The “Idols Live” tour is always the cherry on top of the sundae that was the previous “Idol” season.
This year, despite being the lowest rated one since season one, had arguably the deepest bench of talent to date. So I am expecting a solid show.
It’s tightly scripted so whatever is seen in other cities will be replicated almost word per word, song by song, when the tour arrives at Gwinnett Arena August 5 for a sold-out performance. (The show has not sold out many of its dates.)
Reviews from other cities have been mixed. What says a lot about journalism today (or perhaps the waning popularity of “Idol”), I could not find reviews for several of the concert dates, including Portland, Ore. and Kansas City.
If you want to know what the audience for Fox’s American Idol looks like, just show up at the annual American Idols Live tour that hits town every summer. Last night at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles, it was – everybody. Parents with young children. Senior citizen couples without kids. Teenagers. And every ethnicity in the city. And by their overwhelmingly positive.response to the talent on stage, none of them were disappointed.
Right, throughout the show I kept trying to picture a career for these artists. Sanchez was flawless in her delivery, forgettable in her personality. She seems Broadway-bound rather than primed for pop stardom. Hollie Cavanagh was more charming than technically proficient, but didn’t embarrass herself on Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” She could anchor a parade down Disney’s Main Street. Elise Testone’s take on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” was about as thrilling as the taped introductions from Ryan Seacrest. VH1 personality?
The 10 “Idol” finalists kicked off the American Idols Live! 2012 Tour at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena with a smoothly choreographed two-hour and five-minute (plus intermission) jukebox of recent hits and classic favorites, most drawn from signature performances during the Season 11 episodes. But the concept continued to evolve, in a good way, with more group combinations and collaborations that gave the night a more energetic pace and consistent flow than merely having the singers troop through one at a time in order of their elimination
The San Jose Mercury News pilloried the San Jose show, opening with this:
The American Idols came. They sang. Then they split town for the next stop on the 2012 American Idols Live! Tour.
And what they left, after Sunday’s show at San Jose’s HP Pavilion had mercifully come to a close, was the impression that this may be the least intriguing and talented crop of finalists in “American Idol” history… I’ve attended most of the American Idols Live! Tour and this one was the worst I’ve seen… There were two notable exceptions — Skylar Laine and Jessica Sanchez… To say that Phillips has nothing new to offer is way too kind.
With little choreography and even less enthusiasm, the young cast failed to generate much excitement, especially during the first hour, which bottomed out during Heejun Han’s unimpressive attempt to rap on John Legend’s “Green Light” and Colton Dixon’s inexplicably glam version of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”… The post-intermission show was far superior, featuring stronger voices, most notably runner-up Jessica Sanchez, a 16-year-old with the voice of a seasoned pro.
And SPOILER ALERT. Here’s the entire set list:
Everyone except Phillip Phillips: “Sing” (My Chemical Romance)
Deandre Brackensick: “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” (Stevie Wonder)
Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh: “Undo It” (Carrie Underwood)
Erika Van Pelt: “Glitter in the Air” (Pink)
Van Pelt, Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet and Colton Dixon: “Moves Like Jagger” (Maroon 5)
Heejun Han: “Green Light” (John Legend)
Han with Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez: “Party Rock Anthem” (LMFAO)
Ledet, Dixon, Brackensick and Han: “Everybody Talks” (Neon Trees)
Elise Testone: “Whole Lotta Love” (Led Zeppelin)
Testone with Brackensick and Van Pelt: “Rumor Has It” (Adele)
Dixon: “Meant To Live” (Switchfoot), “Never Gone” (original), “Piano Man” (Billy Joel)
All except Phillips: “Just the Way You Are” (Bruno Mars), “What Makes You Beautiful” (One Direction)
Sanchez: “Best Thing I Never Had” (Beyonce)
Sanchez with Ledet and Brackensick: “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore” (Prince), “Proud Mary” (Ike & Tina Turner arrangement)
Laine: “Gunpowder & Lead” (Miranda Lambert), “Stay With Me” (The Faces)
Cavanagh with Van Pelt and Testone: “Rolling in the Deep” (Adele)
Cavanagh: “Give Your Heart a Break” (Demi Lovato)
Ledet with Testone, Van Pelt and Brackensick: “Runaway” (Bruno Mars)
Ledet: “It’s a Man’s World” (James Brown)
Ledet and Sanchez: “I Knew You Were Waiting” (Aretha Franklin and George Michael)
Phillips: “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder), “Nice & Slow” (Usher)
Phillips and Testone: “Somebody I Used to Know” (Gotye)
Phillips and Sanchez: “Volcano” (Damien Rice)
Phillips with Brackensick and Colton: “Home”
Full Cast: “Raise Your Glass” (Pink), “Glad You Came” (The Wanted)
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk