JPFan’s American Idol Tour Newark (Sun) Recap

This was my second Idol show. The first being S5 which was my first time at the rodeo and everything was peaches and cream. But that was three years ago (300 in Idol years) and am no longer in the honeymoon phase with Idol. Anyway the S5 tour was held at the Meadowlands which was a much nicer venue and they gave away pop tarts. The current tour went to the Prudential Center in Newark. So here I am with a stomach virus riding the PATH trains to Newark with my husband who never watched the show. Almost as icky as it sounds.

The Prudential Center is grim just like the city it’s in but I smile when I see the audience. How can you not love the Idol audience. Lots of tweens in pink, sweet families where the parents are spending a fortune buying snacks, and just a sea of happy folks. By the way I didn’t see too many fellow Manhattanites on that PATH train with me. So at the concert lots of pink but very little black. I did see a limo pull out and waited to see the celebs but it was the usual Idol family with tweens.

My husband and I find our seats in the nosebleeds. Since I have no real favorites, I didn’t want to spend too much money. He’s happy because the beer is a larger size than regulation and isn’t too expensive. I refuse to pay $5 for a Coke but I’m a grinch. The families around me are buying popcorn, pretzels, etc. Surprisingly, not so many middle aged folks but date night couples on either side of us.

Show begins with Michael Sarver and he’s a faraway speck. And here I have to compare the show with S5. The sound where I am is horrible. It’s way too loud and I think they used canned music as well. I don’t remember the Meadowlands having that much distortion. It took a lot of the fun out of the first half for me. So here’s my rundown:

Micheal Sarver looked handsome with good energy but I felt like I was on a cruise ship listening to him. Megan was somewhat enjoyable. Who knew I would like quirky and I thought her voice was much improved from the show. I’m a fan of both the songs she did and thought they were more interesting than most. I have to say that in general the contestants this year picked some pretty generic stuff to sing. Scott had good stage presence and maybe the best audience connection of the night but I felt I was back on the boat. Okay, I really, really hated Lil. She defined karaoke to me and I started to wonder what the hell I was doing in Newark with a stomach ache. Anoop’s vocals overcame the bad sound system and I appreciate his skills. That said, there is something boring about his presentation. And then Matt came on and sang Hot to Handle. For the first time all night, I felt the show had evolved away from the cruise and I was actually in an arena. He brought a lot of excitement, joy and stage presence to that song. Unfortunately, George and The Fray song were good but not at that level. Back to karaoke.

Intermission and we decide since we surrounded by a sea of empty seats to move up. While the floor was full when you hit the nosebleeds there were lots of empty so I’ll say the hall was around 85% full. Our new seats improve the sound because the second half sounds a lot better. Or maybe the singers are better.

Allison- she’s talented but I don’t like her song choices. What can I say, I just can’t connect with her but I acknowledge the talent. She’s already at a complete other level from the first half of the concert.

I like Danny Gokey’s voice. It’s strong and he sounds great on PYT. The tweens sitting near me begin to lose their minds and start screaming “We love you Danny” at the top of their lungs. And we’re miles away from the stage so they’re loud. And they’re so excited, both my husband and I laugh our asses off. They do the same for Adam and then reach the ultimate when Kris hits the stage. They’ll have sore throats for a month.

Pretty Young Thing makes me want to get up and dance. I don’t because I still feel sick. Maria, Maria is a little weird. But I like What Hurts the Most. Danny’s sermon (which I’ve been dreading) isn’t that bad. He thanks fans for Facebook, Twitter and tells people not to let obstacles hold them down. That’s about it and he sings My Wish. He puts a lot of feeling into it and I am moved. Sure he’s all over the place musically and won’t have much of a career without the 19 machine but I like his set.

Okay Adam time. And I admit I am a sucker. I’ve read a few recaps and while Adam wasn’t my thing on TV, I get excited. Supposedly, this guy sounds 100x better live and is unforgettable. The screaming goes to a new level, the video is popping and…It’s Adam and he’s not 100X better than on the show. He’s about the same and maybe not even as good. Disappointment. Starlight is okay but I like Mad World. It’s very good. Here comes Allison and the Slow Ride duet. It’s a fun. They sound great together and the underwear is flying. The tweens near me are screaming and life is good.

Bye Allison and it’s Bowie time. My husband who hasn’t said much all night but is a big Bowie fans whispers in my ear – he’s no Bowie. Who is? Although the dancing is uhm interesting. Very slinky. Kris actually does sound a lot better than on the show. Again I feel I’m at a real concert. However, I am not in love with Kris’ song choices and I’m getting very tired. Right after Hey Jude, we bail to the sounds of DSB. On the PATH train home, my husband says the concert was fun. His favorites – that old guy (Danny) and the last guy (Kris.) He doesn’t know anyone’s names but enjoyed the show.

I could be very cynical about a glorified karaoke show but why. It’s a fun night. The crowd is 100% positive. The idols seemed honestly sincere and thankful. Sorry for not saying something good about everyone but the tour is just a prelude to the real world. And that is going to be rough. So would I do it again. I’d see the top 4 and Matt again. Not the rest..

An Idol tour is like a sporting event. It’s more fun when you’re rooting for someone.

About mj santilli 34891 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!