Hey peeps? Please keep in mind here that Susan submitted a very well written re-cap from her own point of view as an Adam fan. I’m still waiting for the rest of you to submit YOUR re-caps. I look forward to receiving reviews from fans of all the Idols…
I saw the American Idol shows in Sacramento, Oakland, and San Jose. Initially I didn’t think about writing a recap (thus the lateness of this post) but then when I thought about some of the behind the scenes things I observed, I thought others might enjoy reading about that, so here goes. First, let me say that I am a truly diehard Adam fan, much to my family’s dismay! They couldn’t believe I planned to go to three shows, but my reasoning was if Adam’s voice was within driving distance, I had to be there to hear him sing live! I am a professional, middle aged married mom of three girls ages 15, 18 and 21. My family all think I’m crazy and/or in the throes of a mid-life crisis over my love for Adam. I say, ‘What crisis?’ This man’s stellar voice has reawakened my spirit, caused me to feel more deeply, hear and enjoy music more fully, lifted my mood, led me to a greater acceptance and love of others and a desire to take better care of myself as well. If that’s a crisis, then bring it on!! Although I love Adam, I also want to say that I do have a great appreciation for all of the Idols’ talents and truly enjoyed the entire show. I apologize for this post being so long, but it has a lot of fun tidbits in it if you have the time to read it.
I went to the Sacramento and Oakland shows with a girlfriend who had never watched American Idol but was sweet enough to go along with me to have some ‘girl time’ . Of course, I showed her some Adam videos beforehand and she recognized how well trained he is vocally and (thankfully) liked him. To her credit, before the Sacramento show, she watched each of the Idols on You Tube to try and familiarize herself with them, but didn’t remember all of their names and had to ask me who they were at the concert. What a true friend to pay this kind of money to go to two shows that she really had little interest in! I’m thankful to have such a great friend in her.
We arrived at the Sacramento show a bit early and while still outside the venue, I bought a program, a picture of Adam, and the much needed glow stick. A very attractive teenage boy approached me and asked where I got my program. I told him a man (who was no longer there) had been selling them out of a plastic bag he was hauling around, but I was sure there would be programs inside once the doors opened up. Then I said to him, ‘Would you like to see a picture of the most beautiful face on the planet? He nodded in the affirmative, so I showed him Adam’s picture. At this point, he looked at Adam and very dreamily said, ‘Yes, it is.’ I got the definite feeling that he was playing for Adam’s team and it was so great to share a moment of mutual fan love with this teenage boy. That’s just one of the many things that makes Adam so fabulous is how he can bring together people from such diverse age groups and backgrounds to enjoy who he is as a singer and a person. My girlfriend and I then decided to get in line and a pair of middle-aged women all donned in black approached us and also asked about the program. I showed them Adam’s picture as well. They drooled appropriately, and I knew I was with my people!! It was great to be around others with whom I could rejoice in my feelings and not have to contain myself due to fear of embarrassing someone (i.e., my family).
When the doors opened at 6pm, we went right in and found our seats on the floor, 26th row. Being only 5′ 3′ , I knew the view would be challenging and wore high heeled shoes to give myself a tiny advantage (but my feet did rebel in pain later on). While the venue was still fairly empty, I looked up and saw someone that looked just like Kris Allen walking across the stadium floor about 5 empty rows ahead of us. I said to my girlfriend, ‘OMG, he looks just like Kris Allen!’ before I realized she didn’t really know which one Kris was in the first place. No one else was in my close vicinity to verify Kris’s identity, so I repeated this statement again, and at that point, Kris must have heard me because he looked over at me and smiled with this big cat-that-ate-the-canary expression on his face. It was like his smile was saying to me, ‘Yeah, it’s me’ ¦and no one is noticing!’ What a treat for me! I decided not to blow his anonymous cover and just watched him cross the arena floor. To my astonishment, no one else noticed, or if they did, no one else approached him. He has such a beautiful (but under the radar) boy-next-door look that he totally got away with this. (Something tells me Adam wouldn’t, but then when you are a ‘glittery alien from the Planet Fierce, ‘ you just tend to stand out somewhat!) When Kris got to the exit guarded by security, he left, and Matt Giraud came out briefly from that same exit, standing near the security guards, and talking to some very lucky girls standing on the staircase right above him. How fun for Kris and Matt to get a glimpse of the early crowd that they would soon be performing for!
