Smartcookie traveled to Kansas City to attend the Cookie Homecoming Concert. Read her very detailed re-cap below… More on the Kansas City concert here.
I was there last night, and after a day of cars and airplanes and more cars… I’m home! WOO WOO!!
I don’t live anywhere near Kansas City, but my sister does, and I thought it would be fun to buy tickets to the KC show so we could go to Cookie’s home concert. I thought that would be a more special show than the ones nearer to me, and I think I was right. (Note: my sister was a HUGE Jason Castro fan, although Cook was her second fave. Her husband liked Cook as #1 and the other Cook #2. This will be important later.)
So I flew to Kansas City Thursday, and my sister and I shopped and had lovely cocktails at various lovely KC locations. No, I didn’t see anyone. When I went to the SYTYCD concert in Mpls-St. Paul, I saw a whole gaggle of the dancers at the Mall of America. If there was anywhere the Idols were congregating in KC, I didn’t see them.
More Recap After the JUMP…
My sister and her husband are not at the all the bus-stalking types, so I passed on that and we just did more shopping (lots of bargains in KC) and had another lovely dinner with lovely cocktails. Our waitress was slow and I was very worried we were going to be late, but we got to the Sprint Center along with a gazillion other people about five minutes before showtime, and my sister insisted we needed to park at the ramp, along with all gazillion other people. (Note to others who may attend events at the Sprint Center in the future — DO NOT PARK IN THE RAMP! I’m just sayin’.)
We were at the very top of the ramp and the elevator was packed, including a woman talking very loudly on her cell phone about her after-party passes (which got her some very dirty looks from the other people on the elevator) and she also shouted into her cell phone partner that she had seen Kim Caldwell with David Cook’s mother outside the Sprint Center and that Kim had shorter hair again. Yeah, whatev, Miss Trying to Sound Like an Insider. Maybe she was cell-certing to Rickey. What do I know? When I saw Kim later during the concert, she DID have shorter hair, so maybe Miss Trying to Sound Like an Insider really did know what she was talking about.
We got to our seats while Pop Tart guy was still yakking. I thought Chikeze was amazing (although I still like Elliott’s version of “I Believe to My Soul” better) but neither my sis or b-i-l cared for him. Crowd was very receptive. This was a pattern all night.
I thought Ramiele was AWESOME. Sis and b-i-l agreed. Sis was surprised at how much better she was in person because she didn’t like her on the show. I did like her on the show, and I was glad to see how happy and fizzy she seemed (like she was early on the show, before she lost Danny Noriega and her spizzerinctum.)
Michael Johns blew the joint away, and again, as with everyone, the crowd was very receptive. Pretty much everybody remarked on how good the crowd was, but we didn’t know if they say that every night. But that boy came off like a total star.
I took my potty break during Kristy Lee, but they both thought she was very good. I think she is a good singer, but a) I don’t like country much, and b) I don’t appreciate what I consider to be the shameless pandering of “Proud to Be an American.” Red, white and blue stripes in the audience? Really? REALLY?
Carly was fine, but her mix of songs isn’t my favorite. I liked “Crazy on You” but the Evanescence and Cyndi Lauper songs didn’t do much for me. Sis and b-i-l voted thumbs down.
Brooke was wonderful. We all loved her, and again, the crowd seemed to be in love. We agreed that Brooke is just Who She Is, so very genuine, and that she sings from the heart. It’s like we know exactly who is and that personality is reflected in every performance. The problem with Carly is that she’s more of a chameleon, and we weren’t sure who she was going to be next.
Oh well. But we loved Brooke.
During intermission, we saw Andrew Cook with someone who appeared to be his girfriend, David’s mother, and Kim Caldwell. I would say they were about three rows back from the little round projection of the stage, in the center section on the floor. We were sitting on the side and they were pretty much directly in front of us. Andrew had his arm around Kim for a while, which seemed a little strange, but whatev. They all came over and chatted with people in the front row of that side section (107-108) and seemed to be soaking up the love and taking pictures and enjoying the limelight. (The person I took to be Andrew’s gf was very cute but had total hoochie shoes on, if anyone cares about my judgment in these matters.)
Second half — my sister loveslovesloves Jason, and he did not disappoint her. I also thought he was better (and bigger) than I expected. He, like Brooke, projects this sense that he is and will always be exactly what you see, that he’s happy and centered and very real. Very enthusiastic response from the audience, including (to my ears) the most ear-shattering squeals.
Syesha was also warmly received, including a standing O for her last number. I wasn’t that into it, but the crowd certainly was.
Archuleta seemed off. I didn’t care for him on the show, so I thought he was pretty much the boy he always was, but my sister DID like him on the show and hated him in person. She kept mocking him for being a “mole boy”( his eyes were closed) and taking other potshots which surprised me. Shrug. Like I said, I thought he was pretty much the same Archie from the show. My b-i-l liked him a lot, and the crowd was absolutely bananas. The applause and love just would.not.end.
Cook was from another world entirely. He had the place in the palm of his hand, he seemed to be on Cloud Nine all night, and I just loved every single thing he did, including coming very near us (the stage right scaffolding by section 108) and standing on the bars to throw out some guitar picks. Except he muffed the throw and the first pick kind of fell at his foot and he cracked up. I swear he looked right at me when he did it and we shared a Cracking Up Moment. (I’m sure a thousand other women are right now pounding their keyboards to tell you that they shared a moment with David Cook when he dribbled his guitar pick. He has the knack of making each and every person there feel they are sharing a special, personal moment, I think. It didn’t hurt that he used the word “serendipitous, ” which is the word I put up as my favorite the one time I went to the official Idol forums, when they were trying to find a word to request. They went with something else, but I still like “serendiptious” best, so again, in my very own “Killing Me Softly” moment, this felt like a special thing just for me.)
Overall, I thought he could do no wrong, the thank you at the end was adorable, and all five songs were astonishingly good. I think we sang along to bits of each of them. We were as one, boy, for a moment in time.
On the other side of the dial, my sister and her husband hated “My Hero” with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, and she didn’t like “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, ” either. They both thought that Michael Johns stole the show, much to my surprise. The hubby thought Michael Johns and KLC were the highlights for him, while my sister went with MJ and then Jason and Brooke. I thought Cook was a rock star (maybe a whole rock planet) and that everybody was really, really good. We agreed that they all deserve contracts and that it will be a crying shame if anyone from this group doesn’t make a career in music.
So we wound our way back to the top of the parking ramp, where we sat in gridlock for a good 45 minutes. Somebody also stuck put some Idol tunes on in their car and blasted it out, so we listened to “Always Be My Baby” and “Imagine” and “Over the Rainbow, ” which was sweet of whoever did that.
I forgot to tell you that my sister loved her some Katharine McPhee during her season, and we went to see the House Bunny on the night of the first show. I actually liked that, too. Shocked the heck out of me, I’ll tell ya.
Even with the terrible parking issues, we all sort of left on a wave of good feeling, like we had all had The Time of Our Lives.