PJD’s American Idol Tour 2009 Rosemont, IL Recap

WARNING: If you are a Kris fan, you may want to skip this one. I don’t hate any of the idols, but I just cannot seem to get into Kris’ music. The reason I went to this concert was to see Adam, but I tried to watch each idol for their own set and not compare. I already feel guilty for not liking Kris’ music ‘ so just skip this one if that will bother you!

Background: I am 44 and have never been a crazy fan for anyone. I totally skipped that phase in my teens. Sure, there are musicians that I like ‘ but not to the point of trying to find every bit of info out there, having to have every recording ever made, buying a magazine solely because they were on the cover’ ¦. Suddenly, I have reverted to being a 13 year old and am doing all of that!

My tastes are very eclectic and my music collection includes classical, folk, pop, rock, soundtracks & Broadway shows, and even Disney music (not Miley or JoBros ‘ Disney movies and theme park music). Primarily, I love good melodies and the artist’s voice is really important to me. Once I find a voice I like, I tend to buy a lot of their albums. For the last 15+ years, I have been listening only to my own collection of music ‘ I totally gave up on radio when it seemed everything was turning into rap or hip/hop or country. There are only a few genres I really dislike, but rap & hip/hop are definitely in that group! Country just annoys me after awhile ‘ the twang some artists use drives me crazy and there are way too many sob stories. My husband listens to country, so I have heard far more than my fair share.

I have never watched American Idol before this season. The only reason I saw this one was because I wasn’t feeling well and was looking for something ‘mindless’  on the TV. Ran across Idol and thought that would do! I wasn’t paying much attention, just watching the songs and then tuning out most of the other stuff, when I heard the first couple notes of Satisfaction. It is a moment burned into my memory! I was thinking ‘This kid is nuts ‘ unless you can sing it as well as Jagger, they are going to destroy you’ . My next conscious thought was ‘Oh My God!’  as I picked my chin up off the floor. I watched the rest of the season (except MJ night ‘ had previous plans and don’t own a DVR). Since I was really watching for Adam, not everyone made that much of an impression on me. I know far more about the performers from spending time here at MJ’s. I tend to do other stuff while watching TV, so unless a performance grabbed me, I didn’t pay much attention. ALL of Adam’s performances did that. I didn’t vote until the last two weeks as I still couldn’t believe I was really watching this show!

Wow ‘ this is getting long. After following the concert threads here, I really wanted to see a concert for myself. A big part of it was that I wanted to see if Adam really was that amazing live. Unfortunately, I was having trouble finding anyone to go with me and I wasn’t comfortable going alone (mostly due to parking at the arena). At the last minute, a friend agreed to go with me and I purchased tickets on Monday for the Wednesday concert. My friend (who I will call C) is a true gem ‘ she didn’t watch Idol at all, had no idea who any of the performers were (she only knew Adam’s name from my babbling and didn’t know anyone else) ‘ although she wasn’t expecting to enjoy it that much, she knew how much I wanted to go and agreed to join me. C is in her early 60’s and seems to mostly like classic rock & pop music (mostly 60’s to 80’s as far as I can tell).

I won’t bore you with getting to the arena ‘ due to a few mishaps, we were not as early as planned and pulled into the parking lot around 6:15pm. We got a great parking place, waited in a short line to get inside and found that our seats were really close to the entrance. We were in the section directly stage-right of the stage and the first level off the floor. This section was actually grayed out on the Ticketmaster map and I think they may have sold other sections before making it available. If you were on the far end of this section, you would not have been able to see any of the screens. We were in seats 7 & 8 which let us see the screens by craning our necks a bit. At halftime, seats 5 & 6 still weren’t taken, so we moved down and had an even better view! I was really pleased with our seats ‘ they were reasonably close and we could easily see without binoculars and I paid only $112 total.

I am not going to bother with a song-by-song recap. First off, there have been plenty by now and secondly, I don’t know the names of a lot of the songs! Remember, I haven’t been listening to current music for a LONG time ‘ there were a LOT of songs I have never heard.