Pre-show, sitting in the crowd, I noticed the screams for Adam whenever his face graced the video screen, but contained myself and did not join in, (being an alleged professional, middle-aged woman and all’ ¦.I have to have some modicum of composure!) It seemed obvious in all three venues that he was a crowd favorite before he ever hit the stage.
Each night, the show began around 7:10 pm. Michael Sarver welcomed the crowd and brought a lot of positive energy to the stage. I thought his voice sounded really good and he did a nice job. I spoke with him at the busses before the Oakland show, complimented him on his songs and said I really liked the Beggin group number a lot and felt it wasn’t cheesy like the group numbers on the show. He smiled and said he thought it was much better too and that they got to get ‘outside of the box’ more for the tour and do their own thing which he really enjoyed. I have to say that out of all the Idols, he was the most gracious with the fans at the busses. He spent a lot of time talking with them as well as signing autographs and taking pictures. (Yes, I got his autograph and a picture with him.) At the Sacramento show, a little girl scout next to me showed me an Adam picture that she asked Michael to autograph on the back side, and he had written I luv Adam and then signed Michael Saver underneath that. I thought that was very sweet, and it seems to me that he has come a long way in his acceptance of Adam, which was also highlighted in his Twitter statement about the protesters in San Jose. It’s nice to see him standing up for a fellow Idol despite their differences in background.
Megan Joy was next. I liked her Corrine Bailey Rae song and thought her voice sounded pretty good, but the Amy Winehouse song just didn’t work for her. She is so strikingly beautiful! I thought her costume choice of a hot pink strapless mini-dress was somewhat odd (very HOT, but clearly not in the quirky realm, which suits her much better). Loved those super high heel hot pink gladiator stilettos she was wearing. And for those of you who criticized her movements on stage (and yes, I agree she is not much of a dancer), I have to say give her some kudos for remaining vertical in those shoes of hers! They have to have been very hard to walk in, let alone move around in on the stage to music! A side note’ ¦I had a manicure and pedicure before the concert’ ¦one of the new ways I am taking care of myself, and my manicurist asked if she could choose the color for my toenails. I had told her I liked purple, mauves or maroon type colors. To my surprise, she chose shocking pink, so my toes were definitely sporting some Megan Joy love for the concert! I went with the more traditional French manicure for my fingers. I would have done all black fingernails and toenails if I had my druthers (just to show some Adam support during the three concerts) but had been duly warned against this by my kids and spouse, and knew I would have been permanently banished from my home if I did so’ ¦..sorry, Adam!
Scott McIntyre was next. He was warm, funny, played the piano well, and his vocals on both songs were much better live than on the show. I especially liked him in the dueling pianos part with Matt later on in the show. He did some high fives with the fans at the busses (more like low fives, where he walked quickly through the line to their outstretched palms.) At the busses in San Jose, I saw him with his brother, who, like Matt, is also quite attractive. Some of the girls in line called him hot and said they wanted his brother’s autograph too. I guess beauty tends to run in that family. Another fan told me she had seen his brother helping him with his autographs for the fans, which I thought was so sweet.
