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Duluth, GA Review

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Jessica:
9/12: Idols live concert review

For some of the sixth season finalists, this is truly a farewell to “Idol” and the beginning of a new career. For others, it’s a farewell in the public spotlight period. For “Idol” tour organizers, this is a cash cow. And for the audience, it’s a mental souvenir, a way to pay homage to people we voted for (or didn’t) for months this past spring.

Having been to all six of these “Idols Live” tours in a row, I have to say this one was structured differently than the past ones when they would have each person do some solos, mix in a duet or trio, going from 10th to the winner. There was more use of instruments, more multiple combos, more modern songs and for one year only thanks to Blake, tons of beatboxing (none by Jordin). Despite the overall lack of star power that depressed attendance, the producers managed to take advantage of the strengths of the final 10 to pull off an entertaining show covering at least snippets of 37 songs over three hours (including a 30-minute intermission.)

They paired compatible people with some success. LaKisha and Melinda together, for instance, did some decent Motown while Chris Richardson and Blake beatboxed and rockers Gina and Chris Sligh covered Fall Out Boy. The Sanjaya-Melinda “Proud Mary” combo didn’t work out so well partly because Melinda lacks the Tina Turner aggression and Sanjaya is, well, Sanjaya.

As usual, staging was relatively spare but the “Idol” tour organizers added backup singers for the very first time instead of using backup tapes. And the light rigging was far more sophisticated, with four circular rigs that were lifted up and down depending on what lighting they wanted.

While the average attendance of the first 30 dates was just 63 percent vs. 93 percent-plus a year ago, the Gwinnett Arena was fairly full; I’d say it was about 90 percent. But a year ago, Atlanta was able to absorb two dates at the arena rather than one. So demand is way down. And ticket prices have edged up over the years. In fact, the higher-priced tickets were more expensive than the Sept. 22 concert here with Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello.

I hated the opener, “Let’s Get It Started” simply because the Black Eyed Peas annoy me. Fortunately, it was the only true “group sing” they did. At the end, they dispensed with the group sing (past years have featured songs such as “Living in America” and “Lean On Me”) and opted to have each person sing a clip of an earlier solo. It’s marginally less cheesy that way. Sure, the show had a fair share of cheese, including any time Sanjaya showed up or the “Lady Marmalade” trio of LaKisha, Gina and poor Haley. And we wouldn’t expect anything less from “American Idol.”

Anyway, here are my impressions of each of the contestants, from 10th to 1st.

Chris Sligh He got quite a bit of stage time and did a fine job with the least familiar song of the bunch, Mute Math’s “Typical.” And it’s true: he has improved his stage presence since “Idol.”

Haley Scarnato Bless her heart. She tries but she’s like a raindrop on a windshield after a summer thunderstorm and the hot sun hits it. After a minor sizzle, she evaporates from your mind. At least she has those amazing legs. She keeps them in jeans for much of the concert, then unveils them near the end during “Ain’t No Other Man” and I have to say, she has all the makings of a great go-go dancer. Gina Glocksen She impressed me more than she did on the show. She came across cool and confident without any attitude. Her take on Pink’s “Who Knew” was one of my favorites of the night though it helps that I do love that song. The closest past “Idol” she reminds me of is Ryan Starr and Gina is far better in all ways (except maybe Ryan’s belly button.)

Sanjaya Malakar He’s 17 years old and not quite ready for primetime vocally or in the dance department. Lucky for him he possesses a weird charisma that translated for a few fleeting moments, but other times, he was simply doing a bad imitation of Michael Jackson. As noted by other reviewers, his moonwalk is no better than any random person on a sidewalk. And yes, he did wield a mean tambourine during “Crazy.”

Chris Richardson This Virginia man got a lot of stage time and he landed in fifth place for a reason (tied with Phil, more or less, since they were eliminated at the same time). He’s got a decent voice, decent stage presence and does decent covers of songs like Maroon 5’s “This Love.” But is he exceptional? No. He’s clearly a nice guy, but it’s going to be a tough slog for him out in the real world.

Phil Stacey This guy has Ryan Seacrest-like charm in the sense he has the best hosting skills of this bunch. He is also the one most likely to namedrop Atlanta and try to get people to stand up or clap. His performance only solidified my conception of him in the spring: good voice, modest stage presence, better go country because that’s his own chance to break through a la Josh Gracin.

LaKisha Jones She didn’t touch “I Ain’t Telling You I’m Not Got Going” but opted for the equally difficult torch song “I Will Always Love You.” Sure, she more or less aped Whitney Houston’s version but wow, she did a stunning job nonetheless. Easily. this was the best vocal of the night.

Melinda Doolittle She excudes sweetness and light but she simply lacks that true personality to become a big star. We knew that already. I did enjoy her “(You Make Me Feel Like a ) Natural Woman” and giving the spotlight briefly to the female backup singer, an homage to her past.

Blake Lewis He did what he did on the show: beat box. A lot. Probably too much. Then again, his ability to create an a capella song with that looping device during “She Will Be Loved” was oddly mesmerizing to behold. And “You Give Love a Bad Name” is still great fun.

Jordin Sparks Our “Idol” winner did us proud. She is incredibly versatile and her vocals sounded amazing tonight. In fact, her versatility is her strength and her weakness. She sang a little R&B (“I Who Have Nothing”), singer-songwriter pop (“You Were Meant For Me”) country (“Broken Wing”) and rock (“Heartbreaker” and “Living on a Prayer”), all quite well. But who is Jordin Sparks? We’ll have to find out. Her dance steps are still clumsy but she’s improving little by little. For now, her charming, youthful, 100 watt smile and that eyebrow lift she makes warms our souls and makes us hope for great things.


source: myajc.com

meldoo1:
alright that's it who's on the next plane to Georgia with me????
this guy deserves an a-- whoopin'... :mad :whip :evil

MelindaRules1987:

--- Quote from: meldoo1 on September 13, 2007, 10:03:29 pm ---alright that's it who's on the next plane to Georgia with me????
this guy deserves an a-- whoopin'... :mad :whip :evil

--- End quote ---
I definitely agree.  He has no idea what he's talking about and he must be tone-deaf.  >:(  At least the rest of the reviews for Melinda on the tour have been positive.

igabyy:

Obviously someone who is not a Melinda fan... but we know better... :)

Thanks!   ;)

MelindaRules1987:

--- Quote from: igabyy on September 14, 2007, 01:11:50 am ---
Obviously someone who is not a Melinda fan... but we know better... :)

Thanks!   ;)

--- End quote ---
I wish that some critics who aren't Melinda fans could at least acknowledge the fact that she was the best singer this whole season.

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