Michael: Both C and I felt that his voice was nice. We weren’t blown away, but there was nothing to complain about. He was enthusiastic and enjoyable to watch. On a totally shallow note, he looks more like a linebacker than an entertainer. I think that the idea he ‘should’  be doing country may just come from his appearance

Megan: I was pleasantly surprised by Megan’s first song. On the show, she was often out of tune and her breath control was terrible and that really bugs me. (I sing in a classical oratorio choir, so I tend to pay a little more attention to singing technique than is normal.) Sadly, the second song was pretty awful. I don’t know the song, but it sounded really flat to me. C’s only comment was ‘she is really pretty except for that awful thing on her arm’ .

Scott: On the show, Scott was pretty meh for me. I didn’t hate him, didn’t love him. He was just OK. It was pretty much the same at the concert. Mostly, his voice was fine ‘ there were a couple painful falsetto notes. The jokes were OK ‘ not laugh out loud funny, but OK. However, C really liked his voice but thought his stage presence was rather dull which she felt was probably due to his blindness.

Lil: I liked Lil’s voice and she had a lot of energy. I might have enjoyed it more if I knew the songs, but nothing really caught my attention. There were lots of little girls (maybe 10-15yrs) dancing during Single Ladies. C didn’t really have any comments about Lil.

Anoop: Always on My Mind was gorgeous. He has a wonderfully smooth voice. I also enjoyed the second song. The third didn’t do much for me. I’m not sure why, but I kept getting distracted during this set and sent several tweets. C thought his voice was beautiful, but that he was a little boring.

Matt: Definitely the best part of the first half for me! He is fun to watch! The piano doesn’t tie him down and he just seemed to be on fire. His voice isn’t as good as Anoop’s but he makes up for it in stage presence and energy. Some tweens and teens around us stood for Matt. C liked Matt ‘ both his voice and piano playing.

Group number: Lil and Megan should never, ever sing together! Their voices do not blend at all!!!!! The guys’ part seemed very staged and the dancing like the Pips made me giggle.

At halftime, C told me she was really enjoying the concert and it was much better than she expected. She felt that all the performers were decent and that the ‘two piano guys’  were the best so far. To be honest, I was a little bored in the first half ‘ if it had been the TV show, I would have been multitasking through it. Since I believe in being polite, I watched and applauded appropriately and distracted myself trying to type tweets on my tiny little blackberry keyboard. During the break, I went and bought a program to take home to my son (10 year old Adam fan). While I was gone, C took an impromptu survey of everyone seated within a couple rows! (She is a very social, outgoing person). She was very surprised to end up with about 30 Adam fans, 2 Danny fans and 1 Kris fan. The couple sitting next to us had traveled over 100 miles to come to the concert to see Adam. They were from a small town in rural Illinois.

Allison: I enjoyed Allison, but I wasn’t blown away. On the first song, I felt like words were being dropped. Maybe that is just what it is supposed to sound like ‘ I have only heard the song once before (on Idol ‘ was it a group number?) but it sounded like she was moving the mic away from her face or it was cutting out strangely. She is a bundle of energy and I loved how she moved around the stage. She definitely got the second half started with a bang! C was amazed that she was only 17 and thought that she was much better than anyone in the first half.

Danny: What to say? I’m not sure what it is with Danny ‘ his voice is pleasant, he is mostly on key and his technique isn’t awful (there are certainly worse out there) ‘ but he doesn’t connect with me at all. PYT had a lot of our section up dancing, but the band seemed to be a little too loud. Some of it seems a little ‘shouty’  to me. Maria Maria was probably his best song ‘ this was another song I didn’t know, but I actually remember it 2 days later. His supposed dancing was not very good ‘ partly due to trying to salsa in huge boots ‘ what were they thinking with that? The other 2 songs were very, very boring. I guess they are country songs? I have listened to plenty of country music since my husband is a fan, but there are a lot of better songs out there than these two! The speech seemed very out of place to me ‘ just much more talking than anyone else and wasn’t actually that well presented as a ‘speech’ . A heart shaped pillow was thrown to him which I think he kept. C didn’t have much of an opinion on Danny ‘ he was just the guy between ‘that rocker girl’  and Adam.

