American Idol, Finally the Finale 2013

It is finally here! The American Idol 2013 finale! Just not sure if I am more excited about the finale or that is finally over???

Yeah, I do…I am glad this season is over…it was really boring!

Boring judges, boring performers…same old tired Idol.

That said I think both Kree and Candice are amazing singers with great voices, but, neither are exciting performers.

Idol StageSo glad the fans didn’t vote Angie  into the finale. She is a very good singer, but, does not compare to either Kree or Candice vocally. I thought she would win this years star search for sure…good job voters! Although she did have a spark the finalists do not.

Who am I rooting for? Neither one is annoying or dislikable and they are both great vocalists. Kree seems a little more polished and Candice seems to possess more musical skills…thinking back to her interpretation of The Cure’s, “Love Song.” Without doubt the highlight of the season.

I really don’t care who wins…either one is a ‘fine’ choice.

I think Kree will win, I will root for Candice though.

Good luck to both!!

…And good luck to Idol in reinventing the brand cause it has most definitely jumped the shark!

American Idol, Final Four 2013

Idol StageWell Idol fans the moment of truth is almost upon us. Who is going to win American Idol 2013?

 

Give me your vote….

 

 

 

My thought…well I put them in order above by who I think is the most professional ready to be a force in the music industry.

Kree-I think she has been the most consistent contestant this season and her voice and style are incredible!

Candice-Great voice! Amazing musician.

Angie-Cute, very good singer…born to be a pop star and seems to want it…maybe too much for my taste.

Amber-Has the most potential out of all these girls. Amazing voice, but, really seems to lack conviction…if she finds it she will be most successful out of these four in the long run!!

My thoughts aside who will actually win…

Angie-I think she is just an American Idol ‘type’ and wants it more than the other three girls.

Candice-I think she will make the finals and lose to the pop machine in Angie, deservedly or not.

Kree-This girl is without a doubt the most ready to work of the bunch. She could step right into a major role in country music today if she wants….I think she is so burned out on the AI process and ready to eject from competing and go back to SINGING.

Amber-Once again, AMAZING singer just not sure she is ready for primetime.

We will see tonight who makes the final three! One thing for sure…the girls blew the guys out of the water this season!!!

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

American Idol Live Season 11 Tour Setlist

Check here for my review of the San Diego American Idol show.

 

Post updated July 16

Here is a link to one of my favorite websites regarding the AI Live Setlist

Setlist.fm Check this link for the most recent setlists of AI and your favorite bands on tour.

America are you ready to see your favorites?

The 2012 final ten have kicked off their tour and are headed to a town near you!

The top ten this year include winner Phillip Phillips and runner up Jessica Sanchez from my hometown San Diego, Chula Vista more precisely. Also on tour are; Joshua Ledet, who I thought was the best pure singer this season, rockers; Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, and Erika Van Pelt, crooners; Heejun Han, Deandre Brackensick and the two pint size powerhouses; Hollie Cavanagh and Skylar Laine.

Below is the setlist as reported by Michele Amabile Angermiller on The Hollywood Reporter website. Check out the article for more info on the tour and videos!

I will keep an eye out for updates setlists if they become available!

If you see one of the shows please leave some feedback below.  I will see the tour in San Diego at the end of July.

Enjoy!

Set List:

Top 9 – “Sing” My Chemical Romance

Deandre Brackensick – “Master Blaster”  Stevie Wonder

Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh – “Undo It”  Carrie Underwood

Erika Van Pelt – “Glitter in the Air” Pink

Colton Dixon, Erika Van Pelt, Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh – “Moves Like Jagger” Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera

Heejun Han – “Green Light” John Legend

Heejun Han with Deandre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez -“Party Rock” LMFAO

Boys – “Everybody Talks”  Neon Trees (Without Phillips)

Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love”  Led Zepplin

Elise Testone (backing vocals by Erika Van Pelt and Deandre Brackensick) – “Rumour Has It” Adele

Colton Dixon – “Meant To Live” Switchfoot

Colton Dixon – “Never Gone” (Original Song)

Colton Dixon – Piano Man by Billy Joel

Top 9 – “Just The Way You Are”/”What Makes You Beautiful” Billy Joel/One Direction (Without Phillips)

INTERMISSION

Jessica Sanchez– “Best Thing I Never Had”  Beyonce

Jessica Sanchez (backing vocals by Deandre Brackensick and Joshua Ledet)– “How Come You Don’t Call Me Any More” Prince

