Reality Rocks Tour Review: ‘American Idols Come Into Own At Staples Center’

By Lyndsey Parker

The Season 9 American Idols returned to L.A. on August 13 for their concert at the Staples Center–one of the biggest and most important dates on their Idols Live Tour–and as they hit the same stage where it seemed just the other day the Season 8 contestants so memorably performed, it was all too easy to compare this season’s tour, unfavorably, to last year’s tour de force. I mean, did this summer’s “Idol” tour have a copiously fog-machined Adam Lambert/Allison Iraheta “Slow Ride” duet? A piano duel? A Bowie medley? “Don’t Stop Believin'”? A sold-out crowd? Well, no, no, no, no, and, in the case of that final question, definitely no.

But you know what this tour did have? Ten very talented people. Sure, the temptation to compare them to last season’s lovable bunch was strong, but to do so would only result in disappointment. Therefore, once I was able to put such comparisons aside and just focus on the cast and concert in front of me, I enjoyed the show for what it was.

Usually all Idols really shine on tour, finally having the chance to showcase their talents in their chosen style, with music that suits them, instead of being restricted by genre theme nights, limited song selections, and the TV show’s two-minute time limits. And that certainly was the case with this season’s lot when they played the Staples Center, surpassing expectations and putting on a surprisingly fun revue.

For instance, Didi Benami’s lilting, guitar-strummy, absolutely lovely rendition of Katharine McPhee’s “Terrified” was a welcome reminder of just how wonderful she was during Hollywood Week and just how much further she should have made it on “Idol.” Katie Stevens’ voice sounded in fighting shape during her powerful performance of Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” (seriously, was she ever that good on “Idol”?). Tim Urban, one of the most unfairly maligned contestants of Season 9, came across as a legit singer-songwriter on his Goo Goo Dolls and Coldplay covers, and his voice was more than impressive (why were the judges always claiming this guy couldn’t sing?). Aaron Kelly finally got to do an all-country set, and he performed with the seasoned air of a real Nashville pro, not some 17-year-old newbie. Michael Lynche, who was often accused of being overly theatrical on “Idol,” reined it in tastefully on his old-school R&B-loverman performances on “Ready For Love” and “This Woman’s Work.” And supposedly shy winner Lee DeWyze showed no crisis of confidence this evening, rousing the crowd on singalong versions of “Treat Her Like A Lady” and “Use Somebody” without ever coming close to choking like he did during “Idol” finale week.

Really, it was incredible how much better these singers were outside of context of the show that made them famous in the first place. And had they performed like this on “Idol,” who knows? Maybe the end result would have been very different. It certainly would have made for a more exciting Season 9.

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via Lyndsey Parker | Reality Rocks on Yahoo

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