is the next performance.
Casey Abrams is the first of the performers to have a near complete set, which is good because these paragraph breaks are making this recap seem much longer than it really is. A moment of silence is followed by Casey playing his bass to a jazzy intro of Smooth by Santana. This totally brought out the girl in me. I was jittering in my seat and screaming like a maniac. He has a real musicality about him. All the talk about him being just a good funny performer but not that great a musician was put to rest, in my opinion. He added some scat (of the vocal, not fecal, variety), jazz, and injected fun.
Then came Haley to join him for Moanin’, one of the moments of the season. It was a really fun performance with the two having a bit of a scat battle (once again, vocal). They performed it so naturally. Casey seemed like he started getting exhausted, but he was just introducing his next song Harder to Breathe. I don’t remember this one much, to be honest, but he did control the stage well. One of the best so far. I forgot which song it was, but he added a bit of “I Don’t Need No Doctor”. I think it was “Harder to Breathe”.
Everyone except Scotty comes out for Forget You, at which point I dig my face into my palm as Jacob is singing his heart out and I hear nothing. I was genuinely confused and I wanted to thrash about. Overall, this number really showed the weaknesses of the sound system and group performances. The group overall seemed quiet and tentative after Jacob’s silence. We did get to hear him sing later in the song. Casey saved it with the “WHY”s and the little bit of Crazy he put in there. Overall, other than Casey and Jacob finally getting back into the song, it wasn’t a great number.
INTERMISSION! My mom charged her phone in the concessions for a bit. And finally we get to everyone’s mini sets, which means NO PARAGRAPH BREAKS FOR A WHILE! YAY!
Lauren, for whatever reason, opened the first half with a three song set of Flat on the Floor, Like My Mother Does, and If I Die Young joined by Haley, Thia, and Stefano on the third song. Lauren really floored me with this one. The trooper performed with a pretty bad injury but still fought through and slaughtered each performance wonderfully. During Flat on the Floor, she walked down the steps with her cane, which was a little bit distracting since some may have been worried she’d fall. Luckily, someone left a stool of the sitting variety in the middle of the stage for her to sit on. It was a little weird to see her sit and rock Flat on the Floor at the same time, but it worked. She did a little adorable banter about her injury with the audience, saying that she is a better user of the cane than she thought she’d be. She then sang Like My Mother Does. It made me think of my mom a bit, so it hit close to home. I had to grab my mom next to me and wave her arm. I think my mom appreciated the gesture somewhat. Then on If I Die Young, suddenly after two great starts, she flubs and misses notes horribly, but comes back strongly. I really like the sunset tree background of the song. It kinda felt like the three back-up singers were there for aesthetics., however. Overall, Lauren was captivating.
DURBIN TIME! Everyone got up as James entered from the audience. Security walked him through while he sang Sweet Child o’ Mine and did an amazing job with it. He knew how to work the stage, ran across it to the fans, and wore his tail again. He presented himself well with his first song. His second song was quite amazing, as well. Smoke and a background consisting of some of the serious lyrics of the song and silhouettes of James really set the mood for it. Muse is one of my favorite bands ever, and Uprising was the song that got me into them (Granted, I do like their earlier stuff more now). James did it justice and changed it up more (sang in a higher octave in the second verse, screamed the last chorus all the way to the end). He did run into the audience, which kinda scared me. He also gave his tail away. Very good from James. Although he did run across the stage a lot which made him pull up his pants. AWKWARD. GOD DAMMIT MAH EYEZ.
Jacob was an extremely pleasant surprise. He really killed his first song. It’s like he took tips from Casey, James, and Stefano to work the stage and have fun without compromising the vocals. Very little oversinging, as well. He just looked like he had fun and sang well. His second song, You’re All I Need to Get By, however, was more amazing than the first. Pia, Naima, and Stefano join him as back-ups and he instills the soul he placed in some of his performances into that song. Very nice improvement for Jacob.
Then comes the eerie call of “There is….. a house…. In New Orleans…” at which point, the crowd erupts. Haley’s live version of the song was just as good as it was on the show. I was like DAMN. I should’ve brought adult diapers or a second pair of underwear. This was really awesome. She wasn’t hit as hard as anyone else by the bad sound system, so I could hear her easily. Bennie and the Jets was also really fun. I couldn’t help but dance in my seat.
Then came the moment of the night when all Idol winners are shown winning (and I yell “SHOULD HAVE BEEN CRYSTAL” to myself for last year), ending with Scotty of course. The man of the night makes me squeal like a little teenage girl. I’ve had enough of excitement making me, but oh well. He opened with Your Man, and everyone stood up. This is where the two violent BITCH PLEASE moments come in. Most likely due to paranoia, but right after I screamed twice during this song I got two glares, one from the same girl who turned around at my shirtless comment about Pia. BITCH PLEASE, leave me alone. No? Then COME AT ME BRO. However, I could also have been incredibly paranoid and they could’ve thought I was… interesting. Pretty much every single person in the audience stood up for this one. Screams, applause, and standing. I think this guy has the best chance to make it big based on that and his overall performance quality. I think I had to control myself, as when I dance I apparently gain Karen Rodriguez hips and swivel and drop, so I got embarrassed again.