Lil Rounds had a lively set. While I think she has a good voice, to me, (channeling Randy now) she doesn’t have any identity or signature to her voice, so it sounds like very good karaoke all the time. I thought her Single Ladies was the best number, and since then I have come up with a fabulous way to improve it even further. Imagine this’ ¦.she has Adam and Matt (in my opinion the best male dancers of the bunch) come out during Single Ladies as her back up dancers, a la the Saturday Night Live spoof when Beyonce performed the song with Justin Timberlake and a couple of other guys as back up dancers. They danced around wearing leotards along with high heeled pumps and were hilarious. I think Adam and Matt could wear skin tight sleeveless black body suits with glittery silver platform boots, which would compliment Lil’s outfit nicely. Don’t you think Adam and Matt could pull that off? What I wouldn’t give to see that added to the show! That would be such a hoot!!
Anoop Desai was also highly enjoyable for me. I think he has a beautiful, soulful, R & B voice. I loved his dance moves on My Prerogative, although I do think he should lose those glasses. I spoke with him at the busses after the San Jose show. Channeling my inner Paula, I told him I thought he sounded great and could tell he had been working with a choreographer and really enjoyed his dance moves. I suggested that he put in a few more, and he smiled and said he would think about it as he autographed my concert ticket. I then asked him if he had noticed the crowd’s reaction when he did his moves, and suggested that he spice it up a bit more! He was grinning ear to ear on that one. Afterwards, I couldn’t believe my gall in saying all that, but maybe because I’m so much older than him, and I have a dance background (from long ago and far away) I figured I could get away with it. (And I did!)
Matt Giraud really, really ROCKED THE HOUSE on that piano of his!!! He got a great crowd reaction with his first song (Hard to Handle) and I have to say that I LOVED it! Personally, I felt his Georgia on my Mind song during Hollywood week was one of the highlights of the season, and thought that he could really give Adam a huge run for his money! I think Matt suffered from nerves and some poor song choices along the way during the show. I really enjoyed his Georgia on my Mind on tour as well, but thought the Fray song was out of his genre and wish he would have listened to the judges about that. I would have much preferred he sing Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, or Bryan Adam’s Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman. Both in my estimation fit his voice and style much better. I spoke with Matt at the busses in San Jose and told him how much I thought he rocked the house on the piano and that I hoped he got a contract really soon. He said, ‘Thanks, baby, ‘ and put his hand on my right wrist, and then said, ‘You’re so sweet, ‘ and put his other hand on my left wrist! That was so nice of him. The Idols didn’t give him the title of biggest flirt (on Larry King Live) for nothing! I got his autograph and a silly picture with him too, which was fun!
I liked the group number song (with the exception of Megan and Lil’s duet, which just didn’t work). Loved the guys singing Beggin’ ¦.their suits, their dance moves, their vocals’ ¦.all very, very nice! If they could have only done that type of thing on the show.
Allison was really great and got a very good audience reaction each night. I love her raspy rocker girl voice and think she will become quite a star. Loved her rendition of Cry Baby and the soul she puts into that and her duet with Adam was wonderful every time I heard it! Thought it was funny about the big black bra that Adam hurled back into the audience during their Slow Ride duet in Oakland. (Apparently, Allison saves the underwear reactions for Adam to handle!) I saw Allison out at the busses in Sacramento and Oakland, but since I was 4-5 people back in the crowd, I didn’t get to talk with her. She was very high energy with the fans, and seemed to be growing in her comfort for this part of her Idol experience. Allison wasn’t feeling well after the San Jose show (where I was up front at the barriers) so she didn’t come out to greet the fans then. I was sad that I couldn’t get her autograph for my sister, which was the only one she wanted.
