NippyG’s American Idol Tour 2009 Rochester Recap

My daughter and I attended the Rochester, NY concert–the ‘uneventful’  event as some have put it. Lol. However, although the concert was angst-free, it was anything but boring.

The only other AI concert I have attended was Season 5, and both that year and this, my husband dropped us off at the intersection directly across from the venue at approximately the same time. From the crowd working its way into the arena, I just knew that there would be less than a capacity crowd this year (Season 5 was a full house) , and I was correct. This time, while the floor and sides were full, the nosebleeds directly opposite the stage were very sparsely occupied.

I don’t know whether it is as simple as economic woes (Rochester’s joblessness is at the national average) or some other reason, but I do know that Rochester is a great music city–it is the home of the renowned Eastman School of Music, as well as many other music, art and theater organizations, and Rochester and its environs ( one in which we reside) has always loved the Idols. This year, despite the empty seats, was no different.

We had great seats, the fog was starting as we filed in, a half hour before the show started. I gotta say, the constant loop of the vids from Carrie, Cook and Daughtry began to get on my nerves–seriously, there ARE other idols out there with videos’ ¦ How about goin’ out on a limb and playing one of those. Eh. This explains some of my more loopy tweets-out-of-boredom before the show and at intermission! BTW, I had made many other very pithy, worthy tweets, and apparently, some of them did not escape the walls of the arena. lol

Now for the show itself’ ¦ I’m not going to give a run through of the sets–y’all know that drill by now. I’ll just give my impressions. Just that, MY impressions. I know that mileage varies from show to show and even from location to location within the same arena, but the following is what I heard and felt from where I was. And even though I went into the show with Adam as my absolute fave, I was extremely open to all of the idols. We had great seats from which to take it all in.

First, let me say that no matter who was a favorite of whom last night, Every Single One of these performers Left It On The Stage. For Realz. There was no phoning-in of a performance by anyone. And as could be readily noticed at the barricades after the show (more about that in a sec) these guys are exhausted. And yet, each and every one of them gave it his/her all. No way am I gonna blast anyone in this recap.

First up, Michael. As I tweeted, he’s either a very nice guy or a very good actor. Tried so hard to open the show. Sounded good. Later on in the show (while waiting to come on for the first-half group sing), he hugged a birthday girl from our section. Her family had been trying to grab Matt’s attention–they actually purchased a poster and scrawled (re her b’day) on the back, and kept holding it up. (Way to wreck that poster, too–it got totally crinkled) but nothing from Matt. After Sarver hugged her, she seemed thrilled, but apparently this was not enough for her family who kept it up with that poster throughout all the rest of the guys’ sets, to no further avail.

Next up, beautiful Megan. I think Megan has such an interesting quality to her voice, she just needs some training and more stage experience. There is something about her that I really like. I do see potential there’ ¦

Scott sounded much better than on the show. Nice little bit of banter (tho I knew what to expect, the audience seemed to like it) and fine

Lil– now see, I disagree with another recapper from the same show. I thought Lil tore up the stage. Very powerful vocals, great energy, flash, and presence. A very pleasant surprise. For what ever reason, Lil caved on the show and that was a real shame. For me (for you, for me) she and Matt were my most enjoyable presences of the first half.

Anoop was very popular with the crowd. And he is polished. Though musically, not my thing, he too gave it his all to great response. Busted out a few moves, too’ ¦ he was cute.

Matt–OK, now we are talking. It has been asked before, but WHERE the hell was this Matt on AI? Pressure got to him, I guess. Dynamite on tour. Hot piano, great vocals, confidence and all. He is proving himself every night. I hope he gets a deal.

The group sing before intermission was, er, interesting. I shall stay positive’ ¦ OK, some parts sounded a little (vastly) better than other parts. I don’t think a duet between Lil and Megan even sounds like a good idea on paper. In actuality, um’ ¦ Hey, Beggin’ was very good!

Intermission and my daughter and I made a few random tweets and spoke to our neighbors-in-the- seats. Mostly Adam fans (one guy firmly in the camp that ‘the show is fixed.’  I changed the subject to Brian May’s comments on Adam’s soundtrack venture, and he hadn’t heard. He needs to come to mjs’ ¦) but there were definitely Kris and Danny fans around us as well.

OK, show is back with the redhead dynamo that is Allison.. The kid is a phenom. Gave it her all. Got very good audience response, but it seems to be tougher for the females to inspire the really intense audience reactions. Allison was my second favorite on the show and I loved her live.

Danny’s first song didn’t do it for me, but I liked him better as his set went on. I was expecting something odd with his mic stand interaction, but he just kinda danced with it. Cute, when I had been expecting’ ¦I don’t know’ ¦gross, perhaps, from some tweets. I thought Danny sounded much better live than on AI. Nice vocal quality. Peeps liked his speech–nodded along in affirmation. I heard a bit of chipmunk (?) at the very beginning of My Wish, which was quickly rectified.

