American Idol Live! Tour, San Diego Concert Review -July 26, 2012

Let me say I do watch American Idol. I didn’t see the first five years or so but every season since I have, but I never vote.  Growing up a rocker into Van Halen, Zeppelin, Judas Priest, etc., it is a bit out of my element.  However, when my wife’s cousin Mary (of Mama Mary) got tickets and asked us to go I was actually pretty excited. Maybe even a little afraid that it would be a cheesy pop concert but I was excited to see the show and hang out with Mary and her husband.

The kids did not disappoint!!

My fears that it might be a Brady Bunch Popfest were unfounded. Surprisingly, as well, the stage setup was not beastly over powering the singers. With all the hype Idol brings I expected a huge overbearing scene. It was, however, state of the art and perfect for letting the singers do their thing.

So here are some of my thoughts on the show…keeping in mind that I am a guy that loves music but not usually into vocals so much.

The Good!

First of all let me say there was no pitchiness Dawgs!

All the girls sounded amazing! So much serious musical talent for such young musicians. They don’t just sing but use their voices as instruments.

Highlights included;

Elise Testone’s version of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.  Since I usually go to rock concerts it was a chance for me to feel in my element and rock out a little.

Erika Van Pelt, nailed Pink’s Glitter in the Air!

The duo of Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh hit some serious harmonies together and their musical phrasing was impressive! Their respective solos were great as well.

Very cool to see San Diego native Jessica Sanchez return to a hometown hero’s welcome. Sixteen years old are you kidding me? That girl can flat out sing!

On the boys side I would have to say my biggest surprise of the night was Colton Dixon. He sells it out! There is a difference between good singers and good singers who put their heart into it, good job my man!

Phillip Phillips, what can you say? First of all he was my pick from day one of the auditions when he sang Michael Jackson’s Thriller. All bragging aside he like Colton, but even more so, has stage presence, a great voice and likeability.  I would say he even stole the hometown crowd away from Jessica, a bit.

But the best singer of the night maybe one of the best ever is Joshua Ledet!!!! The boy can SANG! I said it not sing…SANG! His version of James Brown’s It’s a Man’s World was PHENOMENAL. Regarding my earlier statement that I like to attend concerts of musicians over vocalists does not APPLY to Joshua. Not sure what else to say but AMAZING!

The Not So Good?

Deandre Brackensick with his super falsetto and Heejun Han with the sweet crooner voice just did not quite live up to the others…keep at it though guys!

The flow of the concert was also a little off especially in the first half. I think it is just the nature of the show not being one recording artist and their own fans creating a bond.

Valley View Casino Arena…come on San Diego we can do better than that worn down piece of junk! I remember seeing shows there in the 80’s and it was not a great venue then…lots of memories though.  And sorry to Valley View…everyone is San Diego just calls it the Sports Arena!

The Must Be Mentioned!!

The band! Yeah, believe it or not there are real musicians backing these kids up and they have the best backing them up. Flawless rocking out in the band and some great guitar work throughout the show but most notably on Testone’s version of Whole Lotta Love…Don’t forget these guys!!!!

Alright, there’s my thoughts. I am going to go read Mama Mary’s blog  for her thoughts and you should too!

 

Click here to view the American Idol Live! Tour Setlist

About mikeslayen

Guitarist/Instructor

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