Danny Gokey was up next. In all three venues, he got a very good response from the audience, but I think San Jose loved him the most. He is not a favorite of mine. Although I do enjoy his voice, I have less appreciation for his politics and the way his back story played out on the show. That said, I thought he sounded really good on all four songs, but I worry that his voice tends to get hoarse more easily than some of the others and I hope he gets some coaching regarding how to avoid straining his vocal chords. I didn’t like his preaching much. He was the longest winded at the Oakland show and then toned it down again for San Jose. I can see him getting a contract to sing country style music (more in the Rascal Flatts genre) or Christian music and being very successful. Despite our different viewpoints of a variety of issues, I do feel sympathy for the loss of his wife and wish Danny all the best. One of my daughters absolutely LOVES Danny and begged me to get his autograph for her. (She didn’t want to attend the concert and was probably afraid I would embarrass her if she came with me.) Being a kind and obliging Mom, and despite knowing she does not care for my Adam obsession, I said I would try my best to do so. I have to say that Danny was almost mini-mobbed at the busses in Sacramento. Some fans surged in when he ran out towards them but the security guards quickly got them back in line. He was really nice to the fans at the Oakland busses. He told fans that he was a huggy type of person and actually asked one girl if she wanted a hug and then hugged her. He also signed an autograph and hugged a 50+ year old die hard Danny fan near me who told me he had just made her night! The next night in San Jose, the Idols were more rushed at the busses and were told not to stop and pose for pictures with the fans. Danny still managed to do so while signing autographs so it didn’t look like he was violating that rule. I did get his autograph for my daughter, and then a very strange thing happened. I call it my close encounter of the Idol kind. Some of the Idols at the San Jose busses were running down the line doing high fives for the fans, so I had my hand out to high five them which was fun. When Danny came by me, I seriously don’t know exactly how this happened, but I got my high five and then I don’t know if he turned to face the crowd for a picture for someone or what, (it all happened so fast, it is somewhat of a blur) but I found my hand running across his entire upper abdomen and then getting another high five! I swear I was passive in all of this’ ¦.he moved his body in front of my hand! I turned around to my sister (who accompanied me that night and we had a blast together) and said ‘OMG, I just groped Danny Gokey!’ Of course, grope is entirely the wrong word here, but I was so surprised by this event, that’s what came out of my mouth. Contrary to the cheesy coronation song, I do have boundaries and somehow felt this moment was unwittingly a bit of a boundary crossing. I decided to call my daughter right away (at midnight, no less) to tell her I not only got Danny’s autograph for her but groped him as well, to which she replied, ‘OMG, Mom, YOU DID WHAT???’ I have to admit, I really enjoyed teasing/terrifying her in that sweet moment! I then explained what really happened (and could practically see her rolling her eyes through the phone) and told her she owed me big time!! J Side notes: 1) the irony that this event occurred with Danny, of the all the Idols, was not lost on me. In retrospect, I guess it is a good thing that it didn’t happen with someone else, like ADAM for instance, because in that case, my hand might have ‘accidentally’ migrated south! LOL, just kidding; I would never do that, but I have to admit, the idea is quite delightful! 2) For all you wonderful Danny fans out there, I think he has been working out because he has pleasantly firm abs! J
Back to the concert’ ¦..FINALLY, it was Adam’s turn to perform. I have to admit that I began counting down to Adam’s appearance halfway though Danny’s set. At the San Jose concert with my sister, who is an Allison and Adam fan and was seeing the show for the first time, I let her know when it was 2 more songs ’til Adam, one more song ’til Adam, 30 seconds ’til Adam, and then before I knew it, I was on my feet, yelling ‘OMG, ADAM!’ as his video began playing. The crowd was totally on their feet screaming their heads off by then, so (note to my family) there was nothing odd about my behavior. At the Sacramento concert, being on the floor and without binoculars, I missed some of Adam’s dance moves because I couldn’t always see all of him and the monitors didn’t show below his waist a lot of the time. (What’s with the censorship?) I don’t think I’ll buy floor tickets again unless they are very close. At the Oakland concert, I had club seats which were slightly elevated and provided an unencumbered view of