As if by sleight of hand, a guitar suddenly magically appeared in his hands while he sang “Are You Going To Kiss Me Or Not”. Another fun one. I almost wanted to yell “No, I love you but not like that man”. Scotty is such a natural performer to me. Everything he does is captivating (with the exception of a few weeks in the early Idol run). Even the somewhat dreck-y I Love You This Big was a good one (I’m still waiting for a guy to use that as a very inappropriate pick-up line). It was a little odd when Lauren joined the stage, but they sang together very beautifully. Two different brands of country, but effective together. Thia, Pia, and Haley join the two as Scotty sings Gone. There wasn’t as much movement from the girls as Lauren couldn’t move much. Like all of Scotty’s other performances, VERY good and engaging. I wonder how stupid I looked with my gun fingers at the “BANG BANG” and once where I cocked an air shotgun with my arms at one of the other “BANG BANG”s. Scotty knows how to entertain and he’s not a bad singer. The kicker of this performance is that Scotty got some OLD MEN to stand up and clap and dance. I’ve never seen that. I hope he makes it big in the music world.
The final group number was a fun one. James and Lauren do a very interesting duet. You would think the two don’t combine well, but they were really good together. James seems a little nervous helping Lauren down, he almost forgets her (Naima, Pia, and Scotty did help her), but he eventually helps her down. Paul, Haley, and Casey do Faithfully by Journey, and they have fun. Stefano, Naima, Thia, and Jacob come in WONDERFULLY on Walk This Way by Aerosmith. This part of the medley was really good. Then they all come together (including Scotty’s only group performance) on Any Way You Want It/Lovin’, Touchin, Squeezin’, and I was pleasantly surprised that Scotty sang pretty well on Any Way You Want It. A bit of an encore ensued, then we went to the buses to meet them.
Oddly enough, the first one to come out and sign autograph is none other than Lauren Alaina!….’s mother. That was really interesting. She seemed like a really sweet person, conversing with the fans and more. The first one to come out is Casey, who is an absolute entertainer in person. I get a picture and a video of him shouting out to my sister who’s a fan of him, but in the process, I skip his autograph. OOPS. James comes out next and urges the fans at the barricades to scream. He is hungry and eats for a bit, and when he finally does sign autographs, it seems like something is bothering him. He’s rushing through and very quiet. I was a bit worried. Naima is next to come out with a stroller, and she is an absolutely amazing person. Very sweet with the fans and very appreciative. When I told her I was her #1 fan (she’s in my Top 3 with Scotty and James), she got REALLY excited and danced. Pia was next. This meeting was a little awkward. I love Pia and am a huge fan, but she didn’t do too well last night. I said “HI, I’m a huge…fan?” and then we took a picture. She’s very hot and very tiny. Drool. I also noticed that she was wearing the exact same outfit she wore to Ryan Seacrest’s show promoting her single. I wonder if she showered and put deodorant on, that would be quite unattractive if she smelled bad. Stefano came out in a hat and sunglasses and a smile. He got everyone to start singing out of nowhere. I think he lifted up his shirt for someone who asked but I’m not sure.
Paul was a really cool dude, he and I had a bit of a conversation. He said California’s awesome and asked everyone if they had fun, the suck up in me said “It’s more important that you did!” He said “DUDE!” in response. He did say “I have my one song” at some point. He’s a really friendly guy. We talked a bit about California weather. I think there was a girl with him. If it was Nikki Reed, I would’ve been kinda surprised she didn’t get buzz, but it did look like her. She hugged Lauren’s mom. Maybe it wasn’t her. I asked my mom for a Filipino phrase to say to her, and she tells me to say “Mahal kita!” (I love you). MOM PLEASE, that’s creepy I went with kumusta ka, and Thia asks if I’m half-Filipino (which I am). Thia was pretty and sweet. Scotty also came out, and I think he was a little intimidated by my screaming of his name. When I tried to get a picture with him, my phone died and my mom’s photo was terrible. I did tell Scotty that I do get compared to him so we’re like twins, to which he replied “…Doggone.” In his deep voice. That’s a moment I’ll remember forever as a huge Scotty fan. EEEEEEEE.
Anyway, my friend randomly ran into me and we got a better picture with Scotty. Scotty seemed a bit overwhelmed, but I think he’ll get used to it. There were so many pictures, he was asking “Where am I looking?” all the time and looking a bit dazed. I met Jacob, and he’s a really cool dude. He asked how I was, and I had to tell him that “You’re All I Need To Get By” was extremely amazing. He was incredibly humbled. Lauren was wheeled out and walked her way to the fans on crutches. What a trooper she is. To end the night, we met Haley. This was the most amazing of the meetings. I told her that I Who Have Nothing was the best performance of the season, and she smiled. Then suddenly, a group of women next to me starts singing “There is…. A house… in New Orleans…”, at which point we all join as Haley giggles and jumps about as we all sing House of the Rising Sun to her. She was so overwhelmed with joy at us singing to her! It was really amazing. She is definitely not a bitch, lol. Though I did notice she has some thick legs.
Overall, we had a great time. Long day. I didn’t wear that Scotty shirt for very long, it got really uncomfortable over a polo. I’ll probably never wear that polo again, since I looked a bit heavier in it. Oh, and one thing I liked about the concert was that the judges appeared again. Steven Tyler was typically his insane self, J. Lo was promoting Naima’s performance of her song, and Randy was being stupid with his “BEST SEASON EVER IN IT TO WIN IT I WEAR SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT DAWG” routine. Steven Tyler called this season 11 and cussed a few times for the lulz. By the end of the show, I think everyone got really good reception at the concert based on applause. Naima, Thia, and Jacob came back from their lack of applause and got more, and in general it was a feel good show. My gripes were that Jacob, James, and Haley seemed shafted by the format, Pia’s single was a dud performance, and Stefano showed me his body in a way I don’t ever want to see. I would recommend this show.
DISCLAIMER: I may be a grammar nerd, but my grammar sucks at 2:00 in the morning!