Background: I’m mid-30’s, married, a successful CPA working for a public accounting firm in Chicago. Don’t stop reading; I’m super fun as far as accountants go. I have a great job, great clients, make lots of money and rarely spend it on myself, so I decided to buy 4 tickets. 1 ticket for me, and 3 for the crazy American Idol fans in my life.
More Background: I’ll set the stage for my experience starting with a little history. I’m not an American idol fan, but I love music. I always thought of American Idol as a reality show that sought to embarrass people in a public setting, at least toward the beginning of the show. My husband, younger sister, mother, and mother-in-law have watched past seasons and have always tried to get me interested. However, American Idol heats up squarely in the middle of tax season. Plus I’m more of a ‘Rescue Me / Entourage’ kind of girl. Despite this, we went to my mother-in-law’s during an American Idol performance night. She dragged me to the family room and said you’ve got to hear this guy Adam sing. ‘He’s really good’ I said while walking away, not really listening, and trying to feed my kids in the other room. The next week she called and said ‘Adam’s on again, go watch TV’ . Doesn’t she know how wild my life is at this time of night? My kids are 2 and 3; I’m just trying to keep everyone alive here okay? Regardless, where is my glass of wine? Move over hubby, your mother is harassing me and I now feel obligated to watch. I was unprepared to have the reaction I did. Are you kidding me? This guy has the best voice I’ve ever heard in my life. Hubby said, I told you so.
Pre-Concert: Let’s call younger sister S3, my mother M1 and my mother-in-law M2. I bought tickets for M1 and M2 as a birthday present. They both share the same birthday at the end of August, so this was perfect timing. S3 is a psycho Adam fan, similar to M1 and M2 except for throw in all the inappropriate conduct about wishing she could’ ¦.well’ ¦.you can fill in the blank. We had a last minute opportunity via a good client to attend the meet-n-greet before the show. We couldn’t make it because we couldn’t get there in time (by 3:30) and found out about the opportunity at the last minute. By the way, kudos to my client who reacted quickly when I confessed to the reason I was leaving work early for the day. He called my cell and asked how quickly I could get down there? Secretly I’m a little relieved because I’m not sure what S3 would do if she saw Adam in the flesh. I didn’t realize how much S3 really lusted for Adam until she started screaming like a 14 year old when he came on stage. No offense to the 14 year olds. In fact, I remember what it was like to see someone like Jon Bon Jovi when I was 14 and how I couldn’t believe I was actually looking at a live rock star. Plus, screaming in that pitch is somewhat impressive, but I digress.
I was very excited to see M1 and M2 in a concert environment. Neither had ever been to a concert like that, ever. M2 had seen Alan Jackson and Martina McBride 5 years ago. M1’s last concert was in college at Auburn 40 years ago. So, as you can imagine, I was super pumped to see how M1 and M2 would react to that level of energy and noise. As for S3, her latest concert was probably last week so she’s a veteran.
We had a quick dinner at Harry Caray’s down the street from the Allstate Arena. I told them we had the opportunity to possibly meet Adam but I couldn’t pull it off in time. S3’s eyes almost fell out of her head. I quickly downed 2 martinis, M2 had a drink, M1 had hot tea and S3 had water because she’s 14 weeks pregnant. I tried to convince S3 a little red wine wouldn’t hurt, was that rotten of me? I’m sorry people but she needed to relax. In any event, she stuck with water. We had a great dinner and talked about all the idols. Speaking of which, it was almost show time.
Concert: We got there about 2 minutes before the show started. Our seats were fantastic. They were just off the side of the stage in the 2nd row. I was hesitant to get floor seats in case we had a tall person or someone with a huge sign in front of us.
Michael was really good. He had lots of energy, sang well and seemed to be a happy person, which I liked. Great way to start the show! S3, M1 and I were all standing, dancing and having fun. I looked around and almost our entire section was sitting. I started to feel bad for standing and possibly blocking the people behind us, but that feeling quickly passed. This is a concert, and I have every right to stand!!
Megan had a much better voice then I expected, but the excitement of being at an event like this sort of came to a screeching halt for me at that point. Megan looked like she didn’t want to be there. I wanted the high energy to keep going, but I kept reminding myself that this is my first American Idol concert. The format of the countdown in-and-of-itself will consistently stop the show and redirect it depending on what type of performer was up next. I couldn’t blame Megan or any of the other idols for that lack of continuity.
