When we last met, I had just packed up my car, heading east from Cleveland towards Buffalo, NY…
On to Toronto…
At some point, driving between Erie and Buffalo, my cell phone stops working. Eep.
There is traffic on the way, but much to my surprise the border crossing is a breeze.
I arrive in Toronto at about 2:30. It takes forever to find the hotel, park the car and get checked in. Toronto drivers are really, really rude. And I’m used to driving in Boston, home of the rudest drivers evah. Or so I thought. Also, a cop asks me to roll down my window. He then proceeds to lecture me about watching where I am going. Well sooory for being a lost yank!
My cool boutique hotel has no valet parking, and I am directed to a parking lot a few blocks away. I couldn’t locate it, so I park it where I think I can find it the next morning. Oh yes, I’ve been known to lose my car at Idol shows. I have to walk several blocks back to the hotel. In the meantime, my cell phone is still dead. It’s only a few hours until showtime, and I have no way to reach Miss Hezzer, who is meeting me for the concert later. A bit of a panic mode sets in.
I get back to my hotel and have trouble connecting to the wireless network. My wireless card is dead. Ruh rho, this is turning into one of those road trips filled with mishaps. I end up putting a $150 down on a wireless bridge (a bit of overkill, seriously) that finally connects me to the internet. I frantically try to contact Hezzer. She finally calls me at the hotel (after I send her the wrong phone number, she has to look it up herself. I B dum) and we hook up. I grab a cab to pick her up downtown, and we are finally on our way to the show.
I could not have asked for more in a partner-in-crime for an Idol concert. Hezz didn’t write up a recap, but I hope she posts some of her funny snark in the thread here. She gets the big ole cheesy karaoke show that happens to have a bunch of good singing–and she thoroughly enjoys it, as do I.
Our seats are 4th row, right aisle. The seats closest to the stage in our row remain unoccupied, and we are able to eventually move over right next to the stage.
Here’s the bad news.
I have one more mishap. I take a TON of pictures and video during the first half of the show, but somehow, somewhere, I lose the memory card that contains them. CRAP. Gone is Phil Stacey singing “Blaze of Glory” in his black leather trench coat, Chris Sligh coming to the side of the stage and pointing straight into my camera during “Typical, ” Gina Glocksen and Chris Sligh making nice harmony on Fall Out Boy’s “Thanx for th mmrs, ” Sanjaya’s solo performance and all of Blake Lewis’ performances. And more, I’m sure. Sometimes, I really piss myself off.
More Toronto notes
The Toronto audience is pretty subdued. At one point, I look over at the center front rows, and nobody is standing up.
Several Idols thank the audience for supporting them. While Canadians could watch American Idol, they were not able to vote. Heh.
Canadian schoolkids learn French at a very early age. Therefore, the young kiddos understand every single word of “Lady Marmalade”
Phil Stacey and the girls’ “America the Beautiful” number is scrapped in Canada. I’ll bet Phil could sing a lovely “Oh Canada.”
Sanjaya’s sister, Shyamali is curled up on a metal bench on the other side of the stage barrier watching the show.
There is a lot of horsing around during the show–cracking up during numbers, particularly “Lady Marmalade” and “Crazy/Hey Jude.”
Some random guy runs around handing out blue glow-sticks for Blake Lewis.
The giant pop-tart dudes/dudettes are a little scary. Poptarts are mentioned a few times by the Idols during the show. I’m sure the shout-outs are in the contract.
At one point, Gina Glocksen comes to our side of the stage and flashes her sparkly diamond engagement ring at the audience.
There is a group of special ed kids in our section who sing along VERY LOUDLY to all of Jordin Sparks’ songs. They totally. know. every. single. word.
Jordin Sparks has a good voice, but her youth and pageant training are apparent in her presentation, which comes off over-rehearsed and stagey. She’s only 17, but she performs like she’s only 17, so it’s really no big whoop. Jordin needs some time to mature, but I think she could do well in the meantime if she’s marketed to kids her age.
I did manage to get some video in the second half. Here is: Sanjaya Malakar, Chris Richardson and Haley Scarnato performing “Life is a Highway” with Chris Sligh on guitar. Melinda Doolittle’s “Natural Woman.” Lakisha Jones hitting the high notes on “I Will Always Love You.” Chris Richardson taking the stage for “This Love.” Gina Glocksen going Pink on “Who Knew.” Jordin Sparks as folkie singing “You Were Meant for Me.” and more for you CAKE fans.
Phil Stacey and Gina Glocksen do a really nice duet of the Faith Hill/Tim McGraw tune “It’s Your Love.” Gina was pegged the “rocker chick” on the show. Rock music is obviously the kind of music she feels comfortable singing. But, tunes like “It’s Your Love” (and “Smile” from the show) prove she’s able to pull off more conventional fare.
Chris Sligh seems most comfortable when he’s playing his guitar, and he gets the chance to play quite a bit during the show. Besides accompanying himself on his solo “Typical, ” he also plays bass during the guys band number “Crazy/Hey Jude” and rhythm on “Life is a Highway.”
All the guys join Blake Lewis on stage at the end of “You Give Love a Bad Name.”
Hezz and I manage to get into the after party after the concert. It is organized more like a M&G than the typical casual after-party where everyone mingles. Everybody lines up in the hallway, and small groups are taken into a room to meet the Idols, who are all sitting at a long table. While we are waiting, I fail to follow directions, and I say to security, “Sorry, my listening comprehension is low.” and Hezz pipes up, “That’s alright, she’s American…”
I get my program signed. Cool. I talk to Chris Sligh for a bit until I’m told to move it along. Yeah, I know the drill. Sawry. I get a high-five from Phil Stacey, and a “Hi! I remember you!” (me=a little embarrassed) from everyone else. Hopefully, Hezz will add some of her own impressions of the M&G in comments. Heh.
We grab a cab to take Hezz to her car and me to my hotel. I get up the next morning, pack up, and take a cab to my car. Yeah, I know. Lazy and in a hurry. I have a long drive back to Boston. I’m not sure exactly which way to go to get back on the highway. I make a U turn when I realize I’m going in the wrong direction. A cop pulls up behind me flashing his lights. WHAT???
The officer is very polite. He wants to see my licence, registration AND insurance information. Lucky I have all that crap with me. I have no idea what I did wrong. The cop informs me that I was driving 69 km in a 60 km zone. In other words, a DWA–Driving While American. How am I supposed to read the teeny tiny km numbers on my speedometer? Geez. He didn’t give me a ticket. As if I would have paid it!
It was definitely time to leave Toronto.
I get back to Boston Wednesday night, and on Thursday I am immediately hit with a million things to do at work. After a busy two days, I’m off again to New Hampshire to see concerts by Taylor Hicks and Elliott Yamin. Then, it’s another crazetastic week at work. Yeah, it took me two weeks to write this recap. But it was worth the wait, wasn’t it? Ha ha.
Stay tuned. I’ll be seeing the Idol show when it finally makes its way to my neck of the woods in September. If I were a normal person, I’d be seeing the show for the very first time. Ahem. At the very least, I’ll be attending the last two shows in Manchester, NH. And since I can’t seem to stay away…well, you never know.