Kelly’s American Idol Tour 2009 Grand Rapids MI Recap

My new ten friends smiled at me this morning from their new position on my desk as they heated my coffee with their warm embrace. The mug packaging read ‘inspected not less than seven times’  for quality. I only wish I could have watched Adam not less than seven times at the concert. He was there and gone before I could even comprehend the entire situation.

My name is Kelly and I have been an Adam-Aholic for almost a year now. I’m 46 and have watched AI since Fantasia. I have four children ages 4-14 and took the three kids 8, 10, 14 with me along with 3 sisters 24, 36, 30 and all their kids ranging from ages 8-17. We had 14 people in total around the arena. Fandom ranged from Adam to Kris to Danny and Allison but given I am from Grand Rapids now, Mattie G was our hometown hero. This was our 4th AI concert and by far the best by a mile. Daughtry was the only one I remember from S5’s concert experience, S6’s concert was for the kids as they loved Blake Lewis. S7 was all about the Davids and they did not disappoint. We are seeing DC next week locally and are huge fans. This year though, it was really about the whole show’ ¦.like eating one big blueberry pie! Simply delicious any way you cut it. Staying with the pie analogy’ ¦each piece of the concert was good but when I got to the spoonful that combines the sweet berries with the flaky warm crust topped with ice cream’ ¦well that was better than delicious’ ¦that was Adam!

I read every concert review, watched the videos and almost worked myself into an ulcer worrying about being 22 rows back on the floor. Silly me. I forgot that we live in Grand Rapids (GR), Michigan. A very conservative Dutch reform (though I am Catholic and will definitely add my thoughts about Adam to my confession list this week), Christian community. The floor stood for Michael (start of the show), Mattie G (hometown hero who use to play at the bar across the street) and Adam. Our sight was unobstructed the rest of the time. The entire arena (floor and sides) stood for Adam and Matt. Most of the side areas sat the entire rest of the concert. Not out of disrespect but out of politeness for their fellow concert goers . My 24 year old baby sister from Illinois called us ‘lame’  and used an adjective before ‘lame’  not found in the GR dictionary to describe us (it rhymed with duck).

The entire concert experience was fantastic for my kids. Their observations were simple: The Idols all sounded better than TV. They all were incredibly humble and entertaining. They signed autographs and took pictures with my kids (before and after the concert) and they gave my kiddos a memory that they will cherish. Michael, Megan, Scott, and Lil took a tremendous amount of time at the line after the show. Mattie G came out very late as I suppose he was with his family. He kept saying that this was the ‘best’  experience he had on the tour. We met his Dad and chatted with him a bit. What a humble family. Allison took lots of time as well. Danny was out on the line for a long time before the concert. Kris was at the line before and after. He quickly worked the crowd afterwards but we had lots of time with him before the concert at about 5:30.

As for Adam, he was the first one out after the show and moved quickly and efficiently down the line. The crowd was so deep and so pushy it was unbelievable. (this was just for Adam’ ¦after him it thinned considerably) We soccer Moms were hanging on the fringe as our kiddos pushed forward but this huge mass of older women without kids were blocking the fence. When I asked the one next to the lady with the Adam tattoo on her back to let my tiny 8 year old through for an autograph, she said, ‘Hell no’ ¦no way’ ¦ain’t goin’ happen.’  They were in a huge pack and nothing was breaking their little barricade. The soccer Moms of the crowd let out an audible gasp at this kind of treatment in our nice little town. We just moved down the line to where the nice people seemed to be and all the little ones got a chance to be on the fence and get Adam’s autograph. (for the record’ ¦the lady with the Adam tattoo on her back was quite the fan. Someone asked her if it was the real deal and she said yes. Lots of us took pictures. All I could think is that my hubby thinks I’m insane with my obsession. Heck, I look pretty ‘lame’  compared to her!)

As for Adam in the concert, his set seemed to be over before I could get my head wrapped around the fact that he was there in person. Lorilee, entertainment writer for the GR Press wrote that it was a PG 13 show. For GR it was. For me, it was nirvana. For my 14 year old it was ‘why is he doing all those wiggly things, Mom?’  For my 10 year old it was ‘Mom, don’t look, he’s being inappropriate.’  My 8 year old who loves to dance, it was ‘will they teach me those moves in hip hop this year?’  All I could think was ‘holy cow, now I know why my 86 year old grandmother still talked about the day she saw Elvis in person.’  He is our Elvis! I will be first in line to buy a ticket to his solo show and I will be sitting in the front row sans kids. I’ll go and sit with all the other women I was sandwiched between at the concert. Moms trying to be ‘appropriate’  in front of their kids while having an orgasmic experience inside and not sure what to do with those long buried feelings!

As for the rest of the concert itself, let me say that no one in our family can carry a tune in a bucket. American Idol has been beamed into our home daily with DVR, youtube and MJ’s fabulous blog. Consequently the mere thrill of seeing our ‘friends’  in person was just a blessing. Hearing them share true God given gifts, then meeting them, talking to them and for my little guy, shaking their hands and getting photos, was one of those moments (both for Mom and kids).

Since the show has been recapped thousand of times, here’s my two cents from a Grand Rapids perspective. We are a small conservative city and truly appreciate these folks coming to our neck of the woods. They are all talented and seeing them live was just a great thrill!

