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Carlisle went to the American Idol show in Albany and wrote a recap!

August 21, 2009

I know, I suck. I haven’t posted my full recap yet AND I still need to post LeighKat’s…but I wanted to get at least one out before going to bed tonight.

THANK YOU CARLISLE. Everyone clap for Carlisle. Because she is AWESOME.

Since you begged so eloquently/pathetically for recaps, and since 14-year-old Emma (in your words) “kind of dissed” HBD, I thought I’d respond to your plea and (A) let you vicariously live out the AI8 concert experience, and (B) give HBD some love. I’m not sure if late-20s love can live up to teenage love (I, for instance, have no artfully drawn poster to share with you), but I must admit to being a total fantard for HBD – love that boy.

I look young for 32 so therefore, I will consider myself in my late 20s, too, plus, I have no problem to admitting my enthusiasm for Hot By Default. AND since I saw my first Idol show the night before, instead of living vicariously through you, Carlisle, we can RELIVE IT TOGETHER. Others who have not gone can do the vicarious thing, everyone else can relive…yeah, that works.

Also must admit that I’ve seen this tour more than once. More than twice, even. (Not more than three times, though.) This can be attributed to my desire to experience AI live with various friends in various parts of the country, or alternately, to the aforementioned fantard-ness. Take your pick. This recap is coming to you from the tour stop in the bustling metropolis of Albany, NY. Let me tell you, it’s an exciting city. There are civic buildings, strange weather patterns, and friendly bartenders. Good times. There are also faulty air-conditioning systems in large arenas – less good times. HBD is known as HBD for a reason (I would even go so far as to leave off the “BD” and just go with “H”) – but it was NOT just him. It was damn hot in that place.

Smallbany! I’m talking about Albany, not HBD, or H, as you would like to refer to him. But hey, he is a good-looking guy, much more so than the majority of the male Idol contestants I’ve seen on that shit show…of course, Quatto will always have my heart. RIP Quatto.

So, the show. Michael Sarver has a nice voice, a lot of enthusiasm, and no stage presence. But he does a good job, and is pleasant to listen to. Megan’s a hoot. She’s gotten better vocally each time I’ve seen this thing (the Amy Winehouse song was horrible at the first tour stop I saw, and now it’s a lot of fun), and she’s really managing to get her quirky personality across, as well. Fun sarcastic banter – I like bitter people. Scott does a TERRIBLE imitation of Simon, and he’s kind of a nonentity to me. But he sings with far more strength than his performances during the season would lead you to expect, and he’s definitely a skilled pianist. Lil’s karaoke. No personality comes through in her performances. But she too sings well. And she was working some great T-Boz hair. (I kind of want to go on AI just so I can have fun with hair extensions at someone else’s expense.) I feel all warm and fuzzy when I watch Anoop on tour – it’s so fun to watch an overeducated dork live out his rock star dreams! (I say this with fondness, as I too am an overeducated dork, and I love my people.) He’s got nice pure vocals on the ballads, and “My Perogative” is remarkably silly and enjoyable. Not sure how he’d translate to the real world music scene, but he’s definitely good in this context. Matt’s a real entertainer, and while I mourn the loss of Quatto, when he departed for good (i.e. was MURDERED – Matt’s a murderer!), he appears to have taken most of Matt’s tendency to abuse falsetto and riffs with him. And good riddance to that. I’m a big fan of the end-of-Act-I medley. It’s kind of Broadway, but it showcases all the contestants well, and Anoop gets to put the synchronized hand motions that I’m sure he perfected in his a cappella group to use for an audience beyond the arch sing.

Wow. I agree with almost ALL of your statements…but I think the falsetto came from him trying to deflect some mating call from Kara “Shit For Brains” DioGuardi. Quatto only does good. And I kept hearing how bad Megan’s Tears Dry On Their Own was, but it definitely was not bad. I like her voice. I think, if she keeps working at it, she could have a career. Plus, she’s absolutely gorgeous.

Act II: La Princesa’s a rock star. A real, true, fan-in-the-hair, black leather rock star. That’s all there is to say. Fingers crossed that her label doesn’t make her into a Disney “rock star,” and lets her be hard core, manic energy, spazzy and awesome. Gokey’s a good singer, but gives you no sense of who he is as an artist. And it’s hard to salsa dance by yourself without looking like an idiot – the solos on SYTYCD have shown us the truth of this statement, and those people are actually GOOD salsa dancers. His little sermon about not letting yourself be defined by tragedy is less offensive than one might expect, but he gives me no reason to seek out his music in the future. Adam’s a riot. His voice is spectacular and flexible. (Also flexible: his torso/hips. That boy can body roll and pelvic thrust like a true champion, and it is hilarious (albeit deafening) to hear the audience devolve into shrieking fits during his “racier” moments.) “Whole Lotta Love” is rock-god (TM Kara) awesome; “Starlight” is being performed in a totally different key from the beginning of the tour (because Adam’s spectacular and flexible voice is getting shot to hell…), but sounds equally great both ways; “Mad World” is beautifully eerie, and it’s amusing to watch every single LCD screen in the audience light up to tape it (although really people? Isn’t it more fun to watch with your eyes than through your camera?); “Slow Ride” features the return of La Rock Star del Mariachi, and how can you go wrong with that; and the Bowie medley is kind of like the Crazy Adam Lambert Variety Show, but in a good way.

Love love love La Princesa del Mariachi. She is a SUPERSTAR. So did Gokey go into the whole PREACHER VOICE thing, though? Because I was not expecting that sort of thing, not the full-on-I’m-at-the-pulpit sort of thing, I was just expecting inspirational speech. I thought Pastor Rolex was going to come around the corner with a tithing envelope with a place for the credit card number. Hell, Pastor Rolex even takes DISCOVER.

Love for HBD: Seriously, he is so good, and so satisfying to watch/listen to. He’s totally connected to the music, and it really draws the audience in. “Heartless” is much rock-ier than the solo acoustic version from Top 3 night, but it maintains that phrasing and emotional investment and delicate touch. HBD knows when to hold back and when to attack, and it gives his music interesting and attractive dynamics. Watching HBD rock out on electric guitar (“All These Things That I’ve Done”), piano (“Ain’t No Sunshine”) or both (“Bright Lights”) is deeply pleasurable – he loves what he’s doing so much. And “Hey Jude” is just great – I hope he does a different Beatles song in concert each time he tours. Cannot wait for a solo tour. Assuming, that is, that his album doesn’t suck – but I do think he’s got as good a chance as any, and better than most, of making an enjoyable album, even while under the thumb of 19/AI. Fingers crossed!

Final thoughts: “Don’t Stop Believin” is apparently the theme song of the year, and it’s a perfect ending to the tour – fun, karaoke, shows off their voices, everything you want from AI (although there could be more cheesy choreography – I love cheesy choreography). When leaving the stadium, my friend and I inadvertently discovered the “bus stalking” area, and after fortifying ourselves with liquor, wandered back to check out the insanity. Sadly, it wasn’t that insane after all. There were lots of small children chanting “We want Adam!” (note to parents: why are you letting your small children stand around chanting “we want Adam” at 11:30pm? Isn’t that past bedtime? On a weeknight, too!), and HBD was signing autographs. Clearly, it was the thrill of the evening to crane my neck to catch a glimpse of him over the crowd. (One has to crane to see HBD – he’s rather wee.) I desperately wanted to trample the tweens, push my way to the front, and get him to sign my (plaid) bra, but somehow, I restrained myself. You have to draw the line somewhere.

Wise words from a wise woman.

You have to draw the line somewhere.

Carlisle, you rock. And if you’re going to Bridgeport, let me know. I may be attending that show with some NY friends who are also in the blogging racket. (Is blogging a racket? Perhaps. No clue. It’s after 3am and I’m watching The Handmaid’s Tale. Poor Natasha Richardson. That’s still sad. Never saw this movie, just read the book. Used to it could maybe happen when Bush was President. Oh, hell, it was 2004. Things looked bleak.)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Snotty permalink
    August 23, 2009 2:06 pm


    Oh. no. you. didn’t! *breathes fire*

    • TopIdol permalink
      August 23, 2009 2:11 pm

      I have a good friend from Rotterdam (The Tri-City area! HA!) and he went to SUNY, and he has always called it Smallbany. I don’t get to write about Smallbany much, so I guess it had creeped into my vernacular when I wasn’t looking.

  2. Carlisle permalink
    August 22, 2009 12:54 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the recap! (Even though I got my TLC hairstyles confused: Lil was clearly working Chilli hair, not T-Boz. Oops!) Gokey did do the preacher voice thing – the dramatic, work-the-crowd-into-an-evangelical-frenzy build. That was far more disconcerting than what he was actually saying. Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious, I don’t actually have a plaid bra. (And if I did, I wouldn’t wear it, I’d throw it at HBD. I mean, that’s clearly the reason plaid bras were put on the face of the earth: to be deposited at the feet of Kris Allen.)

    Don’t tempt me with Bridgeport…three times is enough to see this show! But I’ll let you know if I give in to the siren call of Connecticut.

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