Mitla96’s American Idol Tour 2009 Detroit, MI Recap

I’ve watched every American Idol season with the exception of Season 1, but have only been emotionally invested in the last two. I remember coming home after a late shift and turning on the Tivo and drowsing. Then I heard this angelic voice-‘ Oh, thinkin’ about our younger years….’  I literally sat straight up and grabbed my glasses to see David Archuleta. The power of pure talent!

This season I was watching on and off and REALLY liked Ricky Braddy. Thought Adam Lambert was handsome but wasn’t really into him until Country week and ROF. OMG, I was flabbergasted-SO sexy, and so….brave. Then, like so many other fans, I began to be just tolerating the other contestants, waiting to see each week what Adam would do. I agreed with Diablo Cody in EW-Adam was a ‘soft spoken freckled kid disguised as a shrieking goth balladeer’ . Got on board for the voice and the sexiness; stayed for the articulate, nice man.

When the season ended, I debated about going to the concert. The price of the tickets was no small problem in these times, and I didn’t think it would be worth going unless the seats were good. I saw the first concert videos coming in here on MJ’s and that sealed the deal. Didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see the birth of a star (or two…or three!) Ended up having to buy the tickets on Stubhub to get anywhere near the stage.

SO, here’s the setup: Concertgoers, me, middleaged crazed Adam fan, and my daughter, 15 yr old hipster whose musical tastes run more towards indie music. We wanted to tweet from the concert, but my texting ability runs towards the Jitterbug set, so D agreed to twitter as long as she ‘could twitter what she wanted’ . So, in this account, you will see D’s twitters like this:

D#I’m twittering!

My goal for the concert, was to dance, scream, see Adam Lambert and get as many autographs as possible. My secondary goal was to see just how fans behave at an American Idol concert. D and I had already decided that we were free to act goofy, within the limitations of D’s coolness, of course.

We had about an hour and a half drive from East Lansing, MI to Auburn Hills. D had her High School signup in the morning, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to get there early enough for any early autograph signings. We arrived at the Palace at 3:20 and there was a small line outside the door. As we had read here on MJ’s, we went to people who looked like superfans and asked if any of the idols had been out, and found out that they had JUST opened up the parking lot and that no one had been outside yet. Good timing!

Just then we heard SCREAMS. There was a large rectangular window above us, and the idols were moving past it, to the indoor M&G.

D#-were standing outside in line by a window. they walk by occasionally, nothing to squee about

Matt G. waved from the window, and the whole line waved to him to come out, but nah.

D#-this reminds me of zoo animals-if you scream and run at them they wont come out! let them do it in their own time

Some of the VIPs starting coming out from the M&G, and I did feel they were a little rude to us peons. They were saying things really loudly like, ‘It’s good to know someone, isn’t it’  and….

D#- ‘I can’t believe adam lambert hit on me’ -some old guy, I cant believe it either, buddy

D#-the vip people are teasing us….eff yuuuu

A twentyish girl came out from the M&G and had to sit on the ground because she was hyperventilating. She evidently had hugged both Adam and Kris, she said.

By this time the people in our proletariat line had about given up on anyone coming out. Then, Matty G. tweeted from inside that he was going to come out! It was fun to see this ripple down the line of fans. We saw some workers setting up barricades away from the building over by the buses. Oh no! Were we in the wrong place?

One of the workers wandered by us and whispered, ‘Five minutes!’  D and I look at each other and start fast jogging over to the barricades….along with everyone else in the line! We did get a place right up against the barricade.

So, at 4:30, Matt came out to greet us Michigan fans. He looked super happy and made sure to greet everyone along the line, and took pictures with some, but alas, not with us, but we did get his autograph AND

D# Matt Giraud said he likes my style!

Matt has a really interesting speaking voice, that ‘hey dude!’  thing he does isn’t that far from his real voice, at least when he was talking to the fans. I’d call it Jazz Man style!

No more idols were coming out, so we went in to see our seat-we had an hour and a half to kill. We did as MJ suggested and went to the ticket booth to see if we could upgrade, but were told our tickets were ‘really good already’  and we couldn’t upgrade as we were already in the top category. And here we were:

Both of us were thrilled~!

We wandered around the Palace for about 40 minutes, then back to our seats for the endless advertising loop….