Michael: The nicest guy hands down. Humble, sweet, got everyone on their feet. He could be the quintessential fair guy for West Michigan. (Speaking of fair’ ¦DC is back in the area next week at the Allegan Fair!) He would pack them in and make you feel like you got your $30.00 dollars worth for your fair/concert experience. Beautiful voice filled with Lord and humble as all get out. He was the perfect Idol to start the show.

Megan: The floor standers began to sit down. She is so tiny in person and absolutely stunning. I would love to see her in local upscale lounge with a shiny black piano to contrast with the pink saran wrap dress she was wearing. (My 14 year old said that she would look great laying on a black piano and singing. He said he saw that in a movie once. J) It would be the type of place that we could have drinks, chat over her voice but still enjoy the pleasure of the scene’ ¦bar, music, no kids, friends, etc.

Scott: More floor sitting down. I can’t add anything new to the comments before. I can’t imagine seeing him again. He was a good singer but not my cup of tea as far as paying to watch again. His humor was wonderful and I bet that in a piano club, he would fill the place with beautiful piano music and a little comedy. He seemed very down to earth and like the others very talented.

Lil: Floor waves a bit as some rise to the energy she brings to the stage and others sit to rest their legs already. She was a great ‘get on your feet and dance’  act. My little guy grooved to her and thought she was ‘pretty’ . Like Scott, I can’t imagine paying or seeing her again. However, she came to the line twice after the show! She went past us pretty fast and I asked if she could stop for a picture with my little guy. She said, ‘I’ll be back’ . About 30 minutes later she came back to us for the picture. She was so much littler than on stage and looked very pretty in her 80s Whitney hair.

Anoop: I love, love, love his voice and ‘Always on my Mind’  is on my favorite’s playlist. I could see him coming to some smaller venue and belting out beautiful tunes. Perhaps with a group of performers like his College group. I would pay a small fee to spend an evening listening to Anoop in that kind of venue. (and looking at him’ ¦.he is quite handsome I must say). My kids loved his NeeHo song as they remembered it from SYTYCD.

Mattie G: Hometown hero comes home. He is insanely talented as you have read here a million times. I think the majority of America was betwixxed and befuddled at Kara’s infatuation with him but as West Michigan knew and you all got to see at the concert’ ¦he is a star! We already have tickets for him when he comes back in January for an intimate show at our Fine Arts Center.

We took everyone advice and left for the group act to use the facilities and refill the kids drinks and tummies.

Allison: Two of my boys love, love, love her best. I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said. Full of energy, covered the stage like a ping-pong ball and just blew the roof off. The sound system and band seemed to have been turned up to ‘ear popping’  after intermission so she was really really loud. She is beautiful in person as well and we all commented that she carries herself like a young adult and not a teen-ager!

Danny: Several of my sisters hang in the same circle of friends of Danny’s back home in Wisconsin so they were die hard fans. I personally wouldn’t pay to see him again but he was very entertaining and had a beautiful voice as well. I did not think that he gave a sermon like previous posts. I took his message as being heartfelt and sincere. We live in a Christ centered community here in GR and what he said is what we talk about all the time in our daily lives. He reminded all of us to not let tragedy or bad things define us and not to ever give up on our dreams. There was an inaudible ‘Amen’  at the end of his little chat and he finished his set with a huge applause and thank you from Grand Rapids.

Adam: I’m shrugging my shoulders because no words can describe my feeling. I remember my Grandmother saying once, ‘If Elvis ever knocks on my door, tell Grandpa that I love him but I have to go.’  I totally did NOT get that as a child or young adult. Well, Grandma’ ¦I completely get you now! Sorry honey, but if he knocks, I’m outta here! Looking back, my feeling was like the first time I saw the Christmas scenes (as a child) in the Marshall Fields windows on State Street in Chicago, or the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York as a teen. You stand there in awe and complete reverence. You know you are seeing something special. Your body is completely still so every single sense in your body can process the experience. My Adam experience was my adult Christmas light experience. Shiny, illuminating and forever imprinted on my heart and mind.

My obsession with Adam started with ‘Wicked’  and continues to be ‘wicked’ . I am a ‘Wicked’  groupie and stumbled upon his youtube videos in LA. Then the moon and stars aligned and he was in my living room on AI. Seeing him in person was pure joy and ‘wicked’  pleasure. If I haven’t said it already, I’m saying it again: I will be the first in line for his solo tour’ ¦.and I’m not bringing the kids!

Kris: This was the first time that I said to myself’ ¦.’ oh my gosh, that’s why he won! He is absolutely incredible! What a gift he gave us with his set. He got equal applause and love from GR as Adam did. He showed me in person that he is not Adam from an entertainment stand point but he is am amazing artist. I would definitely pay to see him again and would take the kids. Most of our floor section did sit during his set but I know it wasn’t out of disrespect or lack of love. I think everyone was just exhausted after the first nine and Kris’ music lends itself to sitting back and just soaking it up. He was just incredible.

So all and all, I worried all summer for nothing. The show was the best AI show we have seen. Our seats were great on the floor even though we were 22 rows back. The kids loved it, the aunties loved it, and I was completely in heaven. I just want to take this chance to thank MJ for her website. I check it at 6 am before the kiddos get up and 10 pm after they are asleep. You link me to the world of Adam and for a ‘soccer Mom’ , that’s a pretty awesome thing. Thanks MJ and God Bless you for all you do!

About mj santilli 34598 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!