This long standing tradition of mine came pretty early this year. I usually attend the American Idol Concert around August so I was surprised it came to my area as soon as it did. I personally would rather have waited so that the Idols would have more shows under their belt to fix any kinks that might need to be worked out while on the road. Not to mention, the Idols would have had much more time to improve and I would be the recipient of a much livelier and perhaps a more comfortable show.
I think I’m pretty lucky to have had two options to attend the concert. I chose to attend at the Oracle Arena in Oakland because I have obligations on Wednesday nights, so I couldn’t attend at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
My mom and I left the office at 5 PM because we knew traffic getting on to the Bay Bridge would be a nightmare so we needed extra cushion time just in case something were to happen. I was right. It took us almost an hour to get to the arena and we also had to stop by to grab dinner before the show. Once we got to the arena, we had to pay $35.00 to park the freaking car! That was a travesty. I don’t know how much it costs for parking at other arenas across the country, but I thought it was plain ridiculous. If I recall correctly, it was free at the Shoreline Ampitheater for Season 9’s show. After whining about the price of parking, we learned that we could have parked by the BART station because parking is free after 3 PM. On second thought, I would rather have my car parked on property and safe than at a train station in Oakland. It’s not like I’m assuming that something bad would happen, but Oakland does not have the nicest reputation.
Ok, on with my thoughts about the show. I am going to review the Idols based on finishing order, starting with the winner and I’ll work my way down the elimination line instead of performance order. WARNING this is going to be quite a lengthy post, but I hope you enjoy it (you better because it took me about two hours to write up, no kidding).
Scotty “Baby Lock Them Doors And Turn The Lights Down Low” McCreery:
So I didn’t get a decent picture of the guy at all. Did I really care? Not really. I wanted to like him during the concert, but he just didn’t do it for me. I know he has loads of charisma, but I found myself rolling my eyes every time he made those weird faces that girls seem to love. Now, this is just my own opinion and it’s not like I don’t like country music (I do, but I much prefer women in country music than men), I just didn’t think he was all as special as the judges made him to be. I will say that his lower register is booming, but I hope he doesn’t rely on that too much because, to me, there is only so much you can do with that before things start sounding the same. Out of all the songs he did, I only really enjoyed “Gone” because it seemed like he had the most fun with that. Another thing I will give him is that he is a good story teller, but I guess that’s why he’s country.
After the concert my mom and I waited for the Idols to come out for autographs and pictures and when Scotty came around, it seemed like he didn’t pay as much attention to us as he did for others. My mom decided to suck up and say (with arms wide open) “I love you this big!” and he just replied with an “Aw thanks.” I didn’t like the way he responded. It came off as “yeah I’ve heard that only like a thousand times already.” During that time, I was thinking “just humor the lady, man. That’s why you didn’t get my votes” We got his autograph anyway and I asked him for a picture, but he moved on and ignored us as if we didn’t exist. Maybe it was because we weren’t screaming at his face. Oh well. Next.
Lauren “I Keep Falling Down The Stairs” Alaina:
Ok, now I was impressed with her and can understand why Steven Tyler championed her. She does have a clear, pure voice for someone her age. I absolutely could not stand her during the competition, but I enjoyed meeting her in person. That girl is a trooper as she sang with her injured ankle and limped along the stage. I do fear for her vocal chords though. When she sang “Firework,” I thought she was losing it in the beginning. I felt like she wasn’t quite on key and she was under pitch, but she made up for it on all of the other songs. I really enjoyed “If I Die Young” as well as “Like My Mother Does” (probably because I was watching with my mom right beside me). When she came out for autographs, she really spent time with her fans and I really liked that she was bubbly, but not overly cutesy which I loathed on the show. Another thing I liked was that her hair wasn’t as big as before and she looked much more natural. The girl is photogenic, but that album art on her EP needs to be nixed.
