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American Idol LIVE 2008!!!!!!!!

On Wednesday night, I went to see the American Idol Season 7 concert in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I'm going to skip all the pre-concert stuff that went on, other than to say it's really weird to go to the Coliseum and not wear a hockey jersesy (it's the arena where my beloved hockey team, the Fort Wayne Komets play) and our seats were so damn awesome, I couldn't even zoom my camera out all the way when the Idols were at the front of the stage. Rock on!!!

The only other Idol concert I've ever been to was for Season 2 (yeah, I was a Clay fan. Shut up.). Let's just say they've improved the stage/lighting/EVERYTHING since then.

They kicked off the show @ 7pm ON THE DOT (AI is a well-oiled machine, y'all). They showed clips of the Top 24, then the 12th & 11th place finisthers who were left home while their fellow Idolettes got to jet (okay, bus) around the country all summer long. Then Chikezie was up. I was meh on Chikezie during his time on the show; I only enjoyed his Top 20 (?) Night performance of "I Believe to My Soul" (which will always be an Elliott Yamin song to me) and his Top 12 Beatles Night bluegrass-R&B-on-crack performance of "She's A Woman". But I got to say, the boy can SANG. He kicked his 3-song set off with "I Believe to My Soul", followed by an energetic version of Usher's "Caught Up" and closed with a John Legend joint. He knew how to work the stage and hit some amazing notes. I was duly impressed.

Next up was the miniscule Ramiele Malubay. Seriously, girl is *tiny*. Now is when the "fun" started, and by "fun", I mean the asshatted retarditity of the moron sitting in front of me. He will be a factor throughout the rest of this review. This dude was in his mid-to-late 40s (dressed like he was in an explosion of a Nerds-R-Us store), accompanied by his wife, mother/mother-in-law, and 2 sons who looked to be approximately 8 and 11 years of age. Both boys were wearing ear plugs and had their hands clamped over their ears. That's never a good sign. Anywhoo, dude FREAKING LOVED Rami. He stood and danced the Carlton Banks Dance thru her first number, the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back". She forgot some of the words, by the way. We couldn't even see Rami during her first number, and resorted to taking pics of her on the big screen, in case Sir Asshat never sat down. Fortunately, he did take a seat when he realized her second song (a Taylor Dayne song) was slow. HALLELUJAH!!! She sounded great on this one, and remembered all the words. That big ol' honking stage seemed to swallow Miss Tiny McSparkles (girl loves glitter & sequins!). But Lordy, is she adorable. She closed her set with Maroon 5's duet with Rihanna, "If I Never See Your Face Again". She showed lots of energy & movement on this one...as did Sir Dorkus; she sounded great on it (other than a few botched/dropped lyrics)...why didn't she sing stuff like this on Idol? Oh, yeah, cause Uncle Nigel forced the kids to sing songs that were released before they were born.

Before Rami could even vacate the stage, the band started kicking out the highly-recognizable opening bars of "We Will Rock You", which could only mean one thing: the hotter-than-should-be-allowed Michael Johns was up next. Guess who else was up? Yup, Mr. Dorkus. I thought he was going to have an aneurysm. Michael began rocking out the Queen double-classic (I think I swooned when he transitioned into "We Are the Champions"). Michael just oozes charisma, charm, stage prescence and OMG his voice....I love it. I could listen to him sing for days. And he's even hotter than he was on TV. No ascot this time, but he was rocking one of his t-shirt/blazer/scarf ensembles. Then he dedicated the uber-sexy "It's All Wrong (But It's All Right)" (he should so record this one) to the ladies in the audience; I'm surprised there were no panties flung. Speaking of panties being flung, Michael discarded his jacket before beginning his last *sniff* song, Aerosmith's "Dream On"...and the King of the Nerds actually STARTED JUMPING UP & DOWN, PUMPING HIS FIST IN THE AIR AND SCREAMING LIKE A GIRL when Michael partially disrobed; his wife hit him on the shoulder. Seriously, no monkey. Methinks there might be issues there...Anyway, he was brilliant on the song that got him the boot, and he thankfully only went for the high note once (and hit it). This dude was kicked off waaaaay too early; he should've at least outlasted Kristy Lee (but then who SHOULDN'T have?), Carly, Brooke, Archie, Syesha & Jason...or basically, everyone except David Cook. (If Michael & DC had been the Final 2, I would've died of happiness).

Next up: Krusty Lee. Oh, yay. The friend accompanying me decided to take a restroom break at this point. Can't say I blame her. Krusty Lee is nothing if not predictable: she brought up the subject of her horse, was wearing a belly-baring sparkly top, did her patented pee-pee dance squat, hit a lot of rank notes, sang boring/trashy country music (not all country is trashy..but you know the type I'm talking about) and pandered with her "signature song", "God Bless the USA". I don't even know the other 2 songs she sang, one was about a cowgirl wanting to get laid. Why couldn't they have let Michael sing 3 more songs?!?!? Nerdy McNerdyson loved her, as he was on his feet for all 3 songs. I didn't even care this time. At one point during "God Bless the USA" (or, "YOU WILL LIKE KRISTY OR THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON!!!"), he was doing the "raise your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care" thing. And he actually pretended to flick a Bic and wave his imaginary lighter in the air. I kid you not.