Adam: Wow! Just Wow! I really don’t know what else to say. For two days I have been trying to put words to this experience and am still running into a major lack of eloquence! Yes, he lived up to the hype. For me, a big part of my Adam love is that he just plain makes me happy. Listening to his voice makes me happy and for some reason, watching interviews and such with him also makes me happy. By the end of Adam’s set, my face hurt from the huge smile I was wearing. The happiness is intensified live. I used earplugs throughout the concert ‘ I already have a little hearing loss and didn’t want any more damage ‘ I did take them in and out a couple times to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and all they did was lessen the volume a little, everything was very clear ‘ however, I did take them out after WLL to be certain I had the full effect of Adam’s voice (I put them back in about ½ way through Kris’ Heartless) I did not hear ANY helium effect for any of the performers. I also did not feel that Starlight was ‘higher’  than on the YouTube videos. The timbre of his voice is spectacular and I don’t think that has really come through on the recordings so far (I hope, hope, hope they do this better for his album) and that may be what people are referring to with Starlight? Mad World was intense, Slow Ride was fun. The beach ball was first thrown near Alison and I believe she punched it back out to the audience. The audience bounced it around and then it went back on stage near Adam. Are we sure he is ‘bad’  at sports? He showed us another nice kick there! I loved the Bowie Medley ‘ the only negative was that I knew the end was near. I am so looking forward to seeing Adam in concert in the future. C’s first comment was that she felt like she was at a totally different show the moment he came on stage and that he ‘had me when he sat and sang that slow song’ .

Kris: I came to the concert hoping that I would finally ‘get’  Kris’ music. I barely noticed him on the show until near the end. I regularly wandered off doing other stuff during his songs. After the finale, I tried listening to Heartless and his NoBo and couldn’t seem to pay attention long enough to get through the songs. I have never heard the original version of Heartless, so I have no idea how it compares. As the friendship between Adam & Kris became more widely obvious, I tried again ‘ if Adam thinks Kris is a great musician, I should give him another try ‘ nope, didn’t work. On one of the concert threads it was suggested that I might get his music better if I heard it live ‘ sounded like a good theory, so I gave it a shot. Sadly, it didn’t work out. I really have nothing negative to say, I just don’t find his singing interesting. Actually, live was a little harder for me because the grimacing and convulsions were very distracting. He also only performed to the front of the stage for most of his set ‘ I don’t think he even glanced our direction when he was at the piano and I think he only looked our way once or twice when he was on guitar. Of his set, I liked Ain’t No Sunshine the best. Heartless and the ‘I’ve got soul’  song really didn’t do much for me. I’ve forgotten the name of the other one. Hey Jude was OK. C was very disappointed by Kris. She kept saying that she expected #1 to be the best and that it was such a letdown. She also thought that a plaid shirt and jeans were pretty plain and boring for a huge arena concert! However, she did say that he is very cute.

DSB: The group number was OK. It actually started out well with the pianos but was pretty weak in the middle and at one point it seemed like someone forgot to sing! It definitely improved when Adam & Kris came up to the stage. It was a fun ending, but not anything to get excited about.

As we left the arena, C thanked me for bringing her and said she had a great time and was really happy to have come to the concert. She also said ‘OK, now I understand why you’ve been going on and on about Adam’ . The next morning I noticed that she had posted on her facebook, ‘now a fan of Adam Lambert after seeing him in concert.’ 

C’s favs were Adam, Alison, Matt & Scott. My favs were Adam, Matt, Alison, & Anoop

I took some photos during the show, but my little point-and-shoot camera wasn’t really up to the task. There are plenty of much better photos out there. I did not take any photos or tweet during Adam’s set ‘ I just totally forgot about doing either. Clearly, the Alien hypnotized me!

About mj santilli 29795 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, 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!