D#-people are screaming whenever a picture of Adam comes on the screen

D#-so far the sponsors are..coke and so you think you can dance, yeah> there on a loop thats only like 10 minutes long

I’ll be briefer for the show because everyone has read this before and by better writers than me. I had seen all the Adam videos but did not watch any of the other idols in anticipation of the concert. My d was completely fresh for the show.

Michael- He just seems so glad to be there! Good start for the show, the band was SO LOUD my voice box was vibrating

D#-sweet holy moses! It’s effing michael sarver!

Megan-Biggest surprise of the evening for me. I thought she sounded so good, her voice is unique. She should be in hippie garb, the styling doesn’t fit her at all. Her voice reminded me of Maria Muldaur singing Midnight at the Oasis.

D#-wtf? megan has an afro

Scott-More enjoyable than on the show. D noticed what so many bloggers have before…

D#-youd walk a thousand miles if you could just see me? awkward…

At this point got to give credit to the Detroit crowd. They were standing when the idols asked them to stand, and were waving arms, singing along, etc. WE sure were, and it was fun!

Lil-For me this was the least enjoyable performance of the show. She sings well, dances okay, it’s strange, it was like a vacuum of charisma. D thought having the words for Single Ladies behind her was a mistake, said, ‘No one is looking at her’  I hadn’t realized the words were so complicated, except for…

D#-wuh oh oh uh oh oh oh oh oh

Anoop- Pretty voice, we danced to My Preogative


Matt-Detroit showed Matt some love! We were hoping the response would be big enough to make Matt cry, but he didn’t, but he was visibly moved and said he remembered wondering when he was playing in the piano bar what it would be like to play in front of thousands. The crowd roared! He plays the piano in a gritty, jazzy style compared to Scott, and I liked it more.

#D-matt! hes from Michigan! I love him!

Group Sing-It’s a shame they cut the piano duet from the finale, it was good. The rest was just alright for me, Dog.


D#-20 minute intermission…wtf?

Both my d’s and my ears were DEAFened during the break. We were right in front of the huge elliptical speakers and bandzilla was in full mode. I was feeling weirdly nervous about seeing Adam. I could hear people around us talking about ‘He’ll be out after Danny…..Yes, my grandfather came to see Adam…I came from Calgary on my frequent flyer miles to see Adam….’ 

Lights down…

Allison-There was a *brief* video intro, then Allison hit the stage. She did skip some lyrics, but it didn’t matter. In the first half, some were overpowered by the band. Not Allison. Her voice is powerful. She was skipping and stomping her feet.

D#-theres some kind of wind storm going on on the stage, I dunno

Danny-He wasn’t my favorite during the season, he seemed smug to me and I felt the judges pimped him MUCH, MUCH more than Adam. That being said, I liked PYT, and both D and I were up and dancing. The sermon was short and bearable. The set seemed long because of the anticipation. He was sweating A LOT. Had trouble getting his jacket off. Doesn’t seem as natural (Kris) or as polished (Adam) a performer as Kris or Adam.
D#-please dont dance, danny, just dont do it
D#-how many songs has he done? three whens adam coming on!!!

Adam- The lights went down, and the pause seemed longer than the pause between the other performers…

D#-no music, just screams

A HUGE roar went up from the crowd, and everyone jumped to their feet. The countdown intro, the strobes, then….

D#- addddaaaammmmm(((((:

We were dancing, the air was electric. Sonic emo hair, he sang Woman! with (ahem!) I remember three big pelvic thrusts and two LONG strokings of the mic stand. D looks at me, I look at her, I can only describe her face as joyful astonishment. She mouths OMG! I mouth HELL YEAH! and we laugh.

During Starlight, I started to hear the helium voice. I realized that my ears were ringing, and I plugged one ear-normal voice, unplugged, helium voice. Think my eardrums weren’t used to the assault they had during WLL. D told me later that his voice sounded normal to her.

Whole set seemed to go by in 5 minutes, my favorite was the Bowie medley, esp. Life on Mars. His voice soaring on ‘Sailors…’ -perfection.

D#-now Adam is the one with a jacket off, me likey

D#-nothing but a stuffed snake thrown on stage, what a disappointment

Kris-Both D and I really enjoyed Kris’s set. His voice sounds perfect, almost as if he was lip synching, but he’s not, and I think he gets less credit because it is so effortless for him. He invites the audience to sing along, and the whole Palace was up and waving cell phones. We sat during Ain’t no Sunshine, but not out of disrespect, but so we could listen more intently.

