Friday, August 5, 2011

American Idols Live Tour 2011 Experience

Yesterday felt a lot like a Saturday. Bridget was running a fever Wednesday night, which meant she wasn’t allowed to go to daycare Thursday. Hubs had to work at 2 AM Thursday, so I had to take off to stay home with her. She felt all better by Thursday morning, though, so that's good.

Around 2 PM (after hubs took over Bridget duty), I left to head downtown to meet a couple of my BFFs for the American Idol concert. A bunch of fans were already gathered by the buses, and by the time I got there, the girls had already gotten pictures with Paul and Naima. Lauren was out when I pulled up, but I felt weird about asking for a picture with her. I did get one with Casey, though, which was neat. We also saw Stefano and James briefly. James actually walked by the crowd with a rolling suitcase and said he just got there. It was kind of funny/interesting that he was traveling alone and only got there three hours before showtime.

The show itself was interesting, too. It was definitely a much better show and a much better attended show than last year. They held last year’s Idol concert at the Marcus Amphitheater, a much smaller venue than the Bradley Center, but it was only half full. They were even giving away buy one get one free tickets the day of the show.

But back to this year. There were some fun group performances, and we joked that Pia always wanted to be on stage.* Pia was my favorite, but she does seem like kind of a diva. She’s gorgeous, and I think she has the best voice, though. Some of the solo performances were boring, especially if I wasn’t a big fan of the person, but we just got food during one of those parts (cough, Jacob, cough).

One of my favorite parts of the concert was actually being able to see the idols before they went on stage. We could see a small backstage area where they stood right before they went on, and we saw some goofiness with Lauren, Pia, and others too that I can’t remember. I knew Lauren was goofy, but it was nice to see Pia loosen up, too, although it did look like she was singing along because she wanted to be on stage again.* Another cool “backstage” moment was when all the idols were on stage, and Scotty (the winner) was waiting to come out for his big moment. It made me, he’s this normal, teenage guy who is suddenly a super famous, adored American Idol. Kinda crazy.

I thought it was interesting how they didn’t bring out Scotty until the second half of the show. There were sooooo many Scotty fans there, I wondered if they were getting impatient. It was really cool how they brought him out, though. They showed clips from each past season of the winner being announced. I’m a sucker for montages, so I was all about it.

I do have one very big beef about the concert, and it’s not related to the show itself. The crowd needed to be a lot more high energy. I know it was a family show with audience members ranging from little kids to grandmas, but still. Sitting during a concert does not feel right. And when we stood up, probably during one of Paul or Casey’s numbers, a crotchety middle aged lady behind me yelled at me and said, “You’re the only one standing up, and it’s driving me insane.” I was soooooooooooo maaaaaaaaadddddd. When a Scotty fan was the only one standing up in front of me, did I yell at her? No, I let her have her moment. Because IT’S A CONCERT. Grrr, OK, trying not to dwell on it. I guess it’s just a different kind of concert...a kind that I didn’t care for. But all in all, the show was good, even if I wanted to slapabitch at one point during it.

We knew the Idols would be signing autographs afterwards, so we headed back by the barricades to wait along with a couple hundred other fans. Lauren’s mom was walking around, chatting with fans while we waited for the Idols. Thia was the first to come out and started signing on the opposite side from us, and a half hour later, she was only halfway through the crowd. A man walked up to her and led her away from the crowd just as Naima came out and started on our side. I didn’t get a picture with her either, but I did say, “I really like your shirt,” and she said, “I like your shirt!” back to me. Naima probably only got through fifteen people before the same guy pulled her away. It was especially a bummer for Naima not being able to meet her fans since it was her hometown show. We were all confused. One of the security guards announced that the Idols had left and that we all needed to leave, too. A fire truck and paramedics had shown up before anyone came out, so that probably had something to do with it. My other two friends are going to the Chicago show Saturday; hopefully they can get to the bottom of this.

*According to a comment on this post about the setlist, Pia actually did get the most stage time. Kind of odd that the one in 9th place was on the stage the most. Here's part of what the comment said:

...I did a weighted sum of each contestant’s appearances. That is, if they performed a solo, that counts as one appearance, a duet counts as .5, a trio counts as .333, etc. Taking each sum and dividing by 31 (the total number of performances), you get a percentage that’s a decent metric for “featuredness.” Here are the results:

Pia: 13.2%
Lauren: 12.4%
Scotty: 12.2%
Haley: 12.1%
Casey: 9.3%
Thia: 8.4%
Stefano: 8.3%
James: 7.7%
Naima: 6.6%
Jacob: 5.3%
Paul: 4.5%

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