“So has Adam always been gay? Like, ever since you knew him in school?”
The man was so eager and solicitous that it was hard to tell him, yet again, that I didn’t know Adam. That we’d just graduated from the same high school — but at very different times. Flattering, though, that he thought that I — a (mumbles…thirty-something…mumbles) woman — could have been a classmate of Adam’s. Then again, I was one of the youngest people in a four or five-person radius from where I was sitting. This particular couple next to me must have been in their sixties.
I asked the woman who her favorite was, and she grinned. “Ohhhh, that Adam! He is so good. I just love that Adam. And that purple-haired girl. What’s her name?”
We talked about Allison, her record deal, and agreed we loved her. The rocker. She told me that they went to all the Idol tours, had seen every season’s. I admitted this was my first time.
The man leaned forward and chimed in again. Asked if I’d seen the interview with Adam on some L.A. channel’s news that morning. I said no, and he told me that Adam has lost some weight since the show. “But, you know, it makes him look…” He shimmied his hands. “A little more…gayer…or something.”
Neutral, polite smile from me. Brief nod. They were very sweet people. And they had gone on and on about how much they loved Adam, so…
I turned my attention to the stage and the endless loop of Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, and David Cook videos interspersed with pictures of this season’s contestants. MASSIVE screams erupted every time Adam’s face appeared, and, invariably, a zillion heads would whip around to see if, even though the house lights were still up and people were still milling around, perhaps the show had started without them.
I had a wonderful seat. I’d passed up Adam’s hometown visit to stay home and stalk Ticketmaster the day seats went on sale, thusly scoring exactly one sixth row (fairly) center seat. My poor husband, indulgent thing, had to sit fourteen rows back — still not a bad seat, and he was on the aisle, but, well. You know.
It was a good, safe topic of conversation for me and my new friends. How good our seats were. I purred in the knowledge that I’d paid significantly less than most of those around me. I was right next to the auction seats that sold for a hundred dollars more than mine, and my new friends had paid big bucks to a scalper, they said. I gaped as a woman walked into the row in front of me with four tweenie girls all carrying twenty-five buck programs. My mom used to grouse at me for wanting fifteen bucks to see a show when I was a kid. Boy, when I was a kid! Uphill! In the snow! Both ways! And that’s the way it was! And we liked it! Oh, how we loved it…
Anyway, any closer, and we wouldn’t have been able to see the Idols feet. The folks in the front two rows pretty much had to stand to see anything but shoudlers and heads, I’d think.
My neighbors on the other side arrived: an older woman and a man of roughly my age who had to remove a large leg brace in order to shimmy into our row. There was more leg room than on an airplane, but not much. Once he sat — well, we all just got cozy, let’s say. Hip to hip, and none of us were particularly wide. A few rows up there were some folks that were on the plus side, and I felt sorry for them.
A little conversation with my new neighbors. (“Great seats!” “Yeah!” “Who you here for?” They were Adamites, too.) I looked around for fantards and crazy people for Top Idol, but I didn’t see any. (If you don’t see crazy people, does it mean you ARE the crazy people? I promise I wasn’t. Swear! At least not outwardly.) I was a little disappointed. Could have written a much better recap with a little conflict. This was nothing like my experience with Dr. Phil (http://rhinonymous.blogspot.com/2009/02/dr-phil-says-scream-or-else.html), but it was a lot more fun, so better for me, worse for those who read this stuff.
Some older women sat in front of my right-hand neighbors, and apparently they knew each other, even though they’re from L.A. One of the women was dragging the other woman to the show even though she knows nothing about it, knew none of the performers. She looked bemused. I thought of all the people who were fans who’d kill to have her seat.
A lot of seats were empty around us, and the upper levels were bare, too. It wasn’t until about five minutes before the show that the place was suddenly full. I could only see a few scattered empty seats. Just folks being fashionably late, perhaps, but it set a theme for the night. Ontario seemed fairly laid back from where I was sitting. Or maybe just torporous from the heat. It was 103 outside and humid. Inside, it was still a bit tropical. This would only grow worse.
I tried to get on Twitter or Facebook to post some pictures and comments, but my Palm Pre could not connect to the outside world. I’d start to get a signal, race for a bookmark, and…fizz…all the bars would disappear. I gave up after a few tries and after noticing that my battery was at half power. I’d squandered it by using it like an iPod on the hour-plus drive up there. I needed to make sure I could get a few pictures of Adam and Kris. So off went the phone.
And then the show began. A great roar of screaming as they did the light show and flashed pictures of the Idols.
Then Michael Sarver came out.
He looked heavier and blonder in person than I remembered, but he was very engaging — waved to everyone who was standing (only a few folks near me) and grinned and pointed at us a lot. His singing was fine, but not memorable. The people ahead of me were big fans, it seems. They were the lone standers in a sea of sitters.
Megan was next, and she looked lovely. I do agree with folks who’ve said that she’d do better in her bohemian garb, though. She’d be more comfortable, and it would work better. I enjoyed her first song (“Put Your Records On”) but couldn’t make much of the second. The folks ahead of me, once again, were on their feet, enthusiastic. There was a very tall, blond woman a few rows up and over who stood and cheered. Otherwise, most sat.
Except that first row. They had to stand to see.
It was fun seeing Scott rise up out of the floor at his piano. He’s a good looking guy. We stayed seated, but from our row, we could see him from the chin up over the top of his piano. I have no specific memories of his singing, bad or good. My husband later told me that he was his favorite of the first act, though.
Everyone got up for Lil. About half sat back down after a minute or two, but I remained standing. I’d been frustrated to be sitting for the first three acts. It felt weird to be so passive and sedate at a concert, but I am not bold enough to stand and dance alone. I was glad to have the folks ahead of me standing as an excuse. Later, I decided I didn’t care who was standing or not. I don’t know these people! But, at this point, I was still being a little bit of a lemming.
Anyway, I thought Lil sounded great. A lot better than she did for most of the season. Her set was a lot of fun. People seemed surprised to hear her do “Single Ladies.” I was just surprised that not everyone stalks the blogs like me and knows what to expect in advance. I forget sometimes what a geek I am.
Oh, and “Single Ladies” was not as fun without Rickey dancing along. Just sayin’…
I was surprised at how excited I got when Anoop came out. I was neither a fan nor a detractor during the season, but the crowd got really energized when he appeared. I had to laugh that my rowmates thought the crowd was booing him when they yelled, “Anoooooooop!” He sounded good, but he didn’t have or create the energy I expected from earlier reviews. I enjoyed his set, though.
Then came Matt, and a lot of people who’d sat leapt back up. I was already on my feet and employing my very best “Clapping and screaming with your hands high over your head” skills that I obtained at last week’s taping of So You Think You Can Dance. (Now, you want a loud and energized audience? Go to that show. AWESOME degrees of AWESOMENESS!!!).
Anyway, Matt. I love Matt! He was an early favorite of mine, and he was wonderful last night. Almost everyone around me stayed standing, but only a few danced.
I’m afraid I barely remember the group number that followed. I liked it, but I was getting hot. As soon as intermission hit, I was out of my row and walking down the aisle toward my husband’s exile, er, seat. It was much cooler in the aisle. Guess all those bodies block the A/C and generate heat. My husband’s new friends all teased me about trading my seat for the second half, and I told them all to shove it. Or, rather, I politely declined. He and I grinned about a kid who was obviously dressed to emulate Adam, but, still, the crowd was amazingly normal. If folks were in the official tour colors, I couldn’t tell. I did tease my husband, who always wears a fedora-type hat, that he looked like a Matt fan.
Back in my seat, I noticed Mischovanna in the front row and pointed her out to my gimpy-legged friend. He didn’t remember her. Neither did my older friends on the right. I’m not sure they believed me that it was even her, but then I saw idoltourbenches’s Tweet in one of my rare connections with the internet confirming it and felt vindicated. I didn’t see Ramiele, though. Nor did I see Adam’s family, although I was looking.
Then second half!
