by Scott Jackson
The American Idol tour rolled into Hamilton last night. The concert features the top 10 contestants from this season.
All of the performers are better now, than they were on TV. I guess the tour has amped up their show. Each singer did two songs and a couple of group songs.
Thinking of highlights – and I really need to grapple to find any – Siobhan Magnus opened her 3- song set with “Paint It Black”. Her outfit was a bit undescribable – a combination of a ballerina gone punk. Her famous vocal scream could shame Maria Carey and it’s amazing that she can find the pitch so effortlessly. But – as good as she was – it was expected.
Aaron Kelly – the young kid – never liked him on TV but I think he might have a career in country. He looked comfortable on stage.
Lee DeWyze – the Idol finalist – is solid, but he’s just another David Cook/Chris Daughtry/Nickleback sound alike. Good – but who really cares? His runner up is Crystal Bowersox who has a definite style which is a Janis Joplin of the 21st Century. And of course she sang “Piece of My Heart” – a song I love by Janis but if I hear it one more time, it will lose all the anti-establishment/60’s angst and meaning.
The highlight of the show was Casey James. His soloing on guitar is far better than I picked up from the TV series and he seemed to be directing the band, rather than the band directing the singers. I think of all the performers, Casey is it. He handles himself well in interviews and he can rock out like you’d expect at a concert. He’s a good package. That was the only part of the show I liked.
Setwise, it looked like the budget was cut way back. So much so, that you wouldn’t think the creators of American Idol had anything to do with the live show.
No emcee, no cool effects, just a video countdown to each artist.
The singers said nothing more than “We love you” and the very annoying “Hello Canada! Only one singer said “hello Hamilton”, letting us know she knew what city she was in. Big pet peeve of mine – Why is it that Americans come to Canada and address the audience like they’re talking to our entire country? Imagine Hawk Nelson going to Miami for a concert and saying “Hello United States Of America!”. Haha! Get with program!
Ticket sales were so small they did half price sales. There were big gaps of empty seats in the middle section and no fans in the top balcony. If there were 5,000 fans I’d be surprised.
So what does all this mean? It was a concert of cover songs that we already enjoyed on TV and we’re tired of them. But mostly, without Ryan Seacrest the show is nothing.