Jessica Sanchez (backing vocals by Deandre Brackensick and Joshua Ledet) – “Proud Mary”  Ike and Tina Turner

Skylar Laine – “Gunpowder and Lead”  Miranda Lambert

Skylar Laine – “Stay With Me”  The Faces

Hollie Cavanagh (backing vocals by Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt) – “Rolling in the Deep”  Adele

Hollie Cavanagh – “Give Your Heart a Break” Demi Lovato

Joshua Ledet (backing vocals by Elise Testone, Deandre Brakensick, Erika Van Pelt)– “Runaway Baby”  Bruno Mars

Joshua Ledet – It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” James Brown

Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez – “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me”  George Michael and Aretha Franklin

Phillip Phillips – “Superstition”  Stevie Wonder

Phillip Phillips – “Nice and Slow”  Usher

Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone – “Somebody That I Used to Know”  Goyte

Phillip Phillips with Jessica Sanchez – “Volcano”  Damien Rice

Phillip Phillips with Colton Dixon and Deandre Brackensick – “Home”

Girls – “Raise Your Glass” Pink

All – “Glad You Came” The Wanted

American Idol Finale, Jessica Sanchez v. Phillip Phillips

Another season of Idol is all but in the books.  Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips battled it out the riffing diva v. the laid back melodist.Image

Who will win? If you go by pure vocal ability Jessica, although I think Joshua, voted off last week was the best singer this season. If you are going by cool factor Phillip has got it and he is a great singer in his own style.

Remembering the first show of the season, it was not very exciting and I was ready to give up on the season early. Then the last contestant walked in, a plain looking kid with his guitar and gave one of the best Idol performances I have ever heard certainly in the auditions round. Yep that was Phillip Philips the song was Michael Jackson’s, “Thriller.”

Since that moment he was my favorite and my pick to win. Win or lose I’m excited to hear the music he puts out. Hopefully, he will back away from the bad advice or the judges and handlers and do his own thing!!! I really hope “Thriller” is on his recording list.

So who is gonna win? ….PHILLIP!

American Idol Final Four

I listen to Hollie sing and go wow she is really good!                                               Image

Then I listen to Phillip sing and go wow this guy is cool and has a great voice!

The I listen to Jessica and she blows me away. Such a great singer and only sixteen!

Then I hear Joshua and I wonder why they are still having a competition…this guy is insanely talented!

I think Hollie’s number comes tonight.

Top 10 Posts of 2012 on ’12 Notes & the Truth’

Thank you to everyone who visited the site this year. Since starting in March there have been just shy of 10,000 views.

Here are the top 10 blog posts by numbers of viewers in 2012.

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

You can’t deny the power of this show. Love it or hate it, it has mass appeal! I was a devout hater for the first few years but have been won over by the talent of some of the kids!

2. Van Halen Week in San Diego – Concert Review

Van Halen, the reason I play guitar = the reason I am here 30 years later playing and writing about music. So glad to see their resurgence in 2012.

3. Scorpions & Tesla in San Diego, Your Concert Review

The Scorps were one of my favorites growing up. To this day one of the best concerts I ever saw in ’84, awesome to see them still at it and popular as ever.

4. A Musical Tribute to the 2012 Olympic Games in London

This post had a lot of global appeal as all countries are included. I thought it was pretty creative.

5. This Performance May be Why the Term ‘God Bless America’ is Used as a Curse Phrase

The cyber world is truly made up of puppy, kitty and cute kid videos…and unfortunately people like to see a good train wreck as well…which is what these poor singers gave during a World Series game in San Francisco.

6. Michael Schenker Said No to the Rolling Stones, Ozzy, Aerosmith…

I am truly grateful to see Michael Schenker is so popular over the globe. I have always been a fan(and feeling on an island) and glad to see this post has been so popular over the year.

7. Mick Jagger on SNL Season Finale May 19

The Rolling Stones just don;t go away. Another post that I have been surprised got so many hits throughout the year.

8. Worst AC/DC Album??

One of my favorite bands. The title sounds negative, but, I wrote this as a tribute to how good they are and wondering which early album did not hold up in AC/DC fans minds.

9. Van Halen Week in San Diego – 10 Facts You Might Not Know About Van Halen

Again awesome to see them have such a big year in 2012.