I love Allison, and she was great. She rocked out, and I stayed on my feet for her even though a lot of folks around me were sitting. We must respect the rocker, ala Michael Slezak, and she deserved it. “Crybaby” was a real highlight.
I did not expect to care one way or another about Danny Gokey’s set, but he impressed me. He sounded great, and he was really engaged with the audience, making eye contact, which seems to help a lot. The crowd seemed really into him, and he got a lot of loud support. I didn’t see a single hand-heart, surprisingly enough. I sat down with a lot of people when he began his “sermon, ” remembering what people had said in earlier reports, but I found it to be really short and inoffensive, so I got back up when he sang again.
Besides, I knew who was coming next, and I had to be ready.
As others have said, when Adam arrived the house went mad. It was deafening. And surreal! He launched into Whole Lotta Love, and I was amazed that the two women in front of me sat down. Next to them were tiny tweenie girls. Next to me, my injured friend stayed sitting. My older woman neighbor was very short. This left me, almost six feet tall in my boots, standing out like a beacon. And it was great! Because that meant Adam could see me — the white parts of my shirt glowing crazily in his blue light — and he made eye contact more than a few times during his set. Yowza!!!
He got wonderfully grabby with himself during WLL and did his thing with the mike stand — woohoo! My injured friend yelped and covered his face until it was over. Close one, man! You almost turned gay! LOL. I didn’t think to look at the tweenie girls, but I did glance at the woman who had been dragged to the show, and she looked like she was biting back laughter before mouthing, “Well. Okay, then.” She seemed to be having fun, at least. I? Loved it!
“Starlight” was…interesting. I still don’t know what it was. Did I get fantard levels of giddy at his presence? Was I tired from all that standing? Or was it the rush of stars on the backdrop? Whatever it was, I got really lightheaded and dizzy, and I clutched the seat ahead of me, trying not to pull the hair of the seated girl (what was her problem?) and trying DESPERATELY not to pass out like some stupid bobby soxer. I would totally have to report myself to Top Idol as a frautard then. (Not sure of the guidelines for frautardom, but a 30+ woman fainting at a concert must surely qualify.) When they threw more lights on Adam, I felt more grounded, though, and I kept my head, so maybe it was just the lighting. I was worried for a minute. (Only the briefest daydream of waking up to find him leaning over me, concerned that he’d killed a fan.)
The rest of his set was more fun. No incidents to report. Nary a bra thrown. And the ushers made the girls up front lower their signs after a minute, which surprised me. They also kept the aisles fairly clear.
And then, boo hoo, Adam’s set was over.
Happily, though, I did not find Kris’s set to be any sort of anticlimax, as some people have implied. I thought he kept the energy up really well and was very compelling. Of course, this was helped by the fact that he made very definite eye contact with me a few times, and at one point when he seemed to be looking at me, I smiled really big and threw my hands up, and he grinned and laughed. He is adorable, the way he sings, like the music just spasms right through him — the way he throws his head back, curls his lip, picks up his feet, etc. And he sounded great last night, although by this point I had to cover my ears to get the full effect. My ears were wearing out and folks were starting to sound like chipmunks. My earplugs were stupid looking and blocked too much sound, so they were out.
Then the final group number. I was clapping over my head, and I got tired, was about to stifle from the heat. I started to lower my arms. Adam happened to be looking toward me right then, and he kind of squinted at me and threw his arms up, telling people to clap higher. I take full responsibility for that in the happiest possible manner. Don’t tell me if I’m deluded. ;)
And then it was over. We, the audience, wiped copious amounts of bubbles from the finale off our clothing and joined the cattle herds as they shuffled, zombie-like, from the building. I skipped the buses and autograph houndage. It was still 85 degrees out there at 10:30 p.m., I was tired, and I couldn’t imagine anything interesting I would have to say to any of them. Besides, my poor, long-suffering husband. I let him drive us home (aren’t I nice?), and so ended the adventure.
My pictures from the show are pathetic. The camera on my phone has an extremely wide angle lens, and it made everything look a lot farther away than it was. The lighting was too much for my lens, too, so they’re blurry. Attractive. But here’s the link, if anyone is interested: