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9/02/07 Syracuse, NY Concert Review

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From the Post Standard (Syracuse.com):

Two Stars to Idolize

Monday, September 03, 2007By Mark Bialczak Staff writer
There was no question who were Central New York's favorite idols Sunday night at the state fair's Mohegan Sun Grandstand.

The photo flashes from the crowd were the telltale judges for this year's edition of "American Idol Live." Just like the Fox TV show, the final two were Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks. Every time those two took the stage, thousands of flashes from photo-takers in the crowd lighted up the night.

And, just as in season six of "American Idol," Sparks and Lewis had the best two solo performances of the night. This year's concert was set up differently than the last two years' version that visited the Onondaga County War Memorial after seasons four and five.
Lewis, the runner-up this season, was given the final solo slot before intermission instead of coming on just before winner Sparks.

Lewis, known throughout the TV season for his beat-box delivery as much as his singing voice, proved that his vocals are at least as strong as the sounds he makes. His thoroughly gorgeous version of "She Will Be Loved" shimmied into a passionate "With or Without You," simmering enough to make the original singer, U2 superstar Bono, proud. That led into a rocking "Shot Through the Heart."

If Lewis had performed with this much confidence and stage presence on TV, he might have been the one introduced by the others as "your American Idol" on the grandstand stage.

Teenager Sparks held up her end of the bargain as the final soloist of the second half of the show. She used her flashing eyes and sensuous facial looks to warm up the place on "I Who Have Nothing." Sparks' big voice soared up into the chilly night air, and fans loved every minute of it.

Then she showed her versatility, rocking out on "Heartbreaker," taking out her acoustic guitar for a very country "Dreams Last for So Long" and hitting the heights again on Martina McBride's "With a Broken Wing."

Sparks has the charisma to be a star; after Sunday night, we're left to wonder which style of music she'll choose for her debut album.

On the strength of Sunday night's show, many of these top 10 finalists have the potential to keep their careers going. Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones were both right-on during their solo turns, proving again that they've got big voices and engaging personalities. Doolittle's "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman" and Jones' "I Will Always Love You" were impeccable.
Chris Richardson also flashed star power with "This Love Has Taken Its Toll." He also lost a beat-box duel with Lewis, but not by much. Who knew he was hiding that talent all season long?

Chris Sligh, Haley Scarnato, Phil Stacey and Gina Glocksen all had some nice moments on the grandstand stage. Even Sanjaya Malakar, much maligned for staying in the TV competition even though his vocals were judged by Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul as pretty weak, appeared to have improved a whole bunch by then.

By the way, the mystery voters who kept him in the game so long revealed themselves with shrieks Sunday night. And they all had high-pitched voices.

The producers seemed to have turned this year's show into more of a revue, putting the top 10 on the stage together more often and in many different combinations than the last two versions.

Highlights included Jones, Doolittle, Glocksen and Scarnato welcoming Navy man Stacey onto the stage with "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Stacey, in turn, sang a fantastic version of Ray Charles' take on "America the Beautiful." The five men came out as a band, another first. Richardson played drums, Stacey keyboard, Sligh bass and Lewis and Malakar guitar, and they rocked out on "Maybe I'm Crazy" and "Let It Be."

There were some down moments, including some forced banter among Stacey, Sligh and Malakar, and some pretty silly looking costumes and choreography for the very first number, Black-Eyed Peas' party-hardy "Let's Get It Started."

Mark Bialczak can be reached at 470-2175 and at mbialczak@syracuse.com. His blog is at http://blog.syracuse.com/listenup/.


--- Quote ---taking out her acoustic guitar for a very country "Dreams Last for So Long"
--- End quote ---

 :rofl  Man, I've been laughing a lot today!  This reviewer didn't even take the time to get the name of the Jewel song right.  Sheeshz.  ::)

Many of these small town reporters seem more impressed with quantity than quality. 

Honestly, unless you are 10, Jordin's onstage personality/"charisma" is just not appealing.  "Guys" x 100. ::)

I know...Jordin does not perform well live and I wish people would stop giving her great reviews.  >:(


--- Quote from: Desiree on September 03, 2007, 05:59:26 pm ---
--- Quote ---taking out her acoustic guitar for a very country "Dreams Last for So Long"
--- End quote ---

 :rofl  Man, I've been laughing a lot today!  This reviewer didn't even take the time to get the name of the Jewel song right.  Sheeshz.  ::)

--- End quote ---
I was thinking the same thing!  And how he can think J is good on those uptempo songs is beyond me!  To each his own, I guess.


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