Haley “This Ain’t the End of This Thang – Shindig. See Ya Later!” Reinhart:
For some reason, she was the only Idol that didn’t come out for pictures. She went straight to the bus and stayed there. I thought she was just going to put her bags down, but I was wrong. I was disappointed because she was my pick to win. The whole time I was thinking, “I’ve phoned in literally hundreds of votes for you! I deserve a picture with you! You owe me!” After the initial shock that she wasn’t going to show up, I figured she might be sick or something. I did feel like she held back this concert. I was underwhelmed with “Moanin'” and wished it was longer than it was. “House of the Rising Sun” was great, but “Bennie and the Jets” was weak at spots. I loved the “BENNIE! BENNIE! BENNIE! BENNIE AND THE JETS!” (my favorite part) at the top of her lungs on the show, but she only did it once at the end in her upper register. All of the others were an octave lower. Sure it shows off the quirkiness and different tones / shades in her voice, but I really wanted “BENNIE!” because that was the song that made me fall in love her her and jump on the Haley train. On a side note, she was totally hot on stage. That girl has a great pair of legs and played that sexy, sultry role very well in my opinion.
James “Give Metal a Chance” Durbin:
I think this guy got the most cheers of all of the other Idols. Sometimes I hated him on the show and sometimes I loved him and that’s how I kind of felt at the concert. I absolutely loved “Sweet Child of Mine” and was kind of meh on “Uprising.” I didn’t like the second verse when he sings it in the upper register. It was too over the top for me, but I guess I can say that I’ve heard a man sing that high. The Guns N Roses track was much more fun and it was awesome to hear the old man sitting next to me sing along (I do think, however, that no one should encourage the man to ever audition for The X Factor because the man could not hold a tune.) but I’m glad he was enjoying himself. When he came along to sign autographs he said he didn’t want to take pictures with anyone because he was sick. I don’t know how you can sing (scream?) like that and be sick at the same time but what do I know? So he just signed my program and moved on. One thing I couldn’t stand were those two football line thingys under his left eye. I didn’t get it. It came off as trying to hard with a look and I wish he removed it because he doesn’t need it.
Jacob “Take a Look at Yourself in the Mirror” Lusk:
Jacob was another contestant I didn’t particularly care for during his run in the competition, but I ended up really liking him on tour. He was definitely more restrained and held back which made him more listenable. I can’t remember the title of his first song, but I really had fun with “You’re All I Need To Get By.” I really enjoyed his “take it to church” moves and was impressed by how well he used the stage. I could tell he was really enjoying himself. What was also great was that he did get a good response from the audience during his set compared to the start when his face would pop up on screen and people didn’t make a peep. When we got outside and met him, he was really sweet and kind. It was funny seeing him in house sandals and orange socks and track jacket opposed to always seeing him in a suit or dressed up. Also, there a lot of people calling out for him around my area so I guess the general public did like him more than the internet crowd. Maybe they too changed their minds about him as I did that night.
Casey “Scoop-ba-di-beeb-pa-doo” Abrams:
This guy got tons of cheers when his turn came. I thoroughly enjoyed him on the show and I’m glad he showed up with his bass. Surprisingly, I thought he did a better job than Haley on “Moanin'” this time than on the show. I think he has a diverse set of fans from young to the young at heart. I loved the beginning of “Harder to Breathe” but then just turned to like it after the tempo picked up and the growling started. I also really enjoy the way he scats because he just feels the music and goes with it and it doesn’t matter if he hits bum notes because it’s all part of jazz. Unfortunately for me, he was the last Idol to come around to meet the fans and it was getting late, but he was definitely taking his time with his fans. He really likes to converse with them and I’m sure he enjoyed all of the attention from the girls. For some reason, I was trying to think of a joke to tell him about his beard when he got to me because I think he would be the kind of person I would befriend, but I just could not think of something original. He was almost near my area then all of a sudden left to go all the way to the other end of the line. I was like, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” I was so close and then he moved away. I tried to follow him to get him to sign my program while he was bombarded with other people desperate for his attention. Sadly, the security had to force him to leave because it was midnight and no one could take anymore pictures with him.
Stefano “I Can Show Off My Abs Because I Want To” Langone:
Stefano really impressed me during the concert as well. He had good moves and the crowd was really into his performance. I really enjoyed his duet with Pia on “California King Bed” and I thought they sounded great together. You can tell that he really puts a lot of effort into his performances and I think it comes across well. The fan meeting was a different story. I felt he came off a little too cool for school and I didn’t get why he was wearing some kind of half sunglass thing. I was like, “Dude, there’s no sun out! It’s like 11:30 PM. Who do you think you are?” I felt like he was a little cocky and a little bored of taking pictures and signing autographs. It was kind of weird because he didn’t go down the line like everyone else and he kind of went back and forth and running around. Perhaps he was trying to fit in his cardio workout at the same time and have girls swoon at him while he did it. Eh. I wouldn’t hang out with him based on that impression of seeing him.