We had planned during the break to stay for the whole concert, then hit the barricades by dashing out. I am a veteran of years of Methodist church, and learned as a child a method of weaving between people without touching them to get out of church quickly. I told D, as soon as DSB is over, we are going QUICKLY, follow me!

DSB-Everyone was singing along, esp. the ‘born and raised in South Detroit’  line! Nice! Great as a Mom to see this tweet (except for the swearing, ARrrgh)

D#-I dont care if we look like idiots dancing around, were having a fcking good time, deal with it (:

D#-to the barricades 9:09pm

We DASHED to the barricades. Now, I usually get a little out of breath running, but we went UP the steps, DOWN the hall, DOWN the steps, ACROSS the parking lot, and TO the barricades and I was fine! Thank you, Adrenaline! We were one person back from the front of the barricades. We knew we’d have a wait, but we were talking to the people around us about the concert and where people were from, and the time went fast. It was COLD-mid 60’s, and a lot of people didn’t have jackets. Some guys (security?) came out and gave us hope something was happening. The girls in front of us had won their tickets on a radio program, and were a little disappointed that the seats weren’t better. I thought, a little entitlement, but they did drive 4 hours to get here. The girl had a homemade scrapbook to give Adam. A woman went by, she had caught the stuffed snake that Adam threw off stage:

We would occasionally hear screams, people would say, who’s coming, then it would be no one. It was getting late, and I was thinking this would be one of those no one comes out nights. It was 10:15; I knew the buses would leave at midnight. Then a scream went up! Megan, Lil and Allison were coming down the line from opposite directions.

My d squeeeeezed in a gap in front of us to get the autograph (bad fan behavior-a lot of adults squeezed out children and people pushed their way to the front during the wait) and I figured I’d take pictures. Then, a child of about 10 behind me asked if I would get autographs for her. Moral dilemma! They had come too late for a good spot, but she was a kid……ON CRUTCHES! Damn, I took her little notepad and went to work. BUT, it led to the second best moment of the barricades for me.

When Allison came by, she had her hoodie up, and was hurriedly signing and moving quickly down the line, head down. I had the notepad in front of her, and she didn’t sign it and was moving on. The little girl was on her mom’s shoulders behind me. I yelled, in my best RN command voice ‘Allison! This is for a child!’  She startled, looked up, smiled, looked RIGHT INTO THE LITTLE GIRL’S FACE, said, ‘Oh! Hello, Sweetie!’  in her husky voice, and signed. So cool.

Megan was beautiful, her afro was more stylish up close and her face and hair was covered in glitter. Lil is very, very short!

A pause. It is 10:40. A HUGE roar from the end of the barricades near the building. Kris has come out, carrying his guitar, and is right in front of us near the buses. He is small but perfect, like a jewel. We are yelling, come over Kris, come over. He smiles and kinda shrugs, and goes to the front of the line, but security only lets him sign maybe 10 autographs and then he is gone.

SCREAMS! Adam! Adam! We see ADAM FRIGGIN LAMBERT run across the pavement in front of us and start signing autographs at the far end of the line. We are frantically getting out the picture we chose to bring for him to sign. Gah! He is right in front of us. I have the little girl’s notepad out, D has our picture. Since I can’t take pictures, I’m looking at him VERY INTENTLY to capture the moment.

He is the most gorgeous thing. His hair is messed up, still full makeup on, gray hoodie. He is tall, thinner than he looks on stage, very fit. He is concentrating very hard on getting every one of the documents, scraps of paper, pictures in front of him signed. You can see his eyes moving very quickly from paper to paper, and his eyes are very blue and …..SPARKLING!

(It probably was the camera flashes, but it looked like his eyes were giving off sparks!)

I swear guys, Adam was one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen. He looked like some sort of woodland creature, like an elf from Lord of the Rings. Holy cow. SO worth the wait.

Adam hit the entire line, then he was whisked inside the buses. Matt made one last swoop down the line, then it was over. 11:00pm.

D#-I got adam lamberts signatureee woot woot!

So, in conclusion, totally worth the effort and money, didn’t really care we weren’t VIP’s, the hunt for the autographs was fun, no fans worthy of contempt, lots of nice families, great event to share with D, I saw Adam Lambert three feet away from me!

P.S. Next day, got on internet and found these awesome pictures taken by Rachel in the Detroit barricade line. One is of Adam holding the book the girl next to us gave to him! All credit to Rachel!

And finally (fianlly)

About mj santilli 35002 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!