Well now’ ¦ Adam Lambert. I had COLOSSAL expectations for him and he lived up to them all. Beautiful man, beautiful voice. Stage presence to die for. Adam received an ear-shattering response–Simply beyond compare to anyone else of the night. My ears kept blanking out from the sheer volume of the screams. Unfortunately, Starlight did sound a bit chipmunky. I was expecting the possibility, told my daughter to be prepared’ ¦ and there it was. The Kris fans to our right, however looked at each other for a sec in WTF mode.

WLL was the hottest thing, mic stand action was uh, yeah’ ¦ Mad World exquisite, Slow Ride so much fun, Bowie medley fantastic. What can I say that has not been said before?

As I reported last night, it was an undergarment-free zone. (There was no security check for us at all, so I wouldn’t think that anything was confiscated.) Adam looked mighty fine. Anime hair (nice and feathery), baby (no backdoor man unless I missed it, yeah right) and Adam smiled and laughed many times. I thought he looked infinitely happy! (Or maybe he’s just on meds for his voice.) In any case, he made me happy, too!

Next up, Kris. I love Kris as a person, I think he is a true sweetheart with real talent. He and Matt went back and forth on the show as my third favorites. Since then, I have come to appreciate them both more, especially Kris, because I have seen more of him. To be fair, his reception in the arena was nowhere near the intensity of Adam’s, nor was the response to his performances. Which is NOT to say that Kris was not received well, because he was. I loved his Ain’t No Sunshine, I was not so fond of the Killers song. Kris should do very well post-idol. I truly hope so.

Don’t Stop Believin’ was fun, though I perceived some fatigue showing through. No surprise with their various schedules.

As people were leaving the arena, I heard nothing but great comments about the show. My husband was coming to pick us up, and we had the choice of waiting for him by sitting on the picnic tables by the library or going to the barricades. Though I am NOT generally a barricade kind of girl, the picnic tables were boring, so I thought we could take a look and see if it was too nuts. It was not at this time, and we got a good spot toward the middle of the line, one-person back from the divider. I told my daughter that I would give it ½ hour and if nobody showed, we were out’a there.

Nice conversations ensued with our barrier-mates and a woman let my daughter get in front of her (she saw she had a camera) so we were right at the front. A nice guy kept a look-out to see who was coming, and sure enough, after only a few minutes Matt came down the line, touching hands with everyone in the front and started signing from the end of the line. We didn’t expect to get autographs, so we were unprepared with material, but my daughter had a RockStar notebook in her purse, and Matt signed for her. She went to take a photo of him, but was so excited that she got a pic of the bus tire instead. After signing, though, Matt came back along the barrier and low-fived everyone, including my daughter. Cool.

Next came Megan, who looks like a porcelain doll. She moved much slower than Matt, signed our book and posed for a photo. My daughter told her she enjoyed her set and Megan was so shyly sweet in response. Again, I like this girl.

Next came Lil, who is far prettier in person. She signed and got her photo taken and I had the chance to tell her that I thought she seriously burned up the stage. She was sincerely thankful to me for saying so.

Allison appeared, signed quickly, said nothing to anyone, posed for photos and was gone in a blur! She looks far younger off-stage

Much to the surprise of the crowd, Kris came out (actually, he may have appeared earlier, can’t remember) and he is SO very tiny and adorable. I had him sign my ticket (hey, he was there, I was there’ ¦) and I told him that I was looking forward to his album. He thanked me, but he looked EXHAUSTED. As did Scott, who came out very briefly with his brother. Another low-five for my daughter from Kris, and he was gone.

Where we were standing, people at the front were actually taking items from others at the back and passing them forward to be signed for them. For a barricade, it was A Very Nice Barricade. lol

Now lest you think that the upstate NY area is full of Idol-appreciating, non- underwear (and other items)-throwing, generous-at- the- barricade types’ ¦ A question arose from some regarding the continuing non-appearance of The Glittery One. Chanting of his name ensued, and three (3) security guards informed the crowds that he was on vocal rest and would not be coming out. And, OK, some testiness DID arise, and there were murmurings of ‘I am SO pissed right now, ‘  and the infamous (and asinine) ‘But you don’t need to talk to sign stuff’  to which the last of the guards patiently explained that ‘He is sick. He needs to rest.’ 

Luckily for the guards, before a (mini) uprising could occur, the buses prepared to pull out and everyone was shooed away. My daughter and I retired to the picnic tables to await my husband and after a couple of minutes, the three buses went past us, heading to the next stop. We waved goodbye to all of them.

About mj santilli 34550 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!