Videos at www.youtube.com/user/hstryqt
I’m Lori (@HstryQT) and the 2009 Season 8 American Idol tour was my seventh Idol concert, having only missed season 1. I am a 25 year old mom, wife & grad student who loves to blog about Idol and is one of Chris Sligh’s core fans. He has a critically acclaimed album you should check out. And keep your eyes peeled for his next album, due out next year. To be honest, I’m so much a Sligh fan that I wore a Chris Sligh t-shirt last night (ignoring the fact that I’m two seasons off). With that in mind, I’ll try to not show too much bias.
My party included my amazing mother, my best high school friend Amanda & a new friend, G. We had the foresight to rent a limo for the evening to get into downtown and that made the evening much less stressful and more enjoyable. We had dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant and headed into the Verizon Center just as Michael Sarver was walking out on stage. Note: Amanda tried to tweet during the show, but she has AT&T and we were in the VERIZON center so she didn’t have good service. Go figure. You can check out what tweets we were able to get through @ImFunSiize. My note pad and pen didn’t fail me, however. So I’m safely home with my notes & ready to recap! And so it begins…
I decided to not read many recaps yet, so that I could go into my show fresh. The only exception being that I read my fellow Sligh fan, Risa’s (@Risalea) recap of the amazing Little Rock Show. I knew only that No Boundaries had been removed, that Megan Caw-Caw-ed at some shows & that there were apparently bras being tossed during Adam’s sets. Beyond that, I couldn’t have told you any details about what I was about to hear.
Michael: Setting aside the disappointment of not winning Michael Sarver backstage passes on two separate occasions, I was able to enjoy his set, which had a lot of energy and got the crowd really pumped. I recognized his 2 songs but they weren’t favorites of mine. It was at this time that Amanda realized her live tweets weren’t going to be so live because she had AT&T in the Verizon Center.
Megan: I loved her doing “Put Your Records On” and she looked great in her cute pink dress. I didn’t know the second song but it was very “Megan.” I listened for her “Caw-Caw” that she’s been doing at some shows, but she didn’t do it last night (not during her duets either). Maybe she didn’t think DC would get the joke?
Scott’s set was where it got really exciting for me (and I never thought I’d say that!) When the piano came up outta the floor with him playing none other than “Bend & Break” by one of my favorite favorite bands, Keane, I about flipped out. This was when I began to notice the “coffee shop music” theme throughout the concert, which is always a plus for me (a former barista of 7 years). With the exception of Danny, Scott probably talked the longest during his set and he was HILARIOUS. He went on about his “high five heard round the world” and convinced me he has a future in variety shows. He topped that off with his great rendition of “1, 000 miles” which the crowd loved. I was very surprised by Scott, more than anyone else.
Lil: I wasn’t so into Lil, during the season or last night. She looked good and had the crowd moving but I was personally not into the songs. She did impress me with her dancing for “All the Single Ladies” and it made me want to go watch that little skinny guy on youtube who does the dance, too.
Anoop: Anoop got my vote this season when he sang me & my husband’s wedding song “Everything I Do I Do It For You.” After his set we decided he’s super sexy and must get all the girls. He had us groovin the whole time. My mom really enjoyed the Willie Nelson song and he sang it beautifully. “Mad” and “My Prerogative” were definitely his perfect genre that he should stick with in the future. We had fun trying to figure out what shoes he was wearing, and later the cool ‘binocular guy” behind us confirmed that they were Chuck Taylor’s, with the jeans tucked in. Nice.
When Matt came out the crowd went CRAZY… until they saw his faux hawk. Kidding. But the hawk really diminished his hotness factor IMO. It makes him less Timberlake-ish which I guess is good for him, but I think one can never look too much like Justin, so. In spite of that, the piano playing was hot and it was great to see his talent. Matt had the crowd in the palm of his hand, with Anoop right behind him for crowd energy, I’d say. The crowd melted for “Georgia” and he had the entire audience singing along with “You Found Me” (The Fray, another “Coffee shop” band favorite of mine).
During the group medley Megan & Lil were alright but I got excited again when Scott & Matt came up dueling on those pianos. Whew! That was awesome. My mom leaned over and said, “As your Grandaddy would say, They sure can tickle the ivories!” That’s for sure! Matt & Scott in their respective piano pieces, as well as together, were some of my favorite moments of last night. The larger group number at the end of the medley was really great and made me realize just how many cuties there are this season! (And we hadn’t even gotten to Danny Adam & Kris yet! Good golly!)