Time for Carrrrrrrrrrrly Smithson! Carly scared me on the show cause she always looked so damn angry and/or in pain whenever she sang. I must admit, she looked absolutely lovely, and there were no scary faces and minimal stomping. She sounded great on her opening number, Evanescece's "Bring Me to Life". Then she talked a bit, and my favorite thing about Carly has always been her Irish accent. Shocker of shocker, her second song was "Crazy On You" by Heart. Heart, y'all!!! Carly loves Heart!!! She started this one slow, kneeling on the stage, before rocking that mother out. The guys beside me were yelling "I love you Carly!!!" and "Sing 'Barracuda'!!!!". She closed with the Cyndi Lauper/Celine Dion hit "I Drove All Night" (also dedicated to the ladies in the house), and she rocked it out, giving it a more interesting spin than when she sang it on the show in the style of a Celine Dion impersonator who dreams of being in a Heart coverband. I was seriously impressed with Miss Smithson and may look into buying her music in the future. As long as she doesn't sing about blowjobs again, like she did on her first album. Ew.

After Rocker!Carly! was Folky!Brooke!. She made her entrance thru a trapdoor on the stage, seated at a piano. Nice touch. She kicked it off with "Let It Be", which was her last great performance on the show before she fell apart. It was lovely and heartfelt, classic Brooke at her best. She was my favorite girl throught the semis and Top 12, but once she fell apart, I couldn't bear to watch her. Keep it up, Brooke! Good on you! Next, she picked up a guitar to sing a fun version of Feist's "1-2-3-4". She bounced around, glowing & smiling, but thankfully didn't dance. Good girl. The Dork and his family...well, DORKED out on "1-2-3-4", doing this finger-snapping, turning at the waist, high-fiving THING...and since there was an empty seat on the left of Dork Dad, he high-fived the invisible person sitting there, while giving them a big smile. My friend & I nearly wet ourselves. Before we could stop our hysterical giggling, Brooke returned to the piano to finish up her set with Coldplay's "Yellow". She did a soft, lovely version that I downloaded after the concert (she recorded this song for a pre-Idol album; her live version is superiour, but the recorded one holds up nicely.).

Brooke then reminded us about Idol Gives Back, before being joined onstage by the Idols preceding her, while clips of children in Africa flashed across the 3 giant screens across the back of the stage. Michael basically sang lead on U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)", while the other Idolettes sang back-up. He did an awesome job on that song, it was perfect for his voice and Michael is very good at infusing songs with passion and feeling.


Jason Castro!!! Oh, how I adore this boy. I want to be BFFs with him. He's so lovely and beautiful, it's sort of unfair, him being a boy and all. He began with his ukelele-version of "Over the Rainbow". I'm reaaaaaaaaally picky about "Over the Rainbow" (it's the only song that makes me cry). I like it by Judy Garland...and by Jason. His unique phrasing, expressions and gentle voice make his version a joy. And yes, I know he's "copying" a version by some Hawaiian dude, but Jason's version trumps that one, IMO. Jason's onstage banter is exactly what you'd expect from Jason, if you've ever seen his interviews. Oh, Jason, let's hit up the cafe at Borders and you can sing to me while I sip my hazelnut latte and browse the latest issue of British OK! magazine. Next up was his much talked about/never seen version of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". It was brilliant and worth the wait. Melancholy, intense, pleading...I can't even think of how to describe it, but it's nothing like I'd ever heard before. He closed his set not with "Hallelujah" as I expected, but with "Daydream", which is the first thing we ever heard out of the lovely boy's mouth, since he didn't get a whisper of screentime before Top 24 Night. His version sounds new, fun, happy and joyful, much like Jason himself. And THANK HEAVENS, the DORK was not a Jason fan and kept his ass in his seat for Jason's entire set. HALLELUJAH, indeed!!!

Then it was Syesha Mercado's turn. Everyone always claimed Sy had no fans & no one knew what (or who) was keeping her on the show. Well, it must've been Fort Wayne because she got massive love from the audience. The gorgeoussssssssssss young lady, wearing a gold mini-dress, shimmied down the stairs singing Rihanna's "Umbrella". I'm sure some people wouldn't be impressed with her cover of this 'iconic' song, but I loved it; it may have helped that I've never heard Rihanna's version. She then launched into a song she got (unfairly) panned for on the show, "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. I have always hated Alicia Keys' original of this song (as well as all of Alicia's songs...her habit of ignoring the melody annoys the shit out of me), but I loved it when Sy sang it on the show, and I loved it live. She finished her set with a sassy version of Beyonce's "Listen". The girl went for some of those off-the-scales notes she loved on the show, and she nailed every one. I think that with the right producers, she could fill the Beyonce niche (Rihanna is too 'hard-core', take-no-prisoners, rather than sassy), since Beyonce is a serious actresssss now *snort*. I still wish she would've done "One Rock & Roll Too Many", which was one of my favorite performances of the season, but I still loved her set.