Scott had his back to us playing piano and singing. He sounded great, told a few jokes, sang a little more and then I’m not sure what happened because I ran out of the show to grab a Margarita while wondering why M2 has been seated eating popcorn and drinking a diet soda thus far. M2, we aren’t at the movies, put the popcorn down and stand up. Let’s have some fun, look at M1 for god sakes, she’s rockin’ out to Scott like he’s Steven Tyler.
Lil sounded great, her set was fun. She has a great voice and looked really happy to be there. S3 tells me she has young children so I’m automatically a fan of anyone who can keep up the schedule she must keep.
Sidebar: I’ll admit, I wasn’t a gigantic fan of the concert so far, but I knew what was coming and couldn’t help but be excited. I also realized that all the idols we’ve seen so far were very good singers. Do we expect them to be perfect because the show is a singing competition? I consider myself a fantastic tax accountant, but I’ve made a few mistakes in my career and am particularly grateful that no one writes about them in the media.
Anoop was really good. I started to hear a little screaming from the crowd during his set which made me feel like we might be turning the corner in the energy department. I reassured M2 who was pulling on my sleeve from her seat to ask a question, that they were not saying ‘boo’ , but rather they were calling his name. Turns out she just wanted to make sure I was taking plenty of pictures.
Matt came storming out and the crowd went nuts. He was fantastic. He was standing and playing piano, it was unbelievable. I looked around to find a lot of people sitting. I’m still confused by this behavior, but to each her/his own I guess. S3, M1 and I were loving Matt and starting to have a great time. I’m feeling the way I did at the beginning of the show, pumped and excited. M2 said she really liked Matt on the show.
Group number ‘ they all sounded very good but Matt was clearly the star here too.
Allison came out and rocked as hard as a 17 year old girl could possibly rock in my opinion. I hope to hear more from her in the future. ‘So What’ was great. ‘Cry Baby’ was the best of her set. If she’s already this good at 17, I can’t imagine what she’ll sound like in the future.
Danny was the biggest surprise to me. I really thought I would like him because I felt for him and what he’s been through. I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who go through life changing events and find a way to pick themselves back up. However, I ended up liking him for the right reasons, nothing to do with sympathy. He had a great voice, put on a good show and seemed to be having fun with the crowd. S3 and I briefly exchanged comments about his extremely toned body, also a nice surprise. I’ve read comments about his speech and I have to say, it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was sort of sweet.
It’s time – S3 has an enormous, semi-crazed smile on her face, M1’s eyes are glued straight ahead and M2 is now on the edge of her chair. I didn’t bother to turn around for 2 reasons. 1. I knew everyone in our section was now standing. 2. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the stage. Adam’s vocals were flawless. His notes were hanging in the air, running into his next note like he was harmonizing with himself at times. Seriously, it was bizarre (in a good way) and sort of unbelievable. Maybe it was just reverb. If I was more of a marketing person and less of an accountant I would be able to describe it to you properly. His voice is out of this world. The entire set was out of this world. At one point I remember thinking that he must not be real. How does someone sing like that, have the good fortune to look like that, and dance like that? If I turned on CNN tomorrow and they said Adam wasn’t in fact real, I would say ‘oh that makes perfect sense because no one could have that trifecta and still be real’ .
I felt like I was at a rock concert. Adam worked the stage and the crowd with ease, like he was sent from Venus to do this, and make everything in the world perfect for 15 minutes. I am very excited for the album.
Other observations about Adam; he is very tall and has a perfect build. Hubby is also 6’1 and has a perfect build. In fact, I’ve considered putting black hair color in his shampoo, pouring him a few scotches and putting eyeliner on him. Okay, inappropriate, sorry’ ¦but I still might do it.
If I could meet Adam I would tell him 2 things. 1. Thanks for reminding me how much I love music and how much better I feel when music is in my life on a regular basis. 2. Get yourself a good tax person. With your level of talent, you’re going to need all the competent help you can get. Seriously, everyone overlooks this piece. It’s critical. Okay, I’ll stop.
Oh by the way, I don’t have any idea what M1, M2 or S3 were doing during Adam’s set. I lost myself for a few minutes there. After the show, they all claim to be equally as floored by his abilities. S3 was tweeting responses to his tweet about the Chicago crowd.
I assumed Kris would be a let down, but that was definitely not the case. He had a very powerful and clear voice. The crowd loved him.
Other Notes: I stopped taking pictures before Adam so I could soak it all in. Plus I realized my photography skills would be nowhere near what you’ve seen to date.
Ending group number ‘ very good. This is too long so I’ll stop now. Thanks for reading and forgive the length of this recap.