Monday, August 15

Part 4: The Concert Photos!

They're not great, but here's what I've got!


More Connie




More Nadia



Bo & Carrie duet



Sunday, August 14

AI4 Concert Recap - Part 3

I’m getting a little fuzzy on song names, & was out of town (again), so I apologize for the delay. But here’s the rest!

Anwar started the 2nd half with Superstition at the keyboard. He is an awesome keyboard player!! (I read that he offered to play for / write with / produce several other idols’ albums, & I hope they take him up on it!)

Next Vonzell came out and Anwar played for her while she sang her first song (Karma), then he left. Just like on the show, I loved her slow, belty song (I Have Nothing) and didn’t like the fast ones at all (I’m Every Woman & The Best of My Love). For one thing they had her way too loud and she was yelling anyway, so it was a bit cringe-worthy for my ears. Honestly I think that was my least favorite part of the night, which surprised me. I guess I’d just heard so much good stuff I didn’t want to waste my time being bored (and deafened).

However, Anthony was next! My feelings for Anthony went up & down throughout the course of the show, and took a rocket to the stratosphere when I heard his part on the CD single "He Ain’t Heavy." (I think he sounds like Dennis DeYoung, whom I adore.) So I was really looking forward to hearing him live, and he didn’t disappoint! Sounded really good, though his voice cracked on a high note on his last song, and he looked startled & said something about how we (the crowd) "wore him out." He was somewhat belty too but it works for him & the sound was ok and it was lurvely. Oh yeah, and I had heard friends describe him as innocently adorable ("so cute you could just eat him with a spoon"), which I agreed with for the most part. But boy has hips that swivel on Marc Anthony songs, and took a few steps out of the ‘nonthreatening kid’ box for a while there. ;-) The girls in the front row were delirious when he came down and stood/danced right by them for the majority of his last song. He sang Every Time You Go Away, Can You Stop the Rain, and I’ve Got You.

Finally time for Bo! Huge crowd response, and here he came, hobbling out. He sat at the keyboard for Desperado; played some intro, sang the song, & played a few measures toward the end. Not sure why he wanted to play at all for just small parts of the song, but whatever. Very nice. Then he did Vehicle, and stood on our corner of the stage for a lot of it, but that song just doesn’t do a lot for me. Plus they had him a bit loud, and the higher stuff sounded too nasal, instead of his usual lower voice which is a bit husky. And then really jammed on Voodoo Child, playing electric guitar… on which he is awesome, & there were a lot of instrumental parts and funky red swirling lights all over the place, very appropriate for the 70’s rock feel. Except that I’m not familiar w/the song and couldn’t understand the words and didn’t get much enjoyment at all out of it! Boo. And then of course he ended w/Sweet Home Alabama, which was very good. Oh, and he had his hair back in a pony tail, which was nice, as you could see more of his facial expressions & he’s not a bad-looking guy either. He also told a few really bad jokes, as is his habit.

Lastly Carrie – I was actually impressed w/her stage presence (especially during the 1st song, Sin Wagon, she really moved around the whole stage, danced a bit, & wore/held a cowboy hat). But again the sound was too loud and while belting is what she does best, it was a bit much. She did Alone, Independence Day, and In Your Heaven. On the last one the entire cast came out and joined her, thus ending the regular part of the show.

I should also mention that every performer made a big point of thanking us all for being there, watching the show, and supporting them in general.


Carrie & Bo sat on stools and played acoustic guitar while singing God Blessed the Broken Road. Their voices blend very well together. Then group numbers. These were a blast! I’ve attended every Idol tour, and while most of the vocalists this year can handle more solos, I do miss the cheesy group medleys with poorly executed choreography and ‘pointy poses.’ Anyway, they did Lean on Me and then R.O.C.K. in the USA. Both were much fun, and I tried to watch both Constantine and Anthony the whole time which was a challenge. Connie is such a ham and is just always entertaining! And he’s good at "embracing the cheese" and having fun… Anthony was having a blast too.

I was sad when it was over, of course. We got a good 2 ½ hours of music, and definitely worth the price tag (and 7+ hour round-trip drive). Now I guess I wait for their albums!!

One other comment, I’ve been to quite a few concerts over the years and it’s typical for the audience to scream/applaud at the beginning of a song when they recognize something they like. Well, I did this a few times, but the audience in general usually waited until the person started singing, or at least through much of the ‘intro’ to the songs. Is there a proper protocol on this? Just curious. Granted I knew a lot of the set list ahead of time, but something like "Desperado" is pretty recognizable right from the start, or so I thought.

Friday, August 12

AI4 Concert Recap - Part 2

Strange videos and a walking Pop-Tart were "provided" as we waited for the concert to begin (which was around 7:10). As far as the facility goes there were several things I liked: you can get to the floor seats from any entrance (in Indy you can’t); they not only allowed signs, they actually provided supplies in one area (no, I still didn’t make one), and the bag ‘search’ was just a glance. Then we were told only disposable cameras were allowed (they didn’t confiscate others just said to put them away), but they were lax on enforcing it & I even saw a security guy walk right past someone obviously taking video toward the end & he didn’t say a thing to her. Oh, also you could go up the aisle to take closer photos as long as you returned to your seat immediately thereafter.

We were in the center section on the floor, rows 19 (Gayl) and 20 (Gerry & I). Pretty good view, and we were on the right aisle so had an unobstructed view of that end of the stage. I saw a lot of Greek flags and all kinds of shirts for Connie, some for Bo & a few others. I did see signs for Scott & Carrie. Some for Anthony. But Con had the most. Also, at least in our section, there were a lot more adults and fewer kids & teens than I expected & than I’ve seen at previous Idol tours. Not sure why… the older performers attracted older fans? Or younger kids don’t do downtown Chicago on weeknights?? (I’ve never been to that arena before so I have no clue.)

First was Jessica who started w/her back (or should I say, her ‘bum’) toward the audience. She sang The Boys Are Back in Town, and sang it well. She was dressed conservatively (black pants, a tank or tee & jacket) & looks like she’s lost weight. They had the regular jumbo-trons at the sides and the big screen behind the stage had some special ‘rock star effect’ filter through which it showed the performer some of the time, & at others it showed their name, photos, or other things to go w/the particular song. She then did Shop Around which was also very good.

Anwar was next & was very, very good (I enjoyed him on the show too)! Started with House is Not a Home, mostly seated on a stool. Then What a Wonderful World. Very good. (And I’ll say that for almost everyone!)

Then CONSTANTINEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahem. EEEeeee!!! Ok, I think I’m done. ;-) Red jacket, black shirt & pants. My friends have said how skinny he looks but honestly with the black & black you couldn’t tell, & he still has the double chin. Not that it matters… hair was great, vocals were *amazing*, and all the performances were very, very good. Mind you that while I’m a huge fan of his, I’ll be the first to admit that his vocals were often less than pleasant on certain songs during the television show. Not true live. Strong & pure, lots of glory notes. Tons of audience interaction & a few times he gave the camera ‘the look’ for the Jumbotrons! Mentioned things like "slowing it down for the ladies" & took the jacket off to, of course, wild screams. Hard to Handle, My Funny Valentine, & Bohemian Rhapsody. All were wonderful. When he intro’d BR he said something about how we should listen to the lyrics because they describe what this past year has been like for him ("fantasy", etc.). Despite the release of this song on the Killer Queen album today, he didn’t mention it (I read he had in earlier shows, though I’m kind-of surprised since it’s not a 19E project; maybe they nixed his comments?).

Nikko came out next, & I felt a little sorry for his having to follow Connie, but he was really good too (started with Incomplete). Chatted quite a bit, asked people to dance w/him on Part-Time Lover, & then did a Justin Timberlake song with lots of well-executed choreography (Like I Love You??). Threw his Cardinals cap into the audience at one point; I was hoping he’d take the jacket off for his dancing but alas, he did not. (He would get more screams of his own if he did!)

Scott sang Against All Odds; not horrible, but not great & his voice cracked on the high notes. He had some chatter about how he wasn’t going to dance like Nikko, and how all his songs were low-key so that people could mellow out & sit for a bit, kind-of like a commercial. Then he said it was ok because people still get paid to do commercials. After that he started singing Total Eclipse of the Heart and Jessica came out for their duet, which, as everyone says, is fabulous! That song is beyond perfect for her, and she sang it beautifully. Scott then did one more song, She’s Gone, with a lot of background vocals on the track (smart move).

Nadia came out rocking on her guitar and sang The Power. And she still has the power; she is *soooooooo* good! I loved her on the show and thought she left way too early, and the live vocals cemented that opinion. Commanding stage presence and girl is a Rock. Star. She also did You Don’t Have to Say You Love and ended with Try a Little Tenderness. I also have to compliment her wardrobe, a black miniskirt with loose, flowing top over a rhinestone bra. Very flattering to her body shape, giving the illusion of, well, more than is really there. ;-)

I love Nadia!!


Tuesday, August 9

AI4 Concert Recap - Part 1
(August 8, Chicago)

Part 1: the trip up

I left home around 9 am Monday, went to Sam’s Club for gas (still, ouch) & got to Gayl’s apt. at 9:30. We made great time & got to downtown Chicago in under 3 hours! Lunched & found the arena but the box office wasn’t open yet. So we headed toward American Girl-ville, or so we thought… Turns out Gayl’s computer had been down & she hadn’t been able to get specific directions or a map. Neither of us knew downtown well enough to wing it, but we tried, oh, we tried! ;-) And now we know Chicago much, much better, lol! After much ado, buying maps (that didn’t show the street we were looking for), turning around, surviving several one-way streets (I only turned the wrong way into one for about a block, and the cop right in front of us – eek! –apparently either didn’t notice or didn’t care), and starting to call her friend back in Indy, we found it! So we had just enough time to shop a bit, & were both good & didn’t spend any money! (I went to a clothing store & Borders.)

Then we headed back toward the arena & our dinner meet-up place. Found a decent enough parking lot and Gayl headed back over to see if she could buy a ticket… returning with a seat in the row in front of me and just 10 seats over!! Then for more coincidences, that purchase delayed our getting to the restaurant just enough that we literally arrived within 2 minutes of my other friend, with whom we cell-chatted as she parked and we all walked from different directions toward the place! Too funny. We had a nice meal and also talked to the waitress about the Clay concert her mom was dragging her to next week! “Somehow” she had found out we were Clay fans as well….

And speaking of that, this is out of chronological order - *gasp* - but Gerry & I were sitting right in front of, & got to meet, the girl Clay brought up on stage to sing with at last year’s Indiana State Fair!! Gerry also ‘ran into’ Bo’s grandma, which brings me back on topic, yay!

(to be continued...)