Now is the point in the show where I was wishing for a pistol and a single bullet (for myself). The tweens started up with their sound-barrier piercing screams and uncontrollable bawling and shouts of "Marry me, David!!" as David Archuleta emerged from beneath the stage, seated at the piano. And wearing a Liberace-light blazer with the lapels tricked out in sequins. This kid is the dorkiest 17-year-old ever. He proceeded to once again shit all over poor Robbie Williams' brilliant song "Angels" (like Jessica Simpson didn't maim this song enough). I nearly cried, not from being overwhelmed by the Archenator, but by the rape of one of my favorite songs. Luckily, Mr Nerd and his family were Arch-Angels and stood through his set. I spent the 5 day set (hey, it seemed that long) scanning the crowd, watching for the return of Archie's lip-licking-lizard mannerisms (sadly, there were none, but then again, I may have dozed off) and trying to see if Evil Daddy Archuleta would make an appearance. You know what's creepy? Packs of cougars wearing homemade, low-cut shirts bearing Archie's pic stretched across their sagging boobs. PEDO ALERT!!! I just don't get why people enjoy hearing children sing. I don't get why they like a KID that likes singing MESSAGE songs that would bore some 50-year-old performers. Whatevs. He tried to sound current by singing One Republic's "Apologize" (whatev) and "Stand By Me"/"Beautiful Girls" (he missed some words, y'all!!!). And, umm...what else? No "Imagine" (WTF, ARCHIE'S DAD?!??!?!)...ummm...sadly, no botching of that Beatles song he butchered on Top 12 Night, or the Chris Brown song where he sang about his "boo" (hee)...oh, yeah, it was a message song by Josh Groban. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. You'll be happy to know that he still can't form a coherent sentence to save his little life and giggles a lot.

Then FINALLY, my bb David Cook appeared in a cloud of dry ice, looking like a TOTAL ROCK star in his t-shirt, jeans, boots, faux-hawk and guyliner. EEEEEEEE!!! *much fangirling ensued* Unfortunately, Mr Nerd was a Cook fan too, and wouldn't sit down. Fortunately, me, my friend, the lady beside me, and about 4 people in the row behind us had had enough and yelled (unplanned) in unison "SIT THE FUCK DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (I know what you're thinking, if you couldn't see, why not just stand up, too? Well, there was a row of children behind us and if we'd stood, the children wouldn't have been able to see over us even if they had stood. And security in the Jungle is real strict about not standing on your seats. So there. I'm not mean to all children, just Archie.)

Anyhoo!!! David Cook!!! He opened with a full-length version of his brilliant "Hello". That 90 second snippet he sang on the show was never enough. Pleeeeeease Powers That Be, let this be on his CD; it's soft and tender pleading and angry and scary/stalker all at the same time. And his voice!!! I will never understand how a ROCKER can hold a note for an eternity and then take said-note up about 5 octaves. Amazing!!! Next up was his coronation single, "Time of My Life" (do you think part of his soul dies each time he sings this?)...you could tell he was going through the motions on this one--since he was more interested in tossing out bottles of water(?) and guitar picks and shaking hands--but his voice was still in top form. He spotted a clever sign that read "I made this sign so David Cook would notice me" and claimed it from his owner...he eventually 'traded' her one of those mysterious bottles of water. He liked the sign so much, he propped it against the front of the stage, and was sure to take it with him when he was done performing. He then rocked out Aerosmith's "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (I hate this song, but David's version, with a hyped-up string section) and rougher voice makes me like it. He then dedicated the Foo Fighters' "My Hero" to his cancer-stricken brother, Adam. He rocked that mother out!!! Absolutely brilliant. David has such charisma and stage prescence, you can't take your eyes on him (and it has nothing to do with the fact that I think he's blazing hot in a guy-next-door kinda way). And can he ever play the guitar!!! Amazing licks. Nothing you'd expect from an Idol winner. He then left the stage to thundering applause as all the stage lights went out. A few seconds later, he re-emerged for a smoldering, sexy version of "Billie Jean"; he makes the song more of a cautionary tale, y'know a REAL STORY, rather than just a chance to rock like the 90s rocker who likes to whine & bitch & also covered the song (GTFO). I enjoyed most of the others, but David was worth the $68.50 ticket price itself; I can't wait till he's headlining his own tours. (Can he & Kelly please duet and/or tour together? Pleeeeeeeeeease?!??!?!)

The rest of the Idols (minus Chikezie, who I hear had a bug) took the stage once again for a CHEESY GROUP NUMBER (yay!!!!) of Rihanna's "Please Don't Stop the Music". Michael and David Cook clowned around with adorkable Riverdance dancing & Bullfighter stomps, they all took their bows and fini.

ETA: I took TONS of pics and hopefully will have some posted by early next week.

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