Paul “My Teeth are Too White, You Need Sunglasses to See Me Smile” MacDonald:
Boy those are some white teeth! They even stay white even with all of the yellow light around! He seems like a cool cat with also a too cool for school kind of attitude. I don’t think he conversed much with fans, just signed and took pictures. Maybe he didn’t want to give anyone the impression he was flirting with other girls because he’s engaged, but I didn’t find him as friendly as some of the other Idols. During his perfomance, I could really hear the raspiness in his voice which I am afraid won’t last the entire tour schedule. After the tour, he definitely needs to get that surgery ASAP because it could end his career if he doesn’t take care of that. I know the older crowd loved him because of his whole Rod Stewart vibe and sound, but he wasn’t my large iced mocha from McDonald’s. Haha McDonald’s / MacDonald.
Pia “Sweet P” Toscano:
For me, Pia was one of my favorites on the show and I was devastated when she got eliminated. I didn’t think she was going to win, but I think I was more upset that I would get to hear her sing and watch her grow throughout the competition. I enjoyed “California King Bed” and “This Time” over “Empire State of Mind,” but I think she sounded good. I have a soft spot for Celine Dion because I grew up listening to her, as well as Whitney and Mariah, so I loved me some Pia. She still has a long way to go in developing her performing skills, but I think she will get there. I was so excited to meet her, not only because I think she is gorgeous, but also a very sweet and humble girl. My thoughts were right based on my impression of her when she got to me. Surprisingly, I lot of people I talked to in line said that they liked Pia, so I think she may have a lot of fans out there who just don’t post on blogs and such. After she signed my program, I asked her to take a picture with me and she was very gracious. I didn’t realize how short she was without heels on. She dressed comfortably in a flowy blouse and not-too-short shorts. She must have been freezing and you could he her goosebumps, but she didn’t let the cold phase her. After the picture I had to review it to see how it came out. I was sad when they came out blurry because I really wanted a decent picture with her and I guess she heard me complain to my mom about the picture so she actually came back to me and asked if I wanted a re-take! Heck yes I wanted a better one! She stayed an waited until I checked it again and made sure I was happy with it. Gosh. She is such a sweet girl and I admit I have a crush on her. Move over Ballas, AJ’s here (Ok that’s a long shot). You can really tell that she was appreciative of the opportunities given to her and she really spent time listening and conversing with fans. At one point I saw her hugging a fan for a while so I thought she was being very genuine and that’s who she really is. I’m glad I bought her single because I wanted to support her. And I like the song too I admit.
I guess I can also really relate to her as well. She’s auditioned for Idol many times just like me and it was inspiring to see that she didn’t give up on her dream just because someone said no. I really admire her courage to keep going so I think she will be just fine.
Thia “I Must Try Out For The Voice” Megia:
I guess this would be considered her hometown concert as I saw quite a few Filipinos in attendance. I liked how she had fun on stage, but I don’t think the song did her any justice. She is much more talented than Selena Gomez in terms of singing so I felt like she could have offered more. I also love how clear her voice is. It is also very distinct and you could always tell when she was singing during the group songs. I thought she would be livelier meeting fans, especially meeting some kababayans in the Bay Area. To be honest, I found her quite dull and too shy. I wish I got to talk to her more, but I found myself getting bored from her personality. She is gorgeous in person as well, but I wish she would act like the 16 year she is.
Naima “Let Me Break It Down” Adedapo:
Naima is also another Idol I loved on the show. I always looked forward to what she would do next. She slayed it on the floor at the concert. I don’t know what kind of workout this girl does, but she definitely learned how to control her breathing. I had to tell her how epic it was when she did a cartwheel and landed with the splits and continued to sing. I loved her reaction when I told her that. She is definitely someone I would love to hang out with. There is something about her that I find quite alluring. Maybe it’s her style and her confidence in knowing who she is. To me, she seems the most cultured of the group which I adore. To me, she comes off as someone not of the US, not of Africa, but the world as a whole. She also comes off as an open book, meaning that she is very open to learning new things and very open in accepting people for who they are. She is also very enthusiastic about life and excited to meet her fans. That, and the fact that she is totally sweet made me like her a lot.
So after a fun night of music and meeting the Idols, it was time to go home. We got home around 1 AM and my mom and I were exhausted. I wish all of the Idols a bright future because I ended up liking most of them and I hope to hear what they have to offer in the near future.