Monday, August 10, 2009

Live Music - American Idols 2009 Act 2

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Top: Me & Rickey; Rickey & Blake; Big effects. Bottom: The band.

In a previous post, I had recapped the first act of the American Idol Season 8 tour, leaving me to tackle the top 4 here. But for those who missed that, I went to the American Idol Season 8 tour with my friend Rickey from Rickey.Org. The first act consisted of the performers who finished 5th thru 10th on the Fox reality show, and the 2nd act were the top 4, Allison Iraheta, Danny Gokey, Adam Lambert and eventual winner, Kris Allen. Below are my thoughts on the performances, and my pictures. If you'd like to see them bigger, click on them.

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Allison Iraheta is 17 years old, but sings like a soul much more mature. She covered Janis Joplin's Cry Baby, and it was exceptional! She still maintains the charm of a teenager, with a raw and at time frenetic energy. I really enjoyed her time on the stage. Could she be the next Daughtry, and ride her 4th place finish to fame and fortune? Could be.

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Danny Gokey has caught much grief this season, the story of his wife's passing almost as well known as his singing. I was not a fan while he was on the show, but he did show more energy live, and a lot more charisma. I never got what the judges were saying about him, but have more of an appreciation now. That said, I really find him to be more of an anachronism, more dated than he is retro. Can't say I see a place for him in modern music, but I could be wrong. Several times he did acknowledge Rickey during his set, which was fun.

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Adam Lambert is a huge talent. On stage, he has charm and charisma in abundance, and a voice that is tough to top. He opened with Whole Lotta Love, the Led Zeppelin song, and it was outstanding. It was raw and sexual, just as the song intended. The ease of his performance was great to watch, moving from covers of Led Zep to Muse to Tears For Fears to David Bowie like he was putting on some eyeliner. I am not sure where or if he will find a place for himself in the music business, but it certainly won't be for lack of ability.

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Kris Allen was considered an underdog, but still managed to win the title this season but all accounts with ease. I enjoyed him this season, as he seemed to be cut from the singer/songwriter cloth I enjoy so much. That being said, I was a bit disappointed with his performance, as I didn't feel he took command of the stage or the audience the way I would hope. He seemed tethered by the intrument he was playing, either the piano or the guitar, and didn't utilize the stage. He maintained a greater connection with the song than the audience. He sang his songs well, and played nicely, I was just hoping he would invite the audience to join him in the journey, not just watch him from a distance.

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Then all 10 performers to come back and do a group song, a cover the Journey's Don't Stop Believing, a song making a resurgence as of late, much due to the use for the Fox series Glee, complete with a reappearance of the dueling pianists Matt & Scott. The number was quite fun.

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Another bright spot for me was during Adam's set, when he brought out Allison to breathe new life into Foghat's Slow Ride. They were right on the money, being playful and strong, feeding off one another and elevating their performances.

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In a side note, there was an extreme amount of smoke used during the show, and kinda grew tired of it by the third time Adam Lambert disappeared behind it. Sometimes, you just wanna explain that a little goes a long way.

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