Allison: She was rocking the audience, for sure, and the wind-machine in the hair as well. Her entire set was fantastic, but “Cry Baby” proved to me why she deserves to be successful. She is an awesome singer AND performer and this showed me that I would pay to see her live again. She of course did Heart, with Barracuda, but Amanda was sad she didn’t sing “Alone, ” which is a favorite of mine as well.
Allison asked the audience about each of the three top guys, allowing a good scream-meter for me to gauge where DC’s sentiments lied… and it very obviously was Adam the loudest, followed by Kris & then Danny. I was somewhat surprised to hear that DC was more of an Adam town, although everyone we personally spoke to said they were Kris fans. Maybe Kris fans are just quieter and more laid back (like Kris)? (Except of course, his Little Rock audience!)
Danny: So then Amanda & my personal favorite was on the stage and I officially turned fan girl-y. I couldn’t help having the “OMG I’m in the same room with Danny Gokey” moment. Cheesy but whatever. PYT was Danny’s first song I downloaded and I rock out to it in my car all the time. I loved dancing around during that and watching Danny groove during “Maria.” I got a great video of some of his moves, too. The crowd was very receptive to his motivational mini-speech and it really wasn’t too bad; the perfect sentiment for his last song, I think. It was cool that he did two Rascal Flatt’s songs, but I still would have loved for him to do “Here Comes Goodbye” instead, which would be a great Idol shout out to Chris Sligh, who wrote it.
Adam was next and I was looking forward to being thoroughly entertained. “Starlight” by Muse was my favorite song choice of the night. I love that song and was thrilled to hear Adam sing it. I also really enjoyed “Mad World” because it was my favorite Adam performance this year and it was great to hear it live. “Slow Ride” with Allison was of course awesome. But that’s when the craziness started when the bra made its way on stage. In fact my notes say “BRA OFFICIALLY ON STAGE” as if it was predestined to occur. I didn’t know his final two songs. All I know is he was dancing rather provocatively, he threw the bra back (hey, makes sense he wouldn’t want it), and he didn’t hold back. Amanda noted that “the man doesn’t even have hair under his arms!” She would notice something like that. I just found it ironic that sweet innocent little girls were dancing provocatively right along with him. There’s something weird about that. I was very entertained by his set, but the stark contrast of Adam’s genre between Danny & Kris was undeniable. It was interesting experiencing Adam’s flamboyance sandwiched between Danny & Kris’ wholesomeness.
Kris: So then we could all breathe and become de-scandalized when sweet humble Kris took the stage. Heartless had the crowd straight up freaking out. I personally loved “Things I’ve Done” by the Killers (another of my “coffee shop” bands). “Bright Lights” was a definite high light, with the whole crowd singing along. Kris is a true entertainer and that showed when he could put on such a fantastic set while sitting at a piano, or behind a guitar or just standing at a mic. He’s multi-talented and deserves to have the Idol crown. I’m an official Kris convert. When Simon said in the finale to Kris that his performance “couldn’t fill a big venue like this” he was down right wrong.
Random note; Kris also said Happy Birthday to Obama, which was cute.
I had heard that Kris does “Hey Jude” and I didn’t quite know what to think of that going in, because it was such an unforgettable part of the Season 6 tour when Sligh, Blake, Chris Rich, Sanjaya & Phil sang it together. In the end though, I was ok with Kris “borrowing” it. It brought me back to two years ago, being in that same stadium singing along with the guys. So that was alright. The group performance of “Don’t Stop Believing” was epic. When the piano popped out again with Matt & Scott my heart fluttered (they got me with that one, what can I say?) It was a great end to a great show.
And here are my take away points…
– This season had a lot of great new song choices that connected with the audience. A lot more Top 40 stuff than in other years. This made it more current and less cheesy karaoke.
– The talent is awesome this year. Everyone is really great at what they do. I hope to see a lot of success out of this group & after seeing them all live, there are many that I’d pay to hear again.
– In the end, this group of Idols and this tour will be a close second to my favorite season & tour, Season 6. And that’s saying a lot, coming from me.
Thanks for reading!