Adam. I brought binoculars and shared them with my friend. By the San Jose concert, I had elevated seats and binoculars all to myself and was the view ever so GLORIOUS! I watched every gorgeous morsel of his movements and they were so delicious! What can I say? His Whole Lotta Love was so sexy, his vocals were outstanding, and it brought me back to my youth big time. I saw Robert Plant sing WLL live with Led Zeppelin at the Fillmore in San Francisco way back in the day, and I have to say, I think Adam’s version is MUCH better!! In the most non-family-friendly moment of the evening, Adam did his thing with the microphone stand. All I can say is he left very little to the imagination, and I loved it! I was also glad none of the other Idols tried anything remotely similar as I think he is the only one of them who could pull this off well. I loved Starlight. It felt like he showed off more of his musical theater roots in that song. Mad World was haunting, eerie, and beautiful. I loved Slow Ride too, but I think his David Bowie Medley was really the one to die for. That boy’s voice is so gorgeous and he has such fluid, sensual and wonderful dance moves. I felt like he gave us a small glimpse (albeit a tamed down version) of what it would be like to see him dancing in a club, just having fun. (Sigh). It was all over way too fast. With many thanks to my sister who was very assertive in securing a spot for me at the front of the barricades in San Jose, I did get a chance to see Adam at the busses. He is so incredibly beautiful and was heavily made up in blue eye shadow with some silver glitter around the eyes as well. The Mom part of me wanted to say something that I tell my girls a lot, which is, ‘You are so naturally beautiful that you really don’t need to wear so much make-up, ‘ but Adam is who he is and he’ll make himself up as he sees fit. (And, of course, his make-up was well done and he looked fabulous anyway.) When he came by the line, he signed two photographs for me. (My girlfriend begged me to get his autograph for her since we didn’t manage to do so at the earlier shows.) I said to him, ‘That was a stellar performance tonight.’ and he smiled and said, ‘Thank you, ‘ in the most gracious, glittery-alien-boy-next-door kind of way. The Rock God/Sex God persona he channels on stage was totally gone and replaced by a more humble, sweet and gracious demeanor. I just love all of the different sides of Adam. One last observation, he was wearing flip flops that highlighted his black nail polish on his toes which I thought was too cute. Now, back to the concert’ ¦..
Whatever planet Adam had taken me to with his stellar performances, Kris Allen brought me back down to Earth, and it was a satisfyingly smooth landing. I loved Heatless when he sang it on the show and his live version was so wonderful! I was really glad he got to do the Killer’s song in lieu of No Boundaries and thought he did a great job of that as well. I loved hearing him sing in his lower register. Aint No Sunshine was one of my season favorites and also a great treat to hear live. I think my favorite moment though was when he played electric guitar on Bright Lights. He really ROCKED THE HOUSE and what a great surprise that was to hear him play like that! As an avid Beatles fan, I enjoyed Hey Jude and thought the audience involvement in it was fun. Kris is an extremely talented musician and I especially love the way he and Adam get along so well and truly admire and respect one another. I think their friendship is a great example for all the rest of us to follow. LONG LIVE KRADAM! I spoke with Kris at the busses in San Jose and complimented him on rocking the house with his electric guitar playing while I got his autograph. He was so gracious and sweet. Kris did another very endearing thing at the busses in Sacramento. He was walking along with his wife and when he got to his bus, he put his arm around her neck and kissed her in front of the crowd. That just warmed my heart to see him do that. He obviously loves her very much and wanted the crowd to witness that too. What a great guy and talented artist we have in this American Idol!
As the concert wound down, I enjoyed the final Don’t Stop Believing group number, especially Adam’s glory note at the end. I hated to see the show end. For any of you who are still sitting on the fence about going, I urge you to do so. It is a really exciting experience and this particular group will only come around together this one time. Go have yourself some fun! I’d go again in a hot minute if I had the time, money, and a believable excuse for my family as to why I have to fly off to another state for a day or two! J Suffice it to say I will have to settle for replaying the You Tube concert videos submitted by other wonderful fans instead. For those of you who are still waiting for the tour to come to your city, relish every moment when it does and ENJOY THE SHOW!!