10. What does a Playboy Playmate, Pussycat Doll and Big Screen Actress Have in Common With a San Diego Guitarist? A Wedding Blog

What a great title to get people to your blog, and I guess it worked. I was honored to play guitar for Rachel Sterling’s wedding over the summer.

Top 10 Countries to View ’12 Notes & The Truth!’ in 2012

Becoming a blogger this year has been a lot of fun. There were certainly some surprises for me along the way some include;

-That just under 10,000 viewers would visit, read & reply to this blog.

-How many cool people I have hooked up with to chat about music.

-That no matter what your opinion….someone will STRONGLY disagree. Although I had very few negative comments over the year they are venomous when they disagree…a small taste of what those in the public eye must endure daily…like actors, athletes and musicians. Actually my first negative comment oddly felt kind of good. That what I had to say touched a nerve with someone…like I was doing something right here. Although, personally, I would prefer an adult exchange of ideas. I never did censure any comments even those lame spam ones that get through.

-One of the most mind-blowing aspects is how many views I received outside of the U.S.

Here are the top 10 countries to visit 12 Notes & the Truth! since it was unveiled in March.

1. United States-Obviously

2. United Kingdom-Makes sense as the U.K. is English speaking and very much Western in music and culture

3. Canada-Ditto #2

4.Philippines-From watching my stats throughout the year it seemed to line up with my American Idol posts. I think Jessica Sanchez may have been a part of the attraction, as well. There was also a wedding photographer from the Philippines that traded links with my site.

5. Germany-I did write a couple Scorpions posts and am a huge Michael Schenker fan, both of whom are native sons to Germany. I never saw a direct correlation to my stats however.

6. Australia-Again ditto #2 & #3

7. India-A welcome surprise how high they ranked.

8. Brazil

9. Mexico-Not as much a surprise due to their proximity to San Diego even though they have a very different culture.

10. Netherlands

Ranking just outside of the top 10 were; Spain, France, Russia, Italy, Greece, New Zealand and South Korea.

Some countries that visited which surprised me were; United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Algeria, Lebanon, Maldives, Kenya. Not surprised that the folks there are interested in music and culture of America and the West. More surprised that their interests brought them to my humble blog.

Some of the global appeal I think relates to previously mentioned posts about Michael Schenker, Scorpions and American Idol. Others include my sports posts on baseball, the NFL and the Olympics and I would like to think just a general appeal to music lovers.

Here is to a great, prosperous and musical 2013!!!

Van Halen Week in San Diego

You probably know by now that I’ve dubbed this Van Halen Week in San Diego. Eddie, Dave, Alex and Wolfgang are coming to San Diego for the first time since DLR leaving the band after their “1984” tour. Unfortunately, as a kid I missed this last chance to see the original lineup although I saw them several times with Sammy Hagar.

San Diego
San Diego
Van Halen
Van Halen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now they are back touring the world again! Yeah, they are older and a bit kookier, but, no way I was going to miss them this time. Of course it still isn’t the original lineup as Eddie’s son Wolfgang has taken the place of original bassist Michael Anthony.

Eddie was my biggest guitar influence growing up and to this day, as well. The new album, “A Different Kind of Truth,” is sinking into my brain more and more as I catch the nuances that Eddie always supplies…crazy rock star or not the guy is an incredible musician.

The setlist looks great too. I thought they would go with a lot of their more poppy tunes but it looks like they have gone with a healthy mix of their hits, as well as, some of their more obscure classics.

I am really stoked to hear songs that I never thought I would hear live. “Women in Love,” “Ice Cream Man,” and my all time favorite Van Halen song, “Hear About it Later,” from the album, “Fair Warning”.

Seeing how it has been 28 years since they made an album and toured with David Lee Roth, I thought I would offer some historical perspective.

Things we never heard of:

Global Warming, carbon footprints, declining California Home prices, CD’s, cell phones, Internet, DVD’s, Taliban, Clinton, G.W. Bush,  Obama, ‘President’ Bush (The first one was still VP for Regan who was still in his first term when “1984” came out.), Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Taliban, 911(may we never hear of another), DVR, reality TV, American Idol, Aerosmith reunion, flat screens, Wii, Like A Virgin,  boy bands, Grunge, Death Metal,  Satellite Radio, Derek Jeter, Brett Farve, High Definition, Van Hagar, bungee jumping, Fresh Prince, The Terminator….

Now that is a long time to wait for a concert…